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October 10, 2015 – As of 10/9, please call our office, 919-962-1544, by 5:00 if you’d like to register to attend the panel discussion and/or lunch. It will also be possible to register for the panels at the door. Registration for the lunch may be possible at the door depending on available seating.

North Carolinians are debating how our public schools and universities should best prepare students for future work in a changing global economy. In this evolving social context, some argue (as in other states) that public universities must focus on technical skills, which could mean that the UNC system’s teaching and research mission can no longer “afford the luxury” of giving equal emphasis to the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences. We will address the ongoing debate about education and the value of the liberal arts by asking University leaders, faculty members, and entrepreneurial-minded business thinkers to explain why they believe the humanities and arts may (or may not) still be essential for North Carolina’s public universities.

Our goal is to consider how the humanities and the arts can or should contribute to public education and public universities in North Carolina—and also how these contributions might be changing. Join the conversation about these important issues and add your views to the debate.

Speakers will include UNC System President Tom Ross and UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt. They will join the discussion with faculty colleagues Marianne Gingher (English and Comparative Literature) and Claude Clegg (African, African American and Diaspora Studies) and with innovative business leaders Michael Tiemann (Red Hat Inc.) and Bill Moore (RTI International). Two separate panel presentations will be followed by a discussion among the speakers and our audience.


Marianne B. Gingher, Professor of English, UNC-Chapel Hill

Tom Ross, President, University of North Carolina System

Michael Tiemann, Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, Inc. and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts


Claude Clegg, Distinguished Professor, Department of African American and Diaspora Studies and History, UNC-Chapel Hill

Carol Folt, Chancellor, UNC-Chapel Hill

Bill Moore, Chairman of the Board, RTI International and Professor of the Practice of Finance, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-Chapel Hill


Discussion with all speakers and our audience

Time & Cost

9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Saturday, October 10, 2015; lunch conversations, 12:30-2:00 p.m. The free panel discussions will be followed by an optional salon-style lunch ($29 each at the Carolina Club). Everyone who attends will be able to contribute his or her own views in small-group table discussions on the question “Can we still afford the Luxury of the Liberal Arts?” led by a UNC faculty member.

Please use this Google Form to register in advance to secure your place in this free special event.Online registration is no longer available as of 10/9. Please call to register.

The salon-style lunch is $29. Registration for the lunch is available on our regular registration page. Signing up for the lunch automatically registers you for the free panel discussions. – Online registration is no longer available as of 10/9. Please call to register.

Cancellation Policy: Participants who need to cancel their registration in the salon lunch will receive a refund (minus a $5 administrative fee for each registration) for cancellations made by noon on October 1. If your cancellation is received after noon on October 1, no refund will be made available. If you have any questions, please email our registrar, Brian Entzminger, at, or call our main line, (919) 962-1544.