Updated 1:12 p.m., July 24, 2014
“We’re all thinking about improving the athletic experience; it’s part of the national dialogue,” Chancellor Folt said announcing the program titled “Complete Carolina” at Thursday’s Board of Trustees meeting. “What’s exciting about this program for us is it’s allowing us to build on what we’ve already been doing. We have this real thrust in improving our advising and improving all of our counseling, but also, we’ve always wanted to bring our athletes back, and quite a few have come back, but we really decided that it was time to make sure we could formalize it, make it easier, and ensure the funding so that we could increase the number of students that do come back.”
She said the timing of the announcement was critical so the reapplication process can begin for the upcoming semester.
Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham said this solidifies UNC’s commitment to providing everyone with an education.
“Part of the national discussion is, ‘what do we provide for students’,” Cunningham said. “We provide them an education; that’s what the collegiate model is. So, we want to fulfill that obligation to all of our students.”
In addition to providing financial support, the University will provide student-athletes who left the University in good academic standing with free room, board, and books. They will also be placed in a new, “enhanced” advising program.
“We added two additional advisors last year,” Cunningham said. “Now, we’re trying to get all the students to meet with advisors in the College of Arts and Sciences each semester. So, we’ve already added some staff. If we need to add more as we move forward, we will.”
Cunningham said Complete Carolina will be funded completely by the Ram’s Club. He added that UNC averages about a 90-percent graduation rate among student-athletes.
UNC Faculty Council Chair Bruce Cairns said the faculty is completely behind this initiative.
“There’s a commitment on the faculty’s part to ensure that all of the students who have attended Carolina have the opportunity to complete their degree and be leaders in their community,” Dr. Cairns said. “So, we’re very excited about it.”
He says, regardless of the national conversation, this was something that was crucial for the University.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Dr. Cairns said. “It always starts with that. If that helps that ongoing conversation, then that’s great. Carolina has always led. Clearly we’ve had some challenges. We need to address those challenges, and I think that this is a major step forward.”