Changing the World: Steve Jobs

I hardly gave Steve Jobs a thought while he was alive, but like many people I’m fascinated by trying to understand his significance now that he’s gone.  I encourage you to read any of the following pieces if you want to know more about Jobs. [...Read full article » ]

Coaching Cartoon

The Value of Coaching

The current issue of The New Yorker has another interesting article by Atul Gawande, a surgeon and a faculty member with the Harvard Medical School. One theme of his writing has been the use of different strategies for improving professional performance. The Checklist [...Read full article » ]


Dave Owens Receives Edward Kidder Graham Faculty Service Award

The Edward Kidder Graham Faculty Service Award is a new award that will be conferred for the first time on this upcoming University Day, October 12. Our own Dave Owens will be the first recipient. [...Read full article » ]

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You Are Never Found Wanting

Whenever I spend time with public officials, it is inevitable that someone will say how valuable they find your work.  It happens a lot.  For example, it happened last Friday in Concord at the NC Association of County Commissioners Conference.  A county commissioner from Guilford [...Read full article » ]


Tina Fey’s Advice on Communication and Innovation

Tina Fey’s new book, Bossypants, is smart and funny, which is not surprising. In the unlikely event she wants to pursue a different career, she has great potential as a management consultant. [...Read full article » ]

Harnett County Manager Visit

How do you create a county-wide identity and communicate with residents when they are concentrated in large numbers in several different parts of the county? The challenge is complicated by the fact that 60% of their residents leave the county to work in neighboring counties. Part of their strategy to keep people informed about county issues—and to listen to concerns—has been a series of regional forums where representatives of different county departments talk about their work and answer questions.

Frayda Bluestein Wins Award for Excellence

Frayda has dedicated herself to the mission of the School of Government, and she has done it in ways that support her colleagues. She always puts the interests of others first. Frayda works to insure that we are doing everything possible to support faculty and staff and to help them succeed.

Town and County Manager Visits

I also heard a consistent message from all of these managers. Local government membership dues are “a bargain” and they “get a great return on their investment.”

School of Government Update: Budget Cuts

We have talked about the idea of One School over the last few months, and our ability to withstand deep budget cuts and still expand our educational services may be the best example. It could not have happened without the commitment of all faculty and staff, and I want you to know that I appreciate it.

School of Government Update: Faculty Fields of Work

For me it means that law continues to be the foundation for all of our work, just as it is the foundation for government. It informs and complements everything we do. At the same time, however, it also means that we have become a multi-disciplinary faculty that is better positioned to help public officials address a much wider range of challenges and opportunities facing North Carolina.

Diversity Commitment

I want to share the following commitment to diversity that has been created by the School’s Diversity Committee.  It has been in various stages of development for some time.  The committee worked under the leadership of Chris McLaughlin and Audrey Williams to create a statement of diversity focused mostly on recruitment and hiring, but it

Orientation for President Spellings

We had the opportunity last week to participate in Carolina’s orientation for new UNC System President Margaret Spellings.  The visit was part of her commitment to visit all of the UNC System campuses during her first 100 days in office.  I think we successfully introduced her to the School. A few weeks ago we were

Town Manager Visits: Zebulon and Wake Forest

I visited separately with two town managers on Friday—Joe Moore with the Town of Zebulon and Kip Padgett with the Town of Wake Forest. Their comments were interesting in light of our ongoing conversations about the School’s strategic priorities. As with all of my local government manager visits, I thanked them for paying their membership

Solutions Forum: Reshaping Suburbia

Many local governments are facing pressures to transition from existing suburban development (like large shopping malls and strip malls) to more urban development (adding density, mixing uses, and decreasing reliance on cars). A combination of pressures is driving this reshaping of suburbia, including population growth and market preferences. Adam Lovelady’s proposed innovation project was to create a one-day forum where local government officials would come together to learn about these issues—from us and from one another—and on how to address them in practical terms.

Lee Bounds: Faculty Member and Public Servant

Lee Bounds died a week ago at age 97. He was a remarkable person, and so it is not surprising that the News & Observer noted his passing with an editorial about his life as a public servant. For our purposes it is especially worth remembering Lee because he was a faculty member at the