Malcolm Gladwell

Burden of Proof

After his speech “one of the big deans at Penn looked at me and shook his head. He said, ‘We’re not stopping football.’” Gladwell encourages the students to ask university administrators “why is a world-class institution, one of the finest universities of higher learning on this planet, exposing its own students to the risk of injury and death.” “And if they ask for proof, tell them you don’t need proof. Sometimes proof is just another word for letting people suffer.”

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Senator McCain, Civility, and Silent Sam

Symbols can be powerful and emotional, and Silent Sam is a symbol that should no longer occupy a prominent place on our campus. The question now is whether Carolina can move beyond symbolism and address the underlying issues that the statue has represented for so many people. It may be even harder because of how Silent Sam was brought down. Can we become a place that honors civil dialogue and welcomes a diversity of views without demonizing those who disagree with us?

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A Great Partnership in Kinston

Thanks to the visionary leadership of Maurice Smith and his colleagues, however, LGFCU has made a real difference in the life of Kinston and other communities where there members are located. It was wonderful for Maurice and his team to spend time in Kinston and see in concrete terms the difference they have made. The School’s partnership with LGFCU will continue to have a major impact for years to come.

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The Opioid Project

The School is launching “an intensive two-year collaborative learning model that will provide direct support to ten North Carolina communities interested in enacting an integrated and innovative policy and practice response to their local opioid crises.” The project is supported by $390,000 in funding from BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

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Cheryl Howell

Faculty Lunches with the Dean (No. 38) (Cheryl Howell)

Cheryl is working with a committee of the North Carolina Bar Association on a set of issues that public policy makers have been slow to address for many years. North Carolina law generally assumes that old-fashioned and traditional reproductive biology determines a child’s legal parent. That assumption no longer holds in a growing number of cases. Society has fundamentally changed how it defines “family,” and that has raised many legal questions not answered by old-school biology. In addition, the ever-increasing use of assisted reproduction medical technology has created lots of legal challenges not addressed by our current law.

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Hiring Criteria: Optimism and Idealism

In future searches for faculty members I want to become even more intentional about identifying those candidates who are optimistic and idealistic, and who possess the courage to sign on for our practical North Carolina mission. Finding those people has allowed us to be successful in the past, and it may be more important and even more challenging to find them in the future. We need to have the courage and patience to keep looking until we identify them, and never settle for candidates who lack those qualities.

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Bill Rivenbark

Faculty Lunches with the Dean (No. 37) (Bill Rivenbark)

First, local officials will not use performance data unless it focused on outcomes. Second, and possibly more interesting, local governments with greater citizen involvement are more likely to use performance data. The reliance on outcome measures aligns with previous research in the field, but connecting usage with the level of citizen involvement is a new insight.

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A Good Week: Chancellor’s Fellows, NCCCMA, MPA Alumni, Opioid Crisis, and RCM

Last week the winter seminar for the North Carolina City and County Management Association (NCCCMA) was held in Winston-Salem. The School was incredibly well represented. Faculty were involved in a range of different sessions, and many of our professional staff were working there in a variety of ways. It was a great illustration of One School in action—the seminar could not have happened without a strong commitment on the part of faculty and staff.

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