UNC, WESTERN IDENTIFY
“OPPORTUNITIES FOR SYNERGY”
UNC Chancellor James Moeser (left) and Western Chancellor John W. Bardo pause to celebrate 20 years of cooperation in providing education and training opportunities for public officials in Western North Carolina, signing an agreement reaffirming the local government training effort offered by Western's Center for Regional Development and the School of Government at Chapel Hill.
CULLOWHEE – Representatives of Western Carolina University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified several “opportunities for synergy” between the two institutions, including possible partnerships through which engineering and technology professors and students at Western would test theories developed by researchers at Chapel Hill.
As part of a daylong series of meetings Wednesday, Jan. 5, in Cullowhee, UNC Chancellor James Moeser said he was especially intrigued by the chance for medical researchers from his university to collaborate with Western's newly announced Center for Adaptive Devices on the development of products to help prolong independent living for the state's aging population.
“We are here to explore ways that we can partner with Western that would be mutually advantageous and productive for both universities,” Moeser said. “I see a real chance for creating partnerships where the center can test the commercial applications of theoretical science and research being done at Chapel Hill.”
In addition to potential collaborations on “proof of concept,” other areas for possible inter-institutional partnerships include linking Chapel Hill's programs in the performing and dramatic arts with Western's new video and audio recording studios, and increasing the number of medical and health care students who specialize in the field of gerontology.
The next step is to seek the input of faculty members from both universities and to schedule a series of follow-up meetings in Cullowhee and Chapel Hill.
While in Cullowhee, Moeser and Western Chancellor John W. Bardo paused to celebrate 20 years of cooperation in providing education and training opportunities for public officials in Western North Carolina, signing an agreement reaffirming the local government training effort offered by Western's Center for Regional Development and the School of Government at Chapel Hill. About 30 county officials from as far east as Cabarrus County were on hand to witness the ceremonial signing of the agreement.
“Over the past 20 years, hundreds of new municipal and county officials from across Western North Carolina have benefited from the training programs offered through this collaborative effort,” Bardo said. “The Local Government Training Program is a shining example of the good things that can happen through such partnerships. We look forward to expanding these partnerships for the benefit of not only Western North Carolina, but for the benefit of the entire state.”
During the visit, Bardo gave Moeser and other Chapel Hill representatives an overview of recent activity at Western, including the development of new programs in electrical engineering, forensic science and construction management, and led them on a tour of new campus buildings, including the recently opened Center for Applied Technology and soon-to-be-completed Fine and Performing Arts Center.
Moeser's trip to Cullowhee came as part of his “Carolina Connects” initiative, launched last spring to highlight the ways the university serves North Carolina's people and its communities.