Community leaders in Macon County
Chancellor Bardo addresses community leaders in Macon County.
Bardo tours Whistle Stop Mall
Chancellor Bardo tours the Whistle Stop Mall in Franklin.

FRANKLIN - Western Carolina University Chancellor John W. Bardo continued his conversations with community leaders during the third in a series of “Round Tables,” this time in Macon County on Thursday, Oct. 2.

During a gathering of business leaders, state and local elected officials, teachers, and public school administrators over lunch at the Community Center in Franklin, Dr. Bardo described his vision of the university as “the cultural, social, economic and environmental engine of regional development for Western North Carolina.” For that purpose, he said, Western is raising its standards, recruiting more students with higher academic scores, adding innovative programs, and reaching out to local companies with programs and services they can use.

In an earlier visit to the Caterpillar facility and to the TekTone company, Dr. Bardo saw examples of improvements and research provided by Western to assist those companies in their operations. And he welcomed additional contacts that could yield useful partnerships, internships and further interaction between those businesses and Western Carolina.

In a visit to a class at Franklin High School, he talked with students about their interest in obtaining a world-class education that would lead to successful careers close to home. “If you are interested in serious learning and academic excellence,” he said, “you’ll be right at home at Western Carolina University. If all you want is a party place, you won’t be comfortable with us.”

Afterwards, Dr. Bardo toured a commercial location in Franklin that is undergoing renovation and development as a tourist destination and talked with city and county leaders about the future of Macon County and Western’s involvement in regional economic development.

The Chancellor’s Round Table in Franklin follows two others in Hendersonville and in Murphy. Future meetings are scheduled throughout the region.

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Last modified: Thursday, March 27, 2014 | Originally published: Monday, October 6, 2003
Copyright 2003 by Western Carolina University