North Carolina’s public university system unveiled a fresh logo and formally adopted the word “system” as part of its name. The 17-institution University of North Carolina is now — officially — the University of North Carolina System.
The refresh, announced by President Margaret Spellings, is designed to highlight the system’s central role in promoting the state’s prosperity.
“It’s a new look for a new era. An era of higher expectations,” she said in a letter to the campus community on Wednesday. A video accompanying the announcement highlighted the diverse institutions comprising the system, calling them “Individually Remarkable, Collectively Extraordinary.”
Spellings took the opportunity to review the system’s remarkable growth while giving a nod to the challenges ahead.
“Since the system was organized in 1971, enrollment has almost tripled from 88,000 to 225,000,” she said. “Our revenue sources have become more varied and complex. Our regulatory burdens have soared. Even our mission — the degree to which we are invested in our regional economies and communities — has changed.”
Spellings pointed to several new initiatives designed to improve access to higher education in North Carolina under her watch, including the NC Promise tuition plan that significantly cuts the cost of tuition at three public universities and the UNC lab schools program that plans to operate schools for K-8 students at up to eight UNC institutions near low-performing districts.
“This is the start of a new period for the system,” Spellings said. “Together, we can rise to meet the moment. United, we can seize the opportunities ahead, while preserving the independence and identities of our institutions.”
Spellings also announced that the system’s administrative unit, formerly called UNC General Administration or UNC-GA, has been renamed the University of North Carolina System Office.