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State HR Director Steps Down To Pursue Post at Gardner-Webb PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 10:31
Governor Pat McCrory announced today that C. Neal Alexander is stepping down effective August 31 as State Human Resources Director to pursue a role at Gardner-Webb University, his college alma-mater. 
“Neal has been an instrumental part of our efforts to modernize the way state government approaches Human Resources,” said Governor McCrory. “Not only has he helped us attract the best and brightest talent to state government, his leadership in employee safety and worker’s compensation has helped save taxpayers millions.”
Assuming Alexander’s role on an interim basis will be Paula Woodhouse, who has served as Deputy Director of State Human Resources for the last three and a half years. Woodhouse has a master’s degree in human resources from Vanderbilt University. Over her twenty-six-year career, she worked in education and health and human services prior to joining the State Human Resources Office.
Over the last three and a half years, Alexander led improvements to shorten the time to resolve employee grievances, to implement the NC VIP performance management program and prepare for the implementation of the Statewide Compensation System.   
Additionally, employee safety has improved since 2013, with the number of new cases and injuries down 20 percent and worker’s compensation costs on the decline.
$45 Million Golden LEAF Grant Boosts NC State's Plant Sciences Initiative PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Friday, 12 August 2016 15:30
The Golden LEAF Foundation gave North Carolina State University a tremendous boost forward, awarding a $45 million grant that will help support a new research facility for the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative in efforts to make North Carolina the global hub for plant sciences innovation.
The initiative is a partnership of NC State University and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Its centerpiece is a $160.2 million Plant Sciences Research Complex planned for NC State's Centennial Campus in Raleigh. University scientists will work together with government and industry to solve some of agriculture's most pressing challenges.
NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson said that the new grant is the largest single contribution ever made to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and among the largest in the history of the university.
"This investment further establishes North Carolina and NC State as international leaders in agricultural research and innovation, which will yield significant economic opportunities for our rural communities while providing food solutions to people around the globe," Woodson said.
Dan Gerlach, president of Golden LEAF, said the investment is consistent with the nonprofit organization's mission of transforming the economy of rural, tobacco-dependent and economically-distressed communities in North Carolina. In accordance with terms of the consent decree, the N.C. General Assembly established the foundation in 1999 to administer one half of the state's Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers.
"It is our hope, and indeed our expectation, that the Plant Sciences Initiative will catalyze transformational advances in North Carolina agriculture that will benefit the rural economy," Gerlach said. He called Golden LEAF's grant "an investment in North Carolina agriculture that will help improve crop yields, introduce new crop and plant varieties, and reduce feed costs for animal agriculture."
"Our board members recognize that growing agriculture grows rural communities," Gerlach continued. "It is North Carolina's top industry at $84 billion annually, with well over 80 percent of total farm gate receipts grown in the state's 80 rural counties.  Our farmers recognize the importance of innovation to the future of agriculture."
With the Golden LEAF's grant, more than $9 million additionally contributed to the project by 42 agricultural groups across the state, and $85 million approved by voters through the Connect NC Bond, the project can now move forward.
"More importantly," Gerlach said, "it gives rural North Carolina a competitive market advantage in feeding, fueling and clothing a growing global population."
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Richard Linton agreed, noting that "Golden LEAF's generous investment takes us to $140.2 million of the $160.2 million needed for the complex, with the goal of having world-class plant research facilities complete by 2021."
Already, he said, "NC State University agricultural research and extension has an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion in rural North Carolina. Our college helps rural N.C. farmers grow more than 90 different commodities across varying climates and soil types, making North Carolina the third most agriculturally diverse state in the nation. Building out the N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative will also position our college and our state among the premier plant science programs in the world – establishing us as a powerhouse for agricultural innovation and education."
Linton shared that most importantly, "with this grant we have the green light to move forward. We can now make the dream a reality starting today."
Farmers and other members of the public are invited to attend an upcoming series of information and listening sessions about the Plant Sciences Initiative to be held across the state in August and September. For details and to register, visit http://go.ncsu.edu/psipublic or call Celeste Brogdon at 919-515-7857.
Wake Tech Breaks Ground On RTP Campus PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 13:08
Morrisville - Numerous public officials celebrated the groundbreaking of Wake Technical Community College’s Research Triangle Park campus. Throughout the ceremony, Governor Pat McCrory and community college officials emphasized the economic growth and career opportunities that will be brought to the area by the new campus. 
“This new campus will help meet growing demands and focus on the needs of companies in and around the Research Triangle Park,” Governor McCrory said. “This groundbreaking will support our growing economy and help people get the skills they need for jobs and careers. I am proud that the investments we have made into our community colleges will allow them to continue reaching that goal in the future.”
The RTP campus is located on N.C. Highway 54 near I-540 in Morrisville. Its next-generation learning environment will be dedicated to the needs of individuals and corporations in Western Wake County and Research Triangle Park. 
Plans for the 94-acre site include up to 10 instructional buildings, with the capacity to serve as many as 7,000 students. An initial phase is expected to open for classes by the Fall of 2017.
Additionally, Wake Technical Community College will receive $12.6 million for improvements from the Connect NC bond proposed by Governor McCrory and overwhelmingly approved by the voters in March. These important investments will support skills gap training improvements, Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility improvements, life safety and security upgrades and network upgrades for program accessibility.
UNC-Chapel Hill Tells NCAA It Lacks Authority On Alleged Allegations PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 02 August 2016 16:32
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has told the the NCAA that it lacks the authority to issue sanctions on five allegation of academic irregularities involving student-athletes saying those affairs were under the jurisdiction of its accreditation agency. 
UNC disagreed with a charge of "lack of institutional control" stating, "Issues related to UNC–Chapel Hill’s academic irregularities are the proper subject of review by SACSCOC, its accrediting agency – not the NCAA, its athletic association."
"We work with an accrediting agency; the NCAA is the athletic agency," UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said Tuesday in a conference call. "We think they have different jurisdictions."
UNC is also challenging all academic related charges, including "failure to monitor," on both the NCAA's statute of limitations (four years) and the NCAA's "jurisdiction over the academic affairs."
"UNC-Chapel Hill accepts full responsibility for its serious past academic problems, and it has addressed them directly without regard to cost or reputational harm," the response reads. "But ... The question is whether the matters raised by the ANOA meet the jurisdictional, procedural, and substantive requirements of the NCAA constitution and bylaws."
A public copy of the response was made available on the Carolina Commitment website one day after the university formally submitted the response to the NCAA. UNC requested, and was granted, a one-week extension by the NCAA to deliver the response. Their 90-day time to respond expired July 25.
UNC will now await the NCAA's response. They will then arrange a date to meet with the NCAA Committee on Infractions. It is at that meeting where they will learn whether the university will be subject to any punishment. The NCAA generally takes between eight and 12 weeks to deliver that after the hearing which could push the finality of the investigation into 2017.
No current coaches at UNC were named in the latest allegations.

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