UNIVERSITY NEWSOn World Water Day, UNC launches academic theme focusing on water
UNC part of new U.S. effort to tackle critical global water problems
Multiple UNC programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report
Chancellor Holden Thorp appointed to new Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to deliver spring Commencement address
On World Water Day, UNC launches academic theme focusing on waterDrawing upon internationally recognized faculty expertise, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will mobilize around water through a new two-year, campus-wide academic theme. Key issues of focus will include ensuring water is available to and safe for people around the world since that access affects their health, the economy and social development.
The campus theme, “Water in Our World,” officially launched on World Water Day 2012, which is recognized by the United Nations and the global community as a reminder that the world faces a global water, sanitation and hygiene crisis.
UNC-Chapel Hill experts say the already furious demand for water will intensify with more economic growth and development as the world’s population hits the 9 billion or more mark by mid-century. New UNC research published by the University’s Water Institute reports 1.8 billion people around the world (28 percent of the population) use unsafe water. (That’s a different conclusion than the one reached recently by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.) Millions die annually from water-related health problems. And two of the most frequent natural disasters – floods and droughts – hinge on water.
Tackling a key issue facing society was a top recommendation in the University’s 2011 Academic Plan, a statement of objectives, priorities and the roadmap for the future. Taking a campus-wide approach to that charge through the water theme marks a first in recent University history.
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UNC part of new U.S. effort to tackle critical global water problemsWater experts from the UNC are among the key members of a new initiative announced March 22 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that aims to solve water problems around the globe.
The U.S. Water Partnership is a public-private group formed to share U.S. knowledge, leverage and mobilize resources and facilitate cross-sector partnerships to find solutions to global water accessibility challenges, especially in the developing world.
The Water Institute at UNC is a founding member of the partnership. The institute’s director is Jamie Bartram, Ph.D., professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The partnership will answer some of the challenges outlined in the Global Water Security Intelligence Community Assessment report, which also was released today by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The announcement, on World Water Day 2012, also came as UNC officially launched a new two-year, campus-wide academic theme focused on water. The campus theme, “Water in Our World,” will focus on key issues including ensuring water is available to and safe for people around the world.
According to a State Department fact sheet, the U.S. Water Partnership will address various water-related challenges by bringing together the public sector, non-government organizations, science institutions and the private sector.
It will serve as a central synthesizer and force multiplier – making information easily accessible, connecting people and resources, and leveraging the assets of partners to offer a range of integrative solutions. It also will build teams to address specific problems; mobilize and field the right combination of experts; provide a central platform for sharing information and for innovating integrative solutions, and in the process create new entrepreneurial opportunities for U.S. businesses to participate in solving worldwide water problems.
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Multiple UNC programs ranked by U.S. News & World ReportUNC appears on multiple lists of schools, degree programs and specialty areas newly ranked in 2012 by U.S. News and World Report for the 2013 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.”
U.S. News first ranked graduate programs in 1987 and has done so annually since 1990. Business, education, engineering, law and medicine are ranked annually based on expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students, according to U.S. News officials. Other disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other areas, including selected health specialties, are ranked periodically. Those rankings are based solely on the ratings of peer academic experts, including deans, program directors and faculty.
In addition to the new rankings, U.S. News republishes, on its website and in the guidebook, older rankings – dated 2011 or before – that are based on peer ratings in various health fields, Ph.D. programs in the humanities and social sciences, master's of public affairs and public policy, master's of fine arts, and master's of library and information studies programs.
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Chancellor Holden Thorp appointed to new Homeland Security Academic Advisory CouncilChancellor Holden Thorp has been appointed to a new Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council created by U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Thorp was among 19 university presidents and academic leaders announced March 1 as members of the new council, which will advise Secretary Napolitano and her senior department colleagues.
“The formation of this council represents an important milestone towards engaging the academic community in our homeland security efforts,” Napolitano said. “Their collective expertise will be a critical asset to the department, and I look forward to working with them.”
The council will provide advice and recommendations on issues related to student and recent graduate recruitment; international students; academic research; campus and community resiliency, security and preparedness; and faculty exchanges.
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NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to deliver spring Commencement
“Mayor Bloomberg has had an extraordinary career in business, philanthropy and public service,” Chancellor Holden Thorp said. “His innovative approach to public service as mayor of New York City and entrepreneurship in starting Bloomberg L.P. are experiences that Carolina students can identify with and find inspiration from. We’re honored that Mayor Bloomberg accepted our invitation to speak. He will help make Commencement very special for our graduates and their families and friends.”
Bloomberg was first elected mayor of New York City in 2001, just two months after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, a time when many believed that crime would return, businesses would flee and New York might never recover. Instead, through hundreds of innovative new policies and initiatives, Bloomberg is credited with making New York City safer, stronger, and greener than ever.
Born in Boston and raised in a middle class home in Medford, Mass., Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University, where he paid his tuition by taking loans and working as a parking lot attendant. After college, he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
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