Western Carolina University

Walker Golder

The greatest effect of Hurricane Florence will be felt along the coast from Bald Head Island to Topsail Beach says Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines Robert Young.

Young, who heads the Western Carolina University program in partnership with Duke, has been studying the coast on many front including helping coastal communities plan for sea level rise and hurricanes.

Courtesy of Western Carolina University

  Some locations shine in summer or winter but arguably the mountains are the best when there is a chill in the air and bright colors are on the trees.  

 

Now that summer is winding down, we can expect the leaves to start changing says Beverly Collins, a biology professor and the proclaimed autumnal soothsayer of Western Carolina University.

 

Courtesy of Western Carolina University

Just as it was thinking of getting out of the public utility business, Western Carolina University will instead be expanding its offerings to include improved internet service in the area around its Cullowhee campus.

 

Courtesy of Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University classes start on Monday August 20th. The school is expecting a record number of new students in both the freshman class and overall.  This is due, in part, to the launch of the NC Promise program which lowers tuition to just $500 for in-state students. Today, Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar welcomed back staff and faculty at the opening assembly by reflecting on the past year, remembering former Chancellor David Belcher who passed away this summer and looking forward.

The 'Human Stories' Of David Joy

Aug 7, 2018
Garret K. Woodward

Author David Joy has been gaining recognition for a pair of critically acclaimed novels, both set in rural Appalachia.  With a third on the way, Joy has also been gaining national and international recognition as an essayist on Southern culture.

Courtesy of Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University has been searching for a new chancellor since February. They hoped to have chosen a successor for Dr. David Belcher, who passed away last month, by the start of the 2018 fall semester.

 

Today, UNC Board of Governor’s chair Harry Smith announced that the candidate for chancellor has withdrawn from consideration.

 

Courtesy of Western Carolina University

 Fondly is how Western Carolina students will remember Western Carolina Chancellor David Belcher says Claire Lemke.  Belcher passed away June 17th.

 

Lemke was the first recipient of a scholarship in fine and performing arts that Chancellor Belcher established last year in honor of his wife.  Lemke received $1000 for the spring semester of her senior year.

 

Credit Courtesy of Western Carolina University

Chancellor David Belcher passed away on Sunday, June 17, at the age of 60 after more than two-years of battling brain cancer.

 

Belcher was chancellor at Western Carolina University from 2011 until he took medical leave at the end of 2017. The native of Barnwell, South Carolina is beloved by his WCU family.

 

Matt Bush BPR

Western Carolina University is unveiling NCDataDashboard.org, an online resource that shows key economic indicators and trends for all 100 counties in North Carolina.  The site includes 12,000 unique data series according to the school, including information on employment, workforce, land, infrastructure and industry GDP.  That data is broken down county by county.  Two of those instrumental in creating the resource, WCU economics professors Angela Dills and Edward Lopez, joined BPR's Matt Bus

Raleigh has been the scene of a lot of partisan political discord this decade.  But the president of the University of North Carolina system says she’s thankful all that fighting has not impacted higher education funding.  Margaret Spellings says even in North Carolina’s polarized political atmosphere, selling members of the General Assembly on maintaining higher education funding isn’t real tough.

A busy basketball weekend in Asheville will now be even more so.  Not only will the Southern Conference host both it's men's and women's basketball championships at the U.S. Cellular Center, but the quarter and semi-final rounds of the Big South men's basketball championship will be played at the Kimmel Arena on the campus of UNC-Asheville.  That's because the Bulldogs clinched the Big South regular season championship over the weekend.  Doing so means the Bulldogs will play at home during the Big South tournament as long as they are in it.

BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE

Matt Bush BPR

Tuesday’s ruling by federal judges that North Carolina’s Congressional district maps are illegal could have wide ranging implications for politics at the local, state and national level.  The court ruled the maps were illegal because they were gerrymandered specifically to benefit Republicans – the first time a court cited partisanship as a reason to throw out Congressional maps created through redistricting.  The city of Asheville saw the biggest change during the redistricting the court just rejected.  The new lines cut the city from one district into two – leading it from being represent

Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University has announced a 21-member committee will search for the school's next chancellor.  Current chancellor David Belcher will go on medical leave at the end of this year.  Belcher is fighting a recurrence of brain cancer, and says he does not expect to resume his duties when his medical leave is done.  He has been chancellor since 2011. 

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

The Washington Post published an article this week looking at North Carolina's moves on taxes in recent years for clues to how the GOP tax plan making its way through Congress could impact the country.  BPR's Jeremy Loeb was joined by WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii and Western Carolina Univeristy political scientist Chris Cooper for a discussion of North Carolina's example with regards to taxes.

Ashley T. Evans Wesern Carolina University

Western Carolina University chancellor David Belcher will go on medical leave at the end of the year.  Belcher is battling brain cancer, and in a statement released by the school Monday morning, he said he does not expect to resume his duties at the end of his leave.

unfccc.int

Nearly 200 countries are wrapping up the annual United Nations Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany this week. Notably absent is the United States. This summer, President Trump declared he is pulling the U.S. out of the landmark Paris Climate Accord, which aims to reduce carbon emissions and holds countries accountable for limiting the rise in global temperatures.   But the move hasn’t stopped hundreds of climate scientists and researchers from participating, including Western Carolina University’s Rob Young, a geologist who directs The Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines.  Young spoke with BPR’s Helen Chickering shortly after he returned from Bonn.

CULLOWHEE -- Picture in your mind a traditional Cherokee Indian basket. You can see its shape, the bands of bundled pine needles or rivercane wicker, the painted patterns drawn from tribal imagery.

 

But when you these baskets, do you reflect on treaty violations, the appropriation of Native names and imagery or forced removal from ancestral homelands?

Funny Business In The Mountains Sees Growth

Nov 6, 2017
NPR.org

As long as there’s a stage, there’s really no telling where a comic can be found—even in areas like Western North Carolina—where local talent has flourishes, and local business captures part of a $300 million industry. BPR'S Davin Eldridge takes a look at the comedy scene of the mountains. 

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UNC System President Margaret Spellings and her community college counterpart shared a stage in Charlotte last night with House Speaker Tim Moore. They fielded questions about how to make higher education more affordable and accessible. 

Jared Gant

 


Experts predict the upcoming fall leaf season in Western North Carolina will be considerably better from last year’s, and you can thank all the rain the region received in 2017 for that.  BPR’s Davin Eldridge has more…

 

We’ve become accustomed to hearing the one to five rating for hurricanes, but do you know what those categories mean?  BPR’s Helen Chickering set out to find the answer and talked to a local hurricane researcher who thinks the rating scale is misleading.

Progressive groups in Western North Carolina are pushing back against the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program in six months. BPR’s Davin Eldridge has more…

Well over a hundred demonstrators, mostly students, turned out to protest the administration’s decision at Western Carolina University. They made their objections heard next to the college’s so-called Fountain of Wisdom, in the center of campus. The crowds chanted "si se puede".

The great American Eclipse is over.  For most, it was an amazing experience. But for a Macon county man, the astronomical event was a mile marker on a life changing journey.  BPR’s Helen Chickering stumbled upon his story while on an eclipse assignment at Southwestern Community College in Sylva.

NPR.org, Davin Eldridge

The first day of classes are always hectic for any university. For Western Carolina, that may be taken to a new level this year.  That’s because classes start on the day of the solar eclipse.

BPR’s Davin Eldridge reports…

Luke Shealy

Thousands of scientists and science supporters are expected to gather in Washington, and across the country – including Asheville for the March for Science.  The event has raised questions about whether scientists can and should advocate for public policy.   And as BPR’s Helen Chickering found out, there are some strong opinions here in Western North Carolina.

Western Carolina University

Poet, novelist, and Western Carolina University professor Ron Rash has been named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2017.  Only 173 scholars, artists, and scientists from the U.S. and Canada receive the prestigious honor from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.  The fellowships are awarded "on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise."  Each fellow receives a $50-thousand award to support their work.

The NCAA men's basketball Final Four takes Saturday in Arizona.  There will be a Carolina feel in the desert air, as both North and South Carolina will be playing.  It's the first time the Gamecocks have made the Final Four, while for the Tar Heels it's their 20th, the most of any school in the nation.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

President Trump’s budget proposes funding cuts to regulatory and research-based agencies and would also impact state programs. We look at how this state might fare environmentally.

Wilson.com

Basketball is king in North Carolina.  That may be spreading now to South Carolina, as the Gamecocks clinched their first ever Final Four trip on Sunday.  They’ll join the Tar Heels, who have now made the Final Four 20 times, more than any other school in country.

Koch Controversy Resurfaces At WCU Amid New Research

Mar 10, 2017
Quintin Ellison

   Last fall, the conservative Charles Koch Foundation funded a controversial new center at Western Carolina University, to the tune of nearly $2 million.  Opponents are now releasing research they say sheds light on how Koch money influences public education.

The Hinds University Center at Western Carolina University was packed with students and faculty alike, for the screening of the new film “Starving the Beast”. The documentary explores how recent conservative policymaking is influencing public education.   

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