Legislative Update: November 2015

Governor visits UNC Charlotte to sign Connect NC bond bill, includes $90 million for new science facility

Chancellor Philip L. Dubois welcomed Gov. Pat McCrory and other dignitaries to campus Oct. 22 for a ceremonial signing of the Connect NC bond bill. The $2 billion bond package includes funds for economic development and infrastructure, and most importantly for the University, funding for the growth of science education. For UNC Charlotte, that means $90 million for a critically needed science building.

The bond issue will be included on the state's primary election ballot on March 15, 2016.

"I'm convinced that those who prepare win the competition for quality of life and economic development in the future. Those who stagnate and don't continue to invest and prepare for that growth will suffer in quality of life and economic development and jobs. This is not a state that stagnates,” said McCrory

Calling McCrory a "longtime friend of UNC Charlotte,” Dubois added, "The proposed bond package is critical to UNC Charlotte's growth. Demand for science instruction is directly related to enrollment growth. Since our current science building – the Burson Building – was built, our enrollment has increased 142 percent. Most importantly, more than half of our students with a declared major are in the science, math and engineering fields.”

Governor signs bill
Chancellor Dubois, Rep. Carla Cunningham, Rep. Becky Carney, Rep. Dan Bishop, Rep. Tricia Cotham (’01), Rep. John Bradford, Governor Pat McCrory, Secretary of Cultural Resources Susan Kluttz, Rep. Dean Arp (’99), Sen. Jeff Tarte, Rep. Bill Brawley (’78), Rep. John Fraley, UNC Board of Governor’s member C. Philip Byers, Rep. Rodney Moore, Sen. Fletcher Hartsell and Rep. Kelly Alexander

Along with Dubois, students, faculty members and other University officials, Gov. McCrory was greeted by state Rep. Dean Arp, who earned a master's degree in civil engineering from UNC Charlotte in 1999. Dubois noted that Arp was "a key engineer and sponsor of the bond proposal.”

Observed Arp, "We can invest $2 billion now in infrastructure, parks and quality of life issues, and at the end of the six-year capital plan, we'll be $1.6 billion less in debt than we are today,” Arp said. "There'd be no tax increase, and yet we'd still move the State of North Carolina forward.”

Dubois applauded members of the N.C. General Assembly who attended the event. "In a bipartisan effort, Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate members came together to craft a package that addresses needs across the UNC system, community colleges, parks and water and sewer infrastructure. So to all of you, thank you for this tremendous example of visionary leadership.”

Senator Burr keynotes Cyber Security Symposium

Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, delivered a keynote address during the College of Computing and Informatics' 16th annual Cyber Security Symposium in mid-October.

We sat down with the Senator and heard his thoughts on the role of academia with cyber security.

Burr (R-N.C.) is co-sponsor of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Act of 2015 that recently passed the Senate. The bill creates additional incentives to increase sharing of cyber security threat information while protecting individual privacy and civil liberties interests. The bill also offers liability protection to the private sector, thus enhancing its ability to combat cyber attackers.

Senator Burr"I commend UNC Charlotte for creating and becoming a leader in cyber security academic programs and research,” Burr said in his address. "I am encouraged that students are interested in this field of study as we need our nation's best and brightest working on these issues within the government and in the private sector.”

"I'm very honored that Sen. Burr joined us this year," said Bill Chu, a professor in the College of Computing and Informatics Department of Software and Information Systems. "This is just another example of how the symposium has grown over the years. We continue to draw attention to the urgency of dealing with cyber crimes. In addition to the senator, we assembled a list of distinguished industry experts from around the country to talk about this ongoing global threat."

Check out all the event photos here.