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UNC Clean Tech Speaker

Carol Folt

Carol Folt
Chancellor from 2013 - 2019
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill


When Carol L. Folt became Carolina’s 11th Chancellor, and 29th in the lineage of leaders that dates back to Carolina’s founding, she said: “As America’s first public university, Carolina became the gold standard. The founders passed the baton, and the future is up to us. How can we fulfill this honorable charge in a way that is ever fresh and relevant?”

Folt — an internationally recognized life scientist, award-winning teacher and accomplished academic leader — worked to fulfill an honorable charge by placing Carolina’s students at the center, advancing the University’s academic excellence, championing Carolina as a leading global public research university and focusing on innovation through the development of new avenues for entrepreneurship that are translating world-class ideas into real-world applications. Folt has said she remains confident in the future of higher education because she has never stopped believing in the enduring power of a college education to transform lives.

As chancellor, Folt made planning for Carolina’s future a top priority. In the fall of 2017, The Blueprint for Next, Carolina’s strategic framework outlining priorities to guide decision-making and investments during the next decade, moved to the implementation phase. Shaped over several years by hundreds of people who shared their ideas about what the university is and their dreams of what it can become, the framework spans all university schools and departments. Its core elements were succinctly written and focused so it could be captured on a single page. The Blueprint for Next embodies the same sense of hope and possibility that was present when Carolina’s founders created the country’s first public university and it captures an underlying quality about Carolina — the University’s willingness to continually reinvent itself.