NU Regents to visit North Carolina campuses and research park
In October, members of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents will join NU President James B. Milliken for briefings and tours of several North Carolina university research campuses and an internationally known research park.

"We are looking at demonstrated ways to grow and leverage university research activity for the benefit of the state," said Charles Wilson, chair of the Board of Regents. "The purpose of this set of briefings and tours is to take a close look at models for successful public-private development that we might consider for each of our University of Nebraska campuses."

The trip is scheduled Oct. 11-12 and will include visits to:

  • Centennial Campus: North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) "campus of the future" is a 1,130-acre 20-year-old R&D campus – contiguous to NCSU –developed and managed by the university with university, corporate and government R&D facilities, offices, classrooms and labs, incubation and private companies. Former Gov. Jim Hunt sparked the project when he led the adoption of legislation for a centennial campus and initiated the transfer of more than 300 acres of state land to NCSU in the 1980’s. The state continued to transfer additional land to the university over more than a decade. Milliken pointed out that NCSU, Centennial’s home campus, is a land-grant university much like UNL with strong agriculture and engineering programs.

    In 2000 the North Carolina Legislature authorized the development of similar "Millennial Campuses" for each of the University of North Carolina system’s 16 campuses.
  • Carolina North at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH): Carolina North is a 900-acre site now under planning and development at Chapel Hill for a research and innovation campus, as well as a compact, mixed-use academic community. The campus will foster public-private collaborative research, and provide facilities and shared resources essential for creating and nurturing new businesses.
  • Research Triangle Park (RTP): Established over 50 years ago, one of the oldest, largest and most prominent high-tech research and development parks anywhere, RTP is a 7,000-acre development located in the triangle formed by the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill (homes of NCSU, Duke, and UNC-CH, respectively). This development was designed to attract and foster private R&D activity related to and drawn by the university’s research community.

The group also plans discussions with campus leaders from other UNC system schools that are developing Millennial Campuses, as well as informal discussions with members of the UNC Board of Governors.

"North Carolina is recognized around the world as a leader in leveraging its universities’ research through the development of public-private partnerships," Milliken said.

"Research Triangle Park and Centennial Campus were bold initiatives that have been quite successful. In one brief visit, Regents will have the opportunity to learn about leading examples of efforts to capitalize on university activity to expand the regional innovation-based economy," he said. Milliken served as senior vice president of the UNC system before returning to the University of Nebraska in 2004.

NU officials will take tours of the campuses and research park, meet with campus representatives, and discuss topics that include public-private partnerships, financial issues, infrastructure, campus design, and campus development strategies.

In addition to Milliken and Wilson, the delegation attending the briefings will include NU Regents Randolph Ferlic, Chuck Hassebrook, Jim McClurg and Bob Whitehouse, Student Regents Jonathan Henning, Amber Lewis and Alexander Williams as well as several NU administrators.

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