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Coates Spring/Summer 2008

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2 Coates Connection resources and management systems in place to provide environmental services and pro- grams. e EFC is one of a network of uni- versity-based finance outreach centers sup- ported by the US Environmental Protection Agency. At the EFC, we oen incorporate comparative data analysis and benchmark- ing into our activities, but we have found that it is easy for local leaders to get over- whelmed by numbers and data if they are not presented properly. in response to this challenge, the EFC has developed a website tool—a rates dashboard—that provides communities with the ability to quickly and clearly develop customized graphical com- parative analyses. e resulting analyses are presented in the form of maps, dials, and simple charts rather than complex tables and spreadsheets. is useful tool enables utilities to study and present information on rates, finan- cial health, and customer affordability in a way that takes into consideration many of the key factors that influence real cost. e rates dashboard allows comparisons of conservation pricing signals, operating ra- tios, monthly rates, and affordability mea- surements (e.g., median household income UNC Tomorrow (UNCT) is an 18-month initiative launched in 2007 by Erskine Bowles, president of the UNC system, to find new and better ways for the system's constituent campuses to help fulfill North Carolina's needs over the next 20 years. From September through August a diverse array of more than 3,700 people were convened in 22 "listening forums" throughout the state to talk about the present and future challenges facing North Carolina. Another 6,700 provided information through an online survey. UNCT issued a report based on information from the forums that was adopted by the Board of Governors in January. The report presents findings and recommendations for meeting the most pressing challenges in the following policy areas: Global Readiness, Access to Higher Education, Improving Public Education, Economic Transformation and Community Development, Health, and Environment. While UNCT is not a School of Government initiative, it does require our involvement and covers issues that are critical to the state and therefore are of interest to the School's clients, friends, and faculty. President Bowles has indicated that UNCT will guide future priorities and resource allocations throughout the system. Carolina and the other UNC campuses are preparing response plans for UNCT that present existing and new programs to address each of the policy areas mentioned above. These plans were submitted in early May, and I spearheaded the re- sponse from Carolina. Several of the School's faculty members were also deeply involved in developing the campus response. Richard Whisnant co-chaired the committee on Environment, and Jonathan Morgan and Jesse White were members of the committee on Economic Transformation and Community Development. Norma Houston is on leave from the School to UNC General Administration to manage the overall UNCT process. I encourage you to look at the UNC Tomorrow report and executive summary at www.nctomorrow.org and share it with others—colleagues, board members, citizens—who might have an interest and a stake in the outcome. From the inception of this university and the outstanding institutions that have joined it to form the UNC system, our primary mission has been to serve the needs of North Carolina. UNC Tomorrow helps ensure that this mission will continue on a path that is shaped by the citizens of the state. M E S S AG E f r o m t h e D E A N Dean Mike Smith Coates Connection is published twice a year by the School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill. The newsletter is also available online at www.sog.unc.edu/ about/news.html. Please send comments to editors Ellen Bradley (bradley@sog.unc.edu or 919.843.6527) or Faith M. Thompson (fmthomps@sog. unc.edu or 919.962.8477). w w w . s o g . u n c . e d u (continued from page 1)

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