University of North Carolina

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The University of North Carolina system includes all sixteen public four-year universities in North Carolina, United States and one public residential high school. While the system's Board of Governors oversees general system policy, the campuses are classified as separate institutions and are largely autonomous from the system office. The UNC system conferred 43,686 degrees for 2008-2009, the bulk of which were Bachelor's level with 31,055 degrees awarded.[5] The UNC system has a total enrollment of over 183,000 students and confers over 75% of all bachelor degrees in North Carolina in 2008.[6]



Founded in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the oldest public university in the United States. In 1877, the State of North Carolina began sponsoring additional higher education institutions. Over time the state added a women's college, a land-grant university, five historically black institutions, and one to educate Native Americans. Others were created to prepare teachers for public education and to instruct performing artists.

During the Depression, the North Carolina General Assembly searched for cost savings within state government. Towards this effort in 1931, it redefined the University of North Carolina, which at the time referred exclusively to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, using it for the name of the entire University of North Carolina system. The new Consolidated University of North Carolina was created to include the existing campuses of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The three campuses came under the leadership of just one board and one president. By 1969, three additional campuses had joined the Consolidated University through legislative action: the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

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