North Carolina Newspapers

    VOLUME 112, ISSUE 37
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DTH/ANDREW SYNOWIEZ
Professor Richard Mailman was one of the 12 faculty members to co-author a document suggesting improvements to technology development at the University.
ON THE CUTTING EDGE
UNCVENTURES
FIRST OF TWO PARTS
TODAY
A look at the process and
problems associated with
getting UNC-developed
technologies into the
market place
TOMORROW
A case study in creating a
UNC startup company and
how the University's
endowment hopes to
capitalize on venture capital
Faculty seek to streamline paper trail
BY JOSEPH R. SCHWARTZ
ASSISTANT UNIVERSITY EDITOR
Research at UNC-Chapel Hill is on
the verge of a revolution, one that some
faculty members say is much needed.
With the official ground breaking
today on the $205-million Physical
Sciences complex, the largest ever
UNC-CH construction project, and the
preliminary negotiations about the
Carolina North research park under
way, research is putting its stamp on the
University.
Usually when considering whether to
Legislators mull reducing
number of BOG members
BYCLEVE R. WOOTSON JR.
STATE & NATIONAL EDITOR
RALEIGH Members of a joint legisla
tive committee gathered Thesday to discuss
ways to increase the effectiveness of the
UNC-system Board of Governors up to
and including shrinking its size by as many
as 12 members.
But a higher education analyst told legis
lators that the BOG runs smoothly
compared with the governing boards of
other statewide university systems.
“It is somewhat ironic that North
Carolina is looking at problems, because a
lot of states are looking at North Carolina,”
said Aims McGuinness, a senior associate at
the National Center for Higher Education
Management Systems, a policy center in
Boulder, Col. “The role of bodies like the
INSIDE
THE SECRET TO HER SUCCESS
Senior Katie Welch accomplished many of the goals she
set since being profiled by the DTH four years ago PAGE 3
Serving the students and the University community since 1893
®hr Daily ®ar Mfri
Startups balance innovative research, tough economy
BY JOHN FRANK AND NIRAV VORA
STAFF WRITERS
■ ver since Gatorade was created in a
| j University of Florida laboratory in 1965,
I 1 exploding into a billion-dollar success
Jfc m story, other research universities like
UNC have thirsted for innovation on that scale.
UNC’s labs have produced some new technolo
gies with great prospects, including a possible HIV
vaccine and a treatment for cystic fibrosis.
At UNC, nothing has neared the commercial
payoff of an invention such as Gatorade yet.
But smaller, less tangible benefits of conducting
cutting-edge research have begun to show.
Last year, the University brought in almost $2
develop a technology further, University
officials think abstractly about how the
invention can benefit society.
But now, they’ve turned their focus
inward at the process that puts the tech
nology into the marketplace.
After an internal evaluation and sev
eral complaints from faculty entrepre
neurs, University administrators have
made several moves designed to make
getting technology out of the laborato
ry and into the market more efficient.
Several fundamental flaws have been
identified in the process that tries to
Board of Governors is in more disarray
(now) than at any other times.”
N.C. legislators have been pushing for
ways to better the UNC system’s governing
body for years. In 2001, the N.C. General
Assembly organized a joint committee to
consider the size and scope of the BOG.
It met once that year, was reauthorized in
2003 and met for the second time Thesday,
less than a month before the legislature
reconvenes for its short summer session.
McGuinness prefaced his comments by
saying that he has not studied North
Carolina’s higher education model exten
sively. But he said that most states with bod
ies such as the BOG find that a size “not
much bigger than around 20” is optimal.
SEE BOG , PAGE 6
www.dailytarheeLcoitt
UNC RESEARCH
turn campus research into a commer
cial success both in transitioning
from the lab to the Office of Technology
Development and from that office to
venture capitalists in the marketplace.
During the past year technology
development officials have been work
ing alongside prominent faculty inno
vators to revamp the process.
The office is responsible for fun
nelling faculty inventions to companies,
which, in turn, can benefit the
University financially and provide fac
ulty and students with cutting edge
million in licensing revenue. And the research
opportunities are attracting top flight innovators,
such as Michael Ramsey, a reknowned scientist
who announced this month that he is leaving his
independent lab for UNC.
The benefits trickle down to the students in the
form of research opportunities and better equipped
science facilities.
Technology transfer where University inven
tions move from the laboratory to the business
world is a booming arena for research institu
tions.
The nation’s universities brought in more than
SEE UNC VENTURES, PAGE 7
BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY
l- INbI
■ DTH/LEAH LATELLA
Students of the UNC Symphony Orchestra perform
Thesday night with guest violinist Richard Luby as
part of “Revisions and Rethinkings: Festival on the
Hill,” the last day of the second annual music festival.
SPORTS
ON THE REBOUND
Pitcher Adam Kalkhof continues his comeback from tendinitis
by allowing just one run in 7.1 innings against Elon PAGE 5
experiences.
UNC-CH is relatively new in the
field, and less than 10 years after the
office was created, it is making signifi
cant strides to restructure the process.
“We’re behind the curve as compared
to our peers, but we’re making
progress,” said Mark Crowell, director of
the technology development office.
Some of UNC-CH’s top scientists
were upset about the process of tech
nology transfer and submitted a formal
SEE RESEARCH, PAGE 7
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2004
Rising
tensions
lead CIO
to resign
YUSKO, BOARD SPAR
OVER INVESTMENTS
BY JOHN FRANK AND EMILY STEEL
STAFF WRITERS
A fractured vision for the long-term manage
ment of the University’s $1 billion endowment has
pushed UNC-Chapel Hill Management Co.’s Chief
Executive Officer Mark Yusko to pursue his fund
management strategies in the private sector.
Yusko announced Tuesday his resignation from
the helm of the UNC-CH-affil
iated, private organization that
manages the Investment Fund.
Under Yusko, who will serve in
his position until June 30, the
management company has
become one of the nation’s pre
eminent investment models for
higher education.
Chancellor James Moeser
said a national search to replace
Yusko in the management of the
state’s oldest university endow
ment would begin “post haste.”
UNC-CH’s endowment is a
crucial source of funding for the University, with
about 5 percent of its earnings supporting schol
arships, professorships and campus programs. In
2002, that equaled $24.7 million.
Before Yusko came to UNC-CH, the manage
ment of the endowment was decentralized. During
the past six years, he crafted the enterprising vision
of the management company, which now controls
endowments for five other UNC-system entities.
But Yusko saw beyond the UNC-system and
said from the time of the management company’s
creation that he hoped to manage the money of
many other institutions as well.
Ultimately, it was that vision for branching out
beyond the system that led to his resignation, he
said in a telephone interview from Houston.
“My vision is just a little bigger and broader,”
Yusko said.
SEE YUSKO, PAGE 6
State leaders
likely to keep
airport open
Weigh AHECs needs with
plans for Carolina North
BY KAVITA PILLAI
STAFF WRITER
The fate of Carolina North remains uncertain as
legislators indicate their intentions to keep the
Horace Williams Airport open past 2005, but
University officials say they want to see plans for
the satellite campus move forward.
The airport is scheduled to close Jan. 1,2005,
but likely will remain open for another two years,
said N.C. Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, co-chair
woman of the General Assembly’s Joint Select
Committee on the Horace Williams Airport.
Drafts of Carolina North call for using land
occupied by the airport. The Chapel Hill Town
Council recently passed a resolution stating that
the council should be cautious in dealing with
Carolina North until plans for the airport are final
ized.
Insko, N.C. Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland and
N.C. Rep. Joe Hackney, D-Orange, cited the N.C.
Area Health Education Centers program, which
relies on the airport to transport physicians to
other areas of the state, as a reason for the poten
tial delay.
“I think the Area Health Education Centers are
critical to the state,” Insko said. “And it plays a key
role in helping the University fulfill its service mis
sion to the state.”
But Rand, who is also co-chairman of the com
mittee on the Horace Williams Airport, said that
although AHEC’s use of the airport makes closing
it difficult, the legislature must not lose sight of
Carolina North.
“Everybody knows that Carolina North is very
important to the future of the University,” he said.
“We’re just trying to come to some resolution as to
the best thing to do about all of this.”
With ground-breaking of the University’s new
SEE AIRPORT, PAGE 6
WRATH ER
TODAY Partly cloudy, H 84, L 59
THURSDAY Partly cloudy, H 84, L 59
FRIDAY Mostly sunny, H 87, L 59
UNC’s CIO
Mark Yusko
announced
his resignation
Tuesday.
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