Bowles Plans UNC Listening Tour Around State

How can the University of North Carolina system best serve the state?

An 18-month listening tour should give U-N-C officials a good idea.

That's the plan announced by U-N-C President Erskine Bowles, who'll travel the state over the next 18 months with professors and system administrators.

Bowles says it was clear from a two-day education conference ending at North Carolina State University that the global economy was changing rapidly and higher education needs to keep up.

He praised the state's community college system for being "demand driven" and responsive to local needs.

Bowles plans to visit every region of the state as officials try to determine how the 16-campus system can best serve North Carolina over the next 20 to 30 years.