Founded in 1887 as a school for the education of American Indians, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke now serves a distinctly diverse student body and encourages inclusion and appreciation for the values of all people. UNC Pembroke exists to promote excellence in teaching and learning, at the master's and undergraduate levels, in an environment of free inquiry, interdisciplinary collaboration, and rigorous intellectual standards.
Our diversity and our commitment to personalized teaching uniquely prepare our students for rewarding careers, postgraduate education, leadership roles, and fulfilling lives. We cultivate an international perspective, rooted in our service to and appreciation of our multi-ethnic regional society, which prepares citizens for engagement in global society. Students are encouraged to participate in activities that develop their intellectual curiosity and mold them into responsible stewards of the world.
UNCP faculty and staff are dedicated to active student learning, engaging scholarship, high academic standards, creative activity, and public service. We celebrate our heritage as we enhance the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social life of the region.
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will challenge students to embrace difference and adapt to change, think critically, communicate effectively, and become responsible citizens. Working from a strong foundation in the liberal arts, we will increase opportunities to infuse our curriculum with interdisciplinary innovation while promoting undergraduate and graduate research as well as international opportunities.
Core Values Statement
The faculty and staff of UNC Pembroke are guided by the following set of Core Values: commitment to serving the local region; creation, exploration, evaluation, and articulation of ideas; the value of a liberal arts foundation as the basis of self-realization and lifelong learning; the importance of honor and integrity to learning and leadership as we educate students to be stewards of the world; appreciation of the American Indian history of the University and local community; appreciation of diversity and respect for the dignity and worth of every individual; commitment to prepare graduate and undergraduate students to succeed in an ever-changing and increasingly technological global environment; accessibility of education which leads to the enhancement of the economy and culture of the region; and maintenance of a sustainable, safe, healthful, attractive, and accessible campus.
Institutional Distinctiveness Statement
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke distinguishes itself from peer institutions by offering an affordable, highly personalized, student-centered education to diverse students. Founded in 1887 as an American Indian institution to serve the Lumbee people, UNCP is now also comprised of students, faculty, and staff who possess differing attributes based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, national origin, age, political affiliation, religion, and other characteristics. Diversity grounds intellectual pursuits and provides us with opportunities for discovery and ways to integrate all individuals and groups into the larger community, respecting and valuing their uniqueness while simultaneously advancing the University's historical tradition. UNC Pembroke prepares its students for life and leadership within a diverse society.
History of The University of North Carolina
In North Carolina, all the public educational institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees are part of the University of North Carolina. The multi-campus state university encompasses 16 such institutions as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation's first public residential high school for gifted students. Chartered by the N.C. General Assembly in 1789, The University of North Carolina was the first public university in the United States to open its doors and the only one to graduate students in the eighteenth century. The first class was admitted in Chapel Hill in 1795. For the next 136 years, the only campus of the University of North Carolina was at Chapel Hill.
Additional institutions of higher education, diverse in origin and purpose began to win sponsorship from the General Assembly beginning as early as 1877. Five were historically black institutions, and another was founded to educate American Indians. Some began as high schools. Several were created to prepare teachers for the public schools. Others had a technological emphasis. One is a training school for performing artists.
The 1931 session of the General Assembly redefined the University of North Carolina to include three state-supported institutions: the campus at Chapel Hill (now the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), North Carolina State College (now North Carolina State University at Raleigh), and Woman's College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). The new multi-campus University operated with one board of trustees and one president. By 1969, three additional campuses had joined the 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.
In 1971, legislation was passed bringing the state's ten remaining public senior institutions into the University of North Carolina. Each had been legally separate until then: Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, the North Carolina School of the Arts, Pembroke State University (now The University of North Carolina at Pembroke), Western Carolina University, and Winston-Salem State University. In 1985, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics was declared an affiliated school of the University. In July 2007, NCSSM became a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina by legislative action. All the schools and universities welcome students of both sexes and all races.
The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body legally charged with "the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions." It elects the president, who administers the University. The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the General Assembly for four-year terms. Former board chairmen and board members who are former governors of North Carolina may continue to serve for limited periods as non-voting members emeriti. The president of the UNC Association of Student Governments or the student's designee is also a non-voting member.
Each of the UNC campuses is headed by a Chancellor who is chosen by the Board of Governors on the president's nomination and is responsible to the president. Each university has a board of trustees, consisting of eight members elected by the Board of Governors, four appointed by the governor, and the president of the student body, who serves ex officio. (The UNC School of the Arts has two additional ex officio members, and the NC School of Science and Mathematics has a 27-member board as required by law.) Each board of trustees holds extensive powers over academic and other operations of its institution on delegation from the Board of Governors.
History of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
On March 7, 1887 the General Assembly of North Carolina enacted legislation sponsored by Representative Hamilton McMillan of Robeson County creating the Croatan Normal School. The law, which was in response to a petition from the Indian people of the area, established a Board of Trustees and appropriated five hundred dollars to be used only for salaries. A building was constructed by the local people at a site about one mile west of the present location, and the school opened with fifteen students and one teacher in the fall of 1887. For many years the instruction was at the elementary and secondary level, and the first diploma was awarded in 1905.
The school was moved to its present location in Pembroke, the center of the Indian community, in 1909. The General Assembly changed the name of the institution in 1911 to the Indian Normal School of Robeson County, and again in 1913 to the Cherokee Indian Normal School of Robeson County. In 1926 the Board of Trustees added a two-year normal program beyond high school, and phased out elementary instruction. The first ten diplomas were awarded in 1928, when the state accredited the school as a "standard normal school."
Additional college classes were offered beginning in 1931, and in 1939 a fourth year was added with the first degrees conferred in 1940. In recognition of its new status, the General Assembly changed the name of the school in 1941 to Pembroke State College for Indians. Until 1953, it was the only state-supported four-year college for Indians in the nation. The scope of the institution was widened in 1942 when nonteaching baccalaureate degrees were added, and in 1945 when enrollment, previously limited to the Indians of Robeson County, was opened to people from all federally-recognized Indian groups. A few years later, in 1949, the General Assembly shortened the name to Pembroke State College.
The Board of Trustees approved the admission of White students up to forty percent of the total enrollment in 1953, and following the Supreme Court's school desegregation decision, opened the College to all qualified applicants without regard to race in 1954. Growth of over five hundred percent followed during the next eight years. In 1969, the General Assembly changed the name again to Pembroke State University and made the institution a regional university. Such universities were authorized "to provide undergraduate and graduate instruction in liberal arts, fine arts, and science, and in the learned professions, including teaching" and to "provide other graduate and undergraduate programs of instruction as are deemed necessary to meet the needs of their constituencies and of the State."
Three years later, in 1972, the General Assembly established the sixteen-campus University of North Carolina with Pembroke State University as one of the constituent institutions. The new structure was under the control of a Board of Governors, which was to coordinate the system of higher education, improve its quality, and encourage economical use of the state's resources. Pembroke State University celebrated its centennial in 1987. On July 1, 1996, Pembroke State University officially became the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Today, UNC Pembroke is a baccalaureate and master's degree granting institution, offering forty-one undergraduate programs and seventeen graduate programs.
Accreditation and Membership of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Bachelor's and Master's level degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. In addition, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is accredited by or is a member of:
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities
The American Chemical Society
The American Council on Education
The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
Council of Social Work Education
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
The National Association of Schools of Music
National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
The New Media Consortium
The North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities