North Carolina

North Carolina

North Carolina

The University of North Carolina System (UNC) has engaged with the Charles A. Dana Center to mobilize mathematics faculty in North Carolina to dramatically improve student success. The UNC System comprises all sixteen public universities in the state as well as the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Aided by resources, support, and services provided by the Dana Center, UNC will establish a state task force charged with the creation of formal recommendations on the implementation of mathematics pathways in North Carolina.

A recent gift from the John M. Belk Endowment of nearly $1 million will help implement recommendations from the UNC System’s Math Pathways initiative. “When our data show only two–thirds of UNC System students are passing their college algebra courses at several of our institutions, we know there’s work to do,” said UNC President Margaret Spellings. “The John M. Belk Endowment’s gift will allow us to implement the recommendations coming from our math faculty and administrators, and turn our gateway math courses from stumbling blocks to building blocks.” 1 Learn more about the Belk Endowment award.   

North Carolina

1 The University of North Carolina System. (2018, May 24). John M. Belk endowment awards $3 million gift to advance student success.

Formal Charge
Formal Charge

The UNC System Math Pathways Task Force will develop recommendations and processes that support the efforts of each UNC institution to offer pathways that yield increased student success and learning in gateway mathematics and statistics courses. These recommendations will enhance learning and result in a higher percentage of students who complete the appropriate course(s) for intended degree programs in a timely manner.

Essential components toward fulfilling this charge include the following:

  • Convene faculty leaders to ensure that rigorous gateway mathematics courses are aligned with programs of study.
  • Partner with faculty across academic disciplines to identify, develop, and align rigorous and relevant courses to support student success across diverse disciplinary programs and majors.
  • Communicate with academic advisors and others who influence student class schedules about the newly proposed pathways.
  • Engage campuses in the goals of the UNC System Math Pathways project. Develop strategies to communicate the recommendations of the UNC Math Pathways Task Force to appropriate professional organizations, state decision makers, university leaders, and other relevant stakeholders.
  • Assess and develop mechanisms for collecting and analyzing data to measure effectiveness of existing and new gateway math courses.
  • Examine and identify appropriate and effective math placement criteria.
  • Review policies and courses to improve effective transferability and applicability of credits for students moving among institutions of higher education.
  • Engage K–12 and North Carolina Community College System partners in the UNC System Math Pathways project.
  • Champion newly developed math pathways and provide professional development, cross–campus communication, and opportunities for connection to support faculty in teaching these courses. 

In March 2018, UNC launched initial data collection efforts and recruitment of task force members. UNC also held a Dana Center–facilitated, two–day Leadership Academy in April to launch the state task force. The UNC System coordinates with the task force as the lead agency in the effort to implement multiple, high–quality mathematics pathways at scale in North Carolina. The task force will also engage with the state’s community college and K–12 school systems.

The nascent task force meets approximately once a month to draft and vet a set of recommendations for how math pathways will be implemented in the system. Draft recommendations are scheduled to be shared in Fall 2018 as the UNC System hosts a one–day event to engage stakeholders.

  • Michelle Solér, Director of CompetencyBased Education and Assessment, University of North CarolinaGeneral Administration
  • Tracey Howell, Senior Academic Professional, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of North Carolina–Greensboro
  • Tamar Avineri, Instructor of Mathematics, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics
  • Thomas Redd, Associate Professor of Mathematics, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Beth Bumgardner, Lecturer in Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • Melinda Anderson, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director of University College, University of North Carolina–Wilmington
  • Richard Gamble, Senior Academic Advisor, Western Carolina University
Task Force Members
Institution Name Title
Appalachian State University Katie Mawhinney Professor, Department of Mathematical Science
Appalachian State University Katrina Palmer Professor, Department of Mathematical Sciences
Appalachian State University Mark Ginn Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
Catawba Valley Community College Jonathan Loss Department Head, Department of Mathematics

Click Expand button to view all Math Task Force Members for Phase 1 activity. 


Name Title
East Carolina University Johannes Hattingh Mathematics Department Chair
East Carolina University Ellen Hilgoe Associate Director NC EMPT
Elizabeth City State University Dipendra Sengupta Mathematics Professor
Elizabeth City State University Dong Wang Mathematics Professor
Elizabeth City State University Kenneth L. Jones Mathematics Chair
Fayetteville State University Radoslav Nickolov Department Chair, Professor in Mathematics
Fayetteville State University Valentin Milanov Associate Professor in Mathematics
Fayetteville State University Yufang Bao Professor in Mathematics
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Guoqing Tang Professor and Chairperson, Mathematics
North Carolina Central University Richard Townsend Instructor, Mathematics and Physics
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Dan Teague Instructor of Mathematics
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics Taylor Gibson Mathematics Dean
North Carolina State University Alina Duca Associate Professor of Mathematics
North Carolina State University Jo–Ann Cohen Mathematics Professor
University of North Carolina—Asheville Cathy Whitlock Mathematics Faculty
University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Viji Sathy Teaching Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill Linda Green Associate Professor of Mathematics
University of North Carolina—Charlotte Mohammad Kazemi Professor and Associate Chair of Mathematics
University of North Carolina—Charlotte John Smail Associate Provost
University of North Carolina—Charlotte Banita Brown Associate Dean for Academic and Student Success, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
University of North Carolina—Charlotte Coral Wayland Associate Dean for Curriculum at University College
University of North Carolina—Greensboro Dan Yasaki Associate Professor and Associate Department Head, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of North Carolina—Pembroke Katie Floyd Lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
University of North Carolina—Pembroke Richard Gay Associate Professor of Art History and Associate Dean
University of North Carolina—Pembroke James Smiling Lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
University of North Carolina—Wilmington Elizabeth Creath Lecturer, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
University of North Carolina—Wilmington Matthew TenHuisen Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Western Carolina University Daniel Best Instructor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Winston–Salem State University Frank Ingram Associate Professor and Chair, Mathematics
Winston–Salem State University Tracy Foote White Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics

Our Work at the State Level

Select a state to learn more about how local leaders are setting a vision for math pathways or read an analysis of math pathways work across multiple states.