Chancellor Martin addresses record enrollment and housing at back-to-school press conference

Dowdy+Administration+Building

Jamille

Dowdy Administration Building

Jamille Whitlow, Managing Editor

Aug. 19, Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. held a back-to-school press conference in the Dowdy Administration Building, and spoke on increased enrollment and record-breaking numbers the school received in funding. 

The school expects by Sept. 5, a census date for the university, to recognize the largest freshman class in the school’s history.   

The university set an enrollment target to reach 14,000 students by 2023, one of many goals listed in their A&T Preeminence: Taking the Momentum.

“We expect that our enrollment will settle in somewhere between 13,300 to 13,500 students this year,” Martin said. 

Since the school has opened at full capacity, N.C. A&T maximized all of their housing. Housing and Residence Life sent emails to several students offering a limited-time incentive program to help free up capacity. They offered 200 continuing students  the chance to move out of their residence halls in exchange for a $2,000 dollar cash incentive. 

In their email, they suggested students use apartments.com to find alternative housing arrangements. 

Chancellor Martin does not expect the incentive program to go beyond 200 students. 

“We probably won’t extend over 200 students to meet our housing needs for this semester,” Martin said. “ I do not think it will be necessary to provide a similar incentive at the beginning of the spring semester, I do not  expect it to be as robust … we may not see a higher demand for housing from new students.” 

Most recently, Block 43, an apartment partnership with the university, had poor conditions in several students’ apartments.  Here below is a student who had an unclean apartment. 

Chancellor Martin spoke on behalf of the university about the poor conditions in Block 43.

“ It was incredibly disappointing to hear about their unreadiness to accommodate our students and their  families as they were moving in over the weekend,” said Martin. “My message is, ‘get this right, or we will seek to do business elsewhere.’ Our students and their families are too important for our university and quite frankly, this community deserves better. Change in management is no excuse.”  

As for Sponsored Research, funding has surpassed their target goal, $75 million,  for thier 2023 trajectory. Their research total is now at $78.2 million. 

To support further research, Harold L. Martin, Sr., Engineering Research and Innovation Complex will be opening this fall. 

“ I’m very excited about what this means for our university… This new facility will provide space, technology, and tools to allow us to help  better prepare our students who are interested in entrepreneurship,” Martin said.  

This past year, the university’s fundraising is the largest amount yet, it is currently at $94 million, including Mackenzie Scott’s donation. Her donation is the school’s largest donation received. 

With multiple donations received by the university, it has created more opportunities for students such as the February One Scholars program,  a merit-based scholarship where five freshmen per college have their tuition, related fees, room and board covered. 

Martin briefly discussed his outlook on N.C. A&T’s switch from the MEAC conference to now the Big South Conference to “advance our university and our competitiveness.” 

“As of Jul. 1, we are now full members of the Big South Conference. We’re excited about our transition to the Big South and our readiness to compete successfully,” Martin said. 

To ensure student success and safety, masks are required in all indoor spaces on-campus. Students and faculty have the option to either show proof of vaccination or be weekly tested. Failure to comply will result in their AggieCard to be deactivated and further disciplinary actions. 

“At this moment, the positivity rate for our students who have been tested so far were less than 2 percent positive rate, significantly below the community, Guilford County and the state as a whole,” Martin said. 

Currently, there are a total of ten students who have tested positive. 7 students are in Haley Hall  and three people have returned home. The university requires students to be isolated for ten days before returning on-campus.  

If a student’s test comes back positive, they have the option to return home, isolate in their private apartments, or quarantine at Haley Hall.