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The Carolina Center for Public Service Director Lynn Blanchard, Ph.D., serves on the executive committee for the Tar Heel Bus Tour. In October of 2019, the Tar Heel Bus Tour traveled to 26 towns and cities throughout North Carolina. Carolina faculty and senior administrators examined the most pressing issues facing North Carolina while learning more about the state they serve. THBT returned in 2022 and will take place from Oct. 19-21.

The Well is offering extensive coverage and history about this tour. Below, we have compiled the stories in one easy-to-find location!


Someone is taking a photo with their phone of the tar heel bus tour logo on the side of the bus

2 Carolina leaders reflect on the bus tour

Hear from the interim vice chancellor for research and the College of Arts and Sciences dean on the biggest surprises, what sparked the most conversation and more.

The Well

The 2022 Tar Heel Bus Tour has come to a close. Over the course of three days, more than 70 faculty members, administrators and staff traveled throughout the state for Carolina’s annual “listening and learning” tour.

Among those were James W. C. White, Craver Family Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Penny Gordon-Larsen, interim vice chancellor for research.

To read the full story, visit the story experience.


A cropped map of North Carolina in dark green. Surrounding states are a lighter green. Black circles with number indicate stops on the western portion of the tour. Carolina blue circles indicate stops on the easter portion of the tour. Light white icons cross the map to indicate the various regions of the state.

The 2022 Tar Heel Bus Tour hits the road

Back after a two-year hiatus, Carolina’s annual “listening and learning” tour gets underway, with a charge to participants from Chancellor Guskiewicz.


by Logan Ward, The Well

“This is my charge to you,” Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz said during last week’s University Day ceremony, addressing those in attendance who would be joining the 2022 Tar Heel Bus Tour. “I charge you to listen to the people of our state, engage with the towns and communities that our students call home.”

This morning, shortly after sunrise, two busloads of Carolina faculty, administrators and staff will get their chance to fulfill the chancellor’s directive. As they roll out of the Friday Center parking lot — one bus heading east, the other west — they’re bound for a three-day “listening and learning” journey, with more than two dozen stops in 20 counties planned along the way.

To read the full story, visit the story experience.


A cropped image of the tar heel bus tour bus as people walk towards it on a brick walkway.
Tar Heel Bus Tour. West route with a stop in Kannapolis, NC to visit the UNC Nutrition Institute and City Hall. A presentation by UNC Development Finance Initiative and the redevelopment of the former mill town of Kannapolis. October 16, 2019.
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Collaborative projects trace beginnings to 2019 bus tour

Heels on a Bus joined forces to tackle issues they saw throughout the state.


by Susan Hudson, The Well

The 2019 Tar Heel Bus Tour was a special one — and not just because of the cool “Heels on a Bus” shirts the participants wore.

That was the year then-Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz decided to “go big and go bold” with the annual tradition. Over three days, 90 faculty and administrators traveled 1,600 miles and visited 28 towns on three separate routes — east, west and southeast — crisscrossing the state.

To read the full story, visit the story experience.


A tightly cropped image of the Tar Heel Bus Tour bus parked near a large field. The rising sun provides warm oranges and yellows throughout the image.
UNC faculty members and senior administrators participate in the Tar Heel Bus Tour on October 17, 2019, to learn more about the issues North Carolinians care about and the people who are working to effect change. In this image from the southeast route, the bus prepares to depart Pembroke, North Carolina.
(Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Tar Heel Bus Tour connects UNC-Chapel Hill to the state

Since 1997, the tour has helped faculty and administrators understand North Carolina while learning about each other.


by Scott Jared, The Well

To hear someone who was on the first Tar Heel Bus Tour in 1997 talk, you might think that barbecue was the trip’s focus because many stops included a barbecue meal. As fitting as that might be in a state split on whether eastern- or western-style barbecue is best, tour planners had loftier goals.

Though some aspects have changed since the inaugural journey — time of year, number of buses, duration — the bus tour continues to connect Carolina faculty and administrators to North Carolinians and their lives. It also helps them understand the state — its economy, its people, its challenges — while learning about each other. On Wednesday, the 2022 Tar Heel Bus Tour commences, with one bus full of faculty and administrators heading west and another heading east.

To read the full story, visit the story experience.

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