Mission and Values


The mission of the School of Government is to improve the lives of North Carolinians by engaging in practical scholarship that helps public officials and citizens understand and improve state and local government. Learn more about the School’s mission by reading our Frequently Asked Questions.  



The School has carried out its mission through three consistent values for more than 90 years. These values have built a legacy of trust with North Carolina’s public officials:

  • Nonpartisan

  • Policy-neutral 

  • Responsive 

Non-partisan: Our value of non-partisanship means our work does not advocate for specific political ideology or engage in partisanship. We do not alter our education or professional and legal guidance to suit the specific political beliefs of clients, funders, or other individuals and organizations. We recognize the diversity of thought and experience present in our state and strive to cultivate an environment where relevant discussion is professional and respectful. 

Policy-neutral: The School of Government holds neutrality as a core value in our work. This means we do not advocate for specified policy goals. Our neutrality value requires us to provide policy makers and other stakeholders with our informed opinions based on our expertise and all relevant facts, without altering our analysis due to personal beliefs or those of our audience.

Responsive: Our responsiveness value means our teaching, research, and advising are carried out indirect response to requests from, or in conjunction with, public officials. Because of our longstanding relationships with governments in all 100 North Carolina counties, state government, and key partner organizations, we are uniquely equipped to respond to emerging needs and urgent challenges throughout the state.


How We Serve North Carolina

As the largest university-based local government training, advisory, and research organization in the United States, the School of Government is dedicated to serving North Carolina. Visit One School, Statewide Impact to learn how the School is fulfilling its mission of service to the state.

The School offers more than 200 courses, webinars, and specialized conferences each year. These courses serve more than 12,000 public officials from all 100 North Carolina counties annually. 

Faculty members also respond to thousands of phone calls and e-mail messages each year on routine and urgent matters and also engage in long-term advising projects for local governing boards, legislative committees, and statewide commissions.

In addition, faculty members publish approximately 50 books, manuals, reports, articles, bulletins, and additional online content related to state and local government every year. Each day that the General Assembly is in session, the School produces Daily Bulletin Online, which reports on the day’s activities for members of the legislature and others who need to follow the course of legislation.

The School is home to the UNC Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, offered both on-campus and online. UNC MPA consistently ranks among the best public administration graduate programs in the country and is currently ranked second in the local government specialty according to U.S. News & World Report. With courses ranging from public policy analysis to ethics and management, the program prepares public service leaders for meaningful careers while creating usable knowledge that improves governance.



Established in 1931 as the Institute of Government, the School provides educational, advisory, and research services for state and local governments. The School of Government is also home to 10 entrepreneurial initiatives, which provide targeted and responsive support on key areas of need for communities and public officials. This short video provides more detail on the history and founders of what is today known as the School of Government.

School of Government faculty members have made notable contributions to North Carolina government:

  • Study to reorganize state government
  • Study of the state's court system
  • North Carolina Constitutional Commission
  • Local Government Study Commission
  • Open Meetings Study Commission
  • NC Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission
  • Governor's Crime Commission on Juvenile Crime and Justice


Support for the School of Government

Operating support for the School of Government’s programs and activities comes from many sources, including state appropriations, local government membership dues, private contributions, publication sales, course fees, and service contracts. 


Equal Access and Non-Discrimination

The University is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment and to ensuring that educational and employment decisions are based on individuals’ abilities and qualifications. Consistent with these principles and applicable laws, it is therefore the University’s policy not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status as consistent with the University’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment and Related Misconduct. No person, on the basis of protected status, shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under any University program or activity, including with respect to employment terms and conditions. Such a policy ensures that only relevant factors are considered and that equitable and consistent standards of conduct and performance are applied.



The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, educational specialist, and doctorate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website.