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Russell M. Robinson II, 2013 February 22

Identifier: OH-UA-RO0059

Scope and Contents

Russell M. Robinson discusses his association with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which began when he played a minor role in the land acquisition for the current campus in the early 1960s. Mr. Robinson served as a member of the University's Board of Trustees beginning in 1987 when he filled an unexpired two-year term. He became chair of the board in 1989, coinciding with the arrival of James H. Woodward as the third chancellor of UNC Charlotte. Mr. Robinson briefly recalls the tenures of Chancellors’ D.W. Colvard and E.K. Fretwell before discussing the accomplishments of Chancellor Woodward, and in particular the physical expansion of the campus and the academic expansion of the curriculum to include doctoral programs. Mr. Robinson describes how Chancellor Woodward worked closely with the board during the process of creating a master plan for the expansion of the UNC Charlotte campus. He also discusses campus-wide academic planning under the leadership of Chancellor Woodward's Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Philip L. Dubois. He notes that the interdisciplinary aspect of the planning process was the first of its kind in the University of North Carolina System, and he describes how the Board of Trustees changed the mission statement of UNC Charlotte to prepare the way for introducing PhD programs. Mr. Robinson reflects on the changing image of the university, contrasting the historical perception of UNC Charlotte as a "commuter school" with the current view at the time of the interview. He laments the fact that some people in Charlotte still do not know what UNC Charlotte has to offer, even though the school is acquiring recognition from across the globe. Other topics covered by Mr. Robinson include Chancellor Woodward’s former residence in the Morrocroft neighborhood near Southpark Mall, efforts to establish a center city presence for the university starting with CityFair and the former Montaldo's building on N Tryon, and culminating in the successful new UNC Charlotte Center City building at E. 9th Street and Brevard, and anecdotal stories about UNC Charlotte’s Director of Athletics, Judy Rose and Dr. Woodward's wife, Martha Woodward.


  • Creation: 2013 February 22

Conditions Governing Access

Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Please contact Special Collections to request the creation of use copies for particular items; requests will be accommodated when possible. The remaining materials are open for research.

Biographical Note

Russell M. Robinson was an 80-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place in his home in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1932. He was educated at Princeton University, Duke University and Duke University Law School and was employed as an attorney at law with Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. He was also a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees from 1987-1997, serving as chairman from 1989-1997.


38 Minutes

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Oral Histories, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

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