Carolina Seminars

What are the Seminars?

Faculty and others at UNC and elsewhere collaborate in scholarly discussion of topics ranging from ecology to Islam. Anyone interested in submitting a proposal for a seminar or requesting more information should contact the Carolina Seminars office at .


The Carolina Seminars are supported by the Massey-Weatherspoon Fund, which was established in 1984 by three generations of the Massey and Weatherspoon families. Chancellor Paul Hardin announced the creation of the Carolina Seminars in September of 1991 and Ruel Tyson was named Founding Director. James Peacock became Director in 1997 and served in that position for sixteen years. In February 2014, Andrew J. Perrin was named the third Director of the Carolina Seminars.


The Seminars serve the public service mission of the University to the people of North Carolina and beyond through an expanding collaborative effort on timely topics of interest to public policy and scholarly exchange. According to Professor Ruel Tyson, “the Carolina Seminars provides an opportunity to build bridges between scholars and researchers on campus and their kind elsewhere. It will help create a sense of community among those whose work usually separates them from one another.”

While the main focus is collaborative study, considerable outreach is ventured by some. For example, following 9/11 participants in the Islam seminar gave some 200 presentations publicly on Islam. Thus, Carolina Seminars has proved an effective way of providing faculty and others opportunities to collaborate and cross disciplinary lines while also providing outreach. Looking ahead, we seek new opportunities and we welcome ideas for deploying this program in relation to larger aims and needs of Carolina.