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Gov. James Hunt
Gov. James Hunt

Former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. will discuss investing in education in a free public talk Sept. 26 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hunt will deliver the sixth annual Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Lecture in Public Policy at 5:30 p.m. in Gerrard Hall. The title of his talk is “North Carolina is Underinvesting in Education.”

Hunt, who served four terms as governor beginning in 1977, was named the 2013 National Education Policy Leader of the Year by the National Association of State Boards of Education for his leadership and contributions to the quality of education.

As governor, Hunt led a wide range of education reforms including the creation of a primary reading program, teacher pay raises and one of the nation’s most rigorous programs for measuring student performance. Hunt also established the “Smart Start” early childhood education initiative, which received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Hunt has devoted the past several decades to promoting excellence in education even while not in office. In the 1980s, he worked with the Carnegie Corporation of New York to create the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which he chaired for 10 years. He led the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future at Stanford University and has served as chair of the National Education Goals Panel. He serves as chair of the Hunt Institute, which is an affiliate of UNC-Chapel Hill and a strategic catalyst for transforming public education.

Hunt is the author of the 2010 book, “First in America: An Education Governor Challenges North Carolina.”

He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from N.C. State University and his law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Lambeth lecture honors the former executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

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