Charles C. Hight oral history interview, 2013 March 14
Dr. Charles C. Hight, former Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, (UNC Charlotte), discusses his career at UNC Charlotte and his involvement with creating and implementing the 1995 Campus Master Plan. Dr. Hight describes how his former career experience at Tuskegee Institute, where he built the architecture program, helped him to develop the architecture program at UNC Charlotte, and how he worked with faculty to design a program based on community engagement projects. He recalls that NCNB/NationsBank CEO Hugh McColl assisted him in getting space in the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in downtown Charlotte as a way to promote the work of the architecture program in a prominent setting. As a member of the Master Planning Task Force in 1995, Dr. Hight helped to create the "Visions and Values" statement that served as the foundation of the 1995 Campus Master Plan as well as the 2000 revision of the plan. He describes the way the task force was formed, some of the individuals involved, and the significance of the "Visions and Values" statement. Dr. Hight points out that the "Visions and Values" statement, which helped define future campus construction, suggested that the campus plan should reflect a "synergy of opposites" or contrasting and complementary elements such as rural and urban themes. Dr. Hight also describes a significant study he conducted prior to the creation of the Master Planning Task Force, which came to determine spatial relationships on campus. The study found that the quadrangle concept was the optimal choice for future campus construction, and it also arrived at the best ratio (scale) between buildings and open space. Dr. Hight concludes the planning portion of the interview talking about the 2000 revision to the Master Plan, and offers examples of the differences between the two plans and why changes were made. Other topics covered include an anecdotal story about the hiring of Denise Trauth as Provost after Philip Dubois left UNC Charlotte to become the President of the University of Wyoming.