In the Gazette: As new faculty chair, Cairns wants to hold open, civil conversations that are ‘true to the faculty’

Ask Bruce Cairns what it means to be the new chair of the faculty and he quickly deflects the focus from himself: it’s about service to his faculty colleagues and the University as it fulfills its obligation to the people of North Carolina.

In the Gazette: As new faculty chair, Cairns wants to hold open, civil conversations that are ‘true to the faculty’ click to enlarge Dr. Bruce Cairns

For Cairns, service is a way of life. His parents, both of whom worked at Carolina, instilled in the family a strong sense of responsibility to others – and the understanding that the things that really matter often are the most difficult.

“I learned that if you really want to make a difference, you need to find the areas that are the most challenging,” he said. “Not only does it allow you to learn and to find a way to make a difference, it’s exciting and interesting because when we think about what’s innovative, it’s usually the issues people haven’t been able to figure out before.”

As a successful surgeon and director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, Cairns staunchly believes that everyone matters.

Just as the burn center serves people of all ages, from every walk of life and each corner of the state, the University serves far more than its 29,000 students. “We serve the people of this state,” Cairns said. “They invest a lot in us and that is a fundamental part of our identity. We get our power from the people; that’s what makes this such a great place,” he explained.

Read the full article in the Gazette.