Erskine Bowles will tell you: He's no marketing genius.
But in his role as the president of the UNC system, he is a pitchman of sorts. He has a product and he has to sell it - to taxpayers, to legislators, to students and their parents.
And now, he wants to raise his game.
In remarks Friday during a meeting of the UNC system's Board of Governors, Bowles spoke of recent meetings with legislators. He said those lawmakers were surprised, and pleasantly so, to hear about the long list of projects and goals Bowles and his staff have put together for the current year.
So Bowles now wants to tell the university's success stories more often.
To that end, Bowles now plans on monthly progress reports on big university initiatives to be distributed to lawmakers. He wants to demonstrate that projects funded by taxpayers are underway and doing what they're supposed to be doing.
"I haven't done as good a job as I should do to get the positive messages out," he said. "We have a job to protect the reputation of this critically important jewel. I've got to do a better job of that. I think we all do."
Each month during board meetings, Bowles runs down a list of accomplishments and notable achievements by UNC system campuses, faculty, staff and students.
A few from the last month:
* North Carolina A & T and UNC Greensboro broke ground on a new, joint nanoscience and nanoengineering school that will emphasize research and commercialization of products generated there.
For Greensboro residents, this new project represents economic hope, Bowles said Friday.
"They've lost textiles and apparel and furniture," he said. "This is a chance for new industry."
* The marching bands from N.C. Central University and Western Carolina were each selected for the Tournament of Roses, the big New Year's Day parade in Pasadena. Only 13 bands were selected.
* N.C. State celebrated the 25th anniversary of Centennial Campus, a public/private research venture that has served as a model for other similar ventures.
* A 2003 NCSU alum, Doc Hendley, has been recognized by CNN for a non-profit organization he set up that builds and sanitizes water wells in developing countries.