The holiday season is full of traditions. Reporters scour stores looking for toys that could kill your kids. Lawyers’ offices fill with activist atheists upset that some poor soul wishes them “Merry Christmas.” And the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy compiles its annual top 10 list.
So embrace tradition — grab yourself an eggnog, put on the Nat King Cole, and read about the Top 10 Nuttiest Campus Events in North Carolina for 2005:
10. A Department of Redundancy Dept. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke wants to build a new school of optometry. There are none in the state, but then, there are only 16 in the country if you count the one in Puerto Rico. A 2000 study by the American Optometric Society predicted that there would be 3,500 optometrists out of work by 2010.
9. Shut the Door! Public Business Being Conducted. Once again, a University of North Carolina presidential search gets mired in controversy over whether officials violated North Carolina’s public records laws.
8. Is That Your Final Solution? In October, an adjunct professor listed on the faculty page of N.C. State’s African American Studies Department announced on C-SPAN that “We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet.” All that keeps this entry from being No. 1 is the fact that Dr. Kamau Kambon last taught at NCSU in June 2005.
7. Fork Over and Shut Up! In March, 71 faculty members wrote a public letter in The Daily Tar Heel urging UNC-Chapel Hill to cease negotiations with a donor, the John William Pope Foundation, whom the university approached to fund a Western Civilization program. The letter cited faculty members being left out of the process, worry about donor influence on the university, the fact that the donor funds conservative critics of the university (i.e., the Pope Center), and … the contingency that the donor can “withdraw funding after several years.”
6. Zionists and Neo-Cons and Scares, Oh My! N.C. Wesleyan College’s only political science professor, Dr. Jane Christensen, taught a course called “911 The Road to Tyranny,” which taught the events of Sept. 11 from a heavily conspiratorial view that the events were orchestrated by the Bush Administration, perhaps at the behest of Zionists. Christensen called critics of her course “neo-Nazis” – and declared the Nazi Holocaust “the greatest hoax of all.”
5. Presumably the Rest of the Campus Is the Tyranny Zone. UNC-Greensboro designated two spots on campus as “Free Speech Zones” – forgetting that as a public university, the whole campus is a free speech zone per the Bill of Rights and North Carolina’s Constitution.
4. You’re All North Carolinians Now! A neat budget provision passed this year would allow out-of-state students on full scholarship to count as “in-state,” thus allowing UNC schools finally to circumvent that hated out-of-state enrollment cap – and make athletic scholarship funds last longer, too.
3. You Can NEVER Be Diverse Enough. East Carolina created a new position of assistant to the chancellor for institutional diversity despite already having an entire Office of Institutional Diversity and diversity offices within three other campus offices. Several UNC schools created more “task forces” for diversity. A political science professor with UNC-Asheville actually said that “Classes are hard to teach because you have only a white perspective.”
2. What Do You Mean, Against the Law? WE’RE the Lawmakers. Four candidates for the UNC Board of Governors, including the sole Republican on the list, were removed from the Senate ballot right before the vote, leaving – conveniently – eight choices for the eight slots. The House ballot also had only as many names as there were slots to fill. State law specifies that there must be “at least twice the number of candidates for the total seats open.”
1. And Next to UNC Hospitals We Have the New Center for Rehabilitating John Edwards. Three short months after the 2004 election, the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law announced it had created a brand-new “Center of Work, Poverty and Opportunity” and named former U.S. senator and losing vice-presidential candidate John Edwards as its head. At the time of the announcement, Edwards was in New “First Presidential Primary” Hampshire addressing a Democrat fundraiser. Impressively, UNC officials avoided smirking while telling media that Edwards’ selection was not about politics.