The report “Measuring Up 2000” makes North Carolina look good in some respects and bad in others. But before rushing to praise state policymakers where the grades are high or criticize them where the grades are low, we need to examine several questionable assumptions that undermine the validity of those grades.
Whether professors at UNC-CH (and other UNC campuses) are sufficiently well compen-sated to ensure the university is competitive with other universities around the nation has become a highly contentious issue. In this study, we argue that: 1) using an accurate and thorough cost-of-living index, compensation for professors at UNC-CH is significantly above average for Research I universi-ties and above most other public universities; 2) using a broad “quality of living” index to adjust faculty salaries, compensation for professors at UNC-CH and NC State is even more competitive; and 3) speculation about a “brain drain” is not only unsupported by evidence, but contradicted by it.
Proponents of the University of North Carolina’s huge spending program — to be financed with bonds that don’t require voter approval — have been pulling out all the stops. In a General Assembly committee hearing on the legislation, UNC President Molly Broad said that it should be approved because the late UNC Chancellor Michael Hooker wanted it. That was within hours of his death.