UNC schools promise strong general education, but do they deliver?

Suppose that you have dropped your son or daughter off at one of the campuses of the University of North Carolina system. You have plenty to worry about: housing, roommates, clothing, money, and so forth. It’s quite a load.

At the risk of further depressing you, there’s one more thing that you should be worrying about, but probably aren’t. That is the college curriculum.




More Unscholarly Summer Reading Choices

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hit a public-relations goldmine last year with its Summer Reading Program controversy. The PR-savvy officials at the public institution recognized at the time that they had hit upon a good formula. Little wonder why the program’s in the news again this summer.


Education Dept. ‘further clarifies’ Title IX enforcement

Several months have passed since a federal commission urged changes to how the government enforces Title IX of the Education of Amendments. Several years have passed since the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights last issued a Clarification of OCR’s policies to determine compliance with the measure. On July 11, in a “Dear Colleague” letter, OCR issued what Gerald Reynolds, assistant secretary for civil rights, termed a “Further Clarification of Intercollegiate Athletics Policy Guidance Regarding Title IX Compliance.”




Obscenity for Fun or Salvation

This spring Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” devoted several segments to the obscene goings-on in a human sexualities class at the University of Kansas. Viewers were told how Prof. Dennis Dailey showed “highly explicit” material including nude images of little girls, said he understood how some could be pedophiles, held a “wheelchair sex day” in class, showed pornographic films, compared one photograph of a female’s spread genitals to the Virgin Mary, and also made obscene gestures to students who demonstrated offense.


Another Dud for UNC’s Summer Reading Program

Last year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s summer reading program managed to stir up controversy and even litigation by choosing Michael Sells’ book Approaching the Qur’an as the book incoming freshmen were expected to read. The problem with that book, which overlooks Islam’s propensities toward intolerance and violence, was not that it was promoting religion, but that it was a waste of the students’ time. This year’s choice is no better, and arguably it’s worse. Incoming freshmen are assigned to read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.


Just What the Dirty-Word Is Going On in Wilmington?

This past semester several political items were removed, as soon they appeared, from the student union at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Among them: anti-war flyers labeling President George Bush a “bully,” depicting Lady Liberty impaling a dove by its rectum on a sword, and having the U.S. flag being produced in the exhaust fumes of B-1 bombers; magazines containing a photograph of men engaging in anal sex; a large sign advertising “The Vagina Monologues” that called for all [offensive slang for vaginas] to “Unite!”; and flyers in support of war against Saddam Hussein.

Actually, only the last one was deemed offensive enough for removal from campus. The rest were allowed to stand.