Lloyd Hackley is UNC’s problem solver

Lloyd Hackley is on the job again.

After serving as interim chancellor for a year at N.C. A&T, Hackley was named last week to serve in the same position at Fayetteville State University. This after Chancellor T.J. Bryan resigned under pressure due to concerns about the school’s nursing program and financial condition.

Media reports following Bryan’s resignation indicate that UNC President Erskine Bowles asked for her resignation in a meeting in Chapel Hill.

The Supreme Court and Diversity

Editor’s Note: Roger Clegg is president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, which joined an amicus brief in each of the school cases decided by the Supreme Court.

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the race-based assignments made by the school districts in Seattle and Louisville were unconstitutional. Five justices voted for that bottom line, and that’s good news. But the fact that parts of the opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts–and joined in its entirety by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito–were not joined by Justice Kennedy, who wrote separately, makes it necessary to do a close and careful read of the two opinions.

These cases dealt with efforts by public school officials to achieve more “diversity” by assigning students based on their race. But they may have an impact on higher education as well.

An editorial roundup

The Duke Lacrosse story is, finally, over.

A week-long disciplinary hearing last week found that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong violated multiple ethics rules in his prosecution of rape charges against three Duke Lacrosse players last year. Nifong was stripped of his law license Saturday afternoon, but not before Nifong announced his intent to resign from office.

Nifong had sought rape charges against David Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann in connection with a March 2006 house party where an exotic dancer claimed she had been raped. DNA evidence later proved that the three had not raped her, yet Nifong continued with the case, withholding evidence and other information from defense lawyers. In December, Nifong removed himself from the case, handing it over to Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Nelms selected as new NCCU Chancellor

CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina Central Chancellor Search Committee Chair Cressie Thigpen had reasons to be concerned when he hadn’t heard from the school’s top choice in several days.

Thigpen worried that the individual, having already turned down offers from three other institutions, would make North Carolina Central the fourth.

“We weren’t going to select this candidate,” Thigpen said. “This candidate was going to select us.”

UNC Tomorrow Commission: Making the University “Demand-Driven

Editor’s Note: Peter Hans is a member of the UNC Board of Governors and was recently re-elected to a new four-year term. He is also a member of the new UNC Tomorrow Commission, which was created by the Board of Governors. In this interview, we ask Hans about the commission, its plans, and its purposes.

Clarion Call: First, what is the commission?

Peter Hans: This is our effort to assess what North Carolina needs from its public university system over the next twenty years, and how we should respond to those needs.

Swett’s nomination should spur changes in UNC Board of Governors selection

CHAPEL HILL – Purnell Swett has a decision to make, and members of the State House of Representatives have some explaining to do.

The newly elected member of the UNC Board of Governors can take his seat on the governing board when his term begins on July 1. He can also decide not to accept his post due to his 1998 conviction for taking money from the school system he headed.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

RALEIGH – Early Friday morning, while many in North Carolina were sound asleep, state House members approved a $20.3 billion budget that keeps in place temporary taxes that were scheduled to end and provides more than $11 billion in funding for education in the state.

The budget process now moves to the state Senate, where leaders there are expected to make significant changes to the House budget document.

Included in the House budget is $2.5 billion in funding for the University of North Carolina system and $926 million for community colleges. The remainder of the education budget, more than $7.6 billion, goes to the Department of Public Instruction.

What If the U.S. News College Rankings Went Bye-Bye?

Ask Americans how they know which colleges and good and which ones aren’t so good and they’ll probably say, “the U.S. News college rankings.”

For several decades, the annual issue of U.S. News & World Report that focuses on the rankings of colleges, universities, and graduate schools has been treated with exceeding respect by the public. It purports to identify the best university, best liberal arts college, best law and medical schools and so on according to a complicated formula. Rarely do people analyze that formula and ask if it’s a reliable means of identifying schools where students are most likely to receive an excellent education.

Let’s Hold Off the Blame Game at Virginia Tech

It seems fruitless on this day to comment on the “inside baseball” of the state budget process or the academic climate within higher education. There are other days and other weeks for those serious conversations.

This week, all such policy discussions take a back seat to the briefness of life.

Today I turned my thoughts to my disbelief and anger over what occurred Monday at Virginia Tech. We were all shocked as news began to circulate that a gunman – in two separate shootings – killed 32 students and professors and then later himself, leaving 33 dead in all. The gunman was identified Tuesday as Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old Virginia Tech student originally from South Korea. Many at Virginia Tech described Cho as a “loner.”

Senate elects BOG candidates

Just as the state House did last week, state Senate members elected three new members to the UNC Board of Governors and re-elected five others during voting held Thursday.

The Senate elected Frank A. Daniels Jr., Ann Goodnight and Clarice Cato Goodyear as new members to the BOG. They join Ronald Leatherwood, Purnell Swett, and Marshall Pitts, Jr., who were newly elected earlier this week by the state House.

Daniels, Goodnight, and Goodyear were joined in election by R. Steve Bowden, John W. Davis, III, Peter Hans, Adelaide Daniels Key, and Estelle Sanders, all of whom were re-elected by the Senate.