Will UNC Ever Be “Diverse” Enough?

Last April, UNC released its “Chancellor’s Task Force on Diversity” report, 58 pages in length and loaded with eight big recommendations for making the Chapel Hill campus more diverse. And in his State of the University speech, Chancellor Moeser devoted several paragraphs to this subject, saying that “Diversity is a key component of our academic plan,” and lauding “improvement in the diversity of our full-time permanent faculty.”

Alas, UNC is not yet diverse enough. The Task Force report recommends, for example, that the university increase the number of “minorities” in executive, administrative and managerial positions. That might be accomplished through a heavier emphasis on “diversity” in hiring and promotion.


Auditor calls for CCs to tighten control

RALEIGH — In the wake of an audit investigation of Halifax Community College, State Auditor Les Merritt is recommending the community college system have better monitoring of employment contracts, by-laws, and local boards, and improved training programs for trustees and business office personnel.

The recommendations were released Tuesday in a management letter to State Board of Community Colleges Chair Hilda Pinnix-Ragland. It was also released on the same day as an audit investigation of Halifax Community College President Ted Gasper’s activities found several violations, including questionable reimbursements and the president’s contracts being approved with the board not being aware of some amendments.


Advice for Erskine Bowles: Ratchet Up and Ratchet Down

The UNC presidential search committee has done its work and the new president of the UNC system will be Erskine Bowles. Although the North Carolina Press Association has said that it may challenge the legality of the selection process under the Open Meetings Act, no one doubts that Mr. Bowles will succeed Molly Broad in this important position.

An accomplished, multi-talented man, Mr. Bowles will take the UNC helm with this notable advantage — he isn’t an education “insider.” People who have been immersed in higher education administration for most if not all of their careers tend to uncritically accept most of the “conventional wisdom” about how our colleges and universities supposedly need to function. That fact produces tunnel vision much like a horse with blinders. Bowles doesn’t appear to be wearing them.


Bowles named UNC president

CHAPEL HILL – Former Clinton Administration Chief of Staff and two-time U.S. Senate candidate Erskine Bowles was named Monday the 16th president of the University of North Carolina system.

Bowles’ appointment will become effective Jan. 1, when he will then succeed current President Molly Broad, who announced in April her plans to retire at the end of the 2005-06 academic year or when a successor had been named. His appointment was unanimously approved during a called special session of the Board of Governors.



BOG Insists President Search Far From Over

CHAPEL HILL – UNC Board of Governors Chair Brad Wilson Friday debunked the notion that board members have decided on a replacement for President Molly Broad before the search process has even interviewed a single candidate.

Wilson, who spoke during Friday’s full Board of Governors meeting, said the Presidential Search Committee intends to review all possible candidates and proceed with integrity. The comments came as speculation continues to grow that former Clinton Administration Chief of Staff and two-time Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Erskine Bowles is the front-runner for the position. Bowles, who has received the support from legislators from both parties, has made it known that he would like to serve as the system’s next president.


Budget Increases UNC Spending by 11 Percent

RALEIGH – Two months into the 2006 fiscal year, lawmakers finally reached a consensus and approved a budget plan that will increase spending within the UNC system by 11 percent.

UNC’s appropriation for the 2005-06 fiscal year is $2.086 billion, representing 12.1 percent of the $17.2 billion budget, which was approved by the state House on Wednesday. Senate members are expected to give final approval today. A stopgap spending plan to keep state government running during the negotiations expires later today.

The budget for the 2006-07 fiscal year further increases UNC spending to $2.12 billion.


NCAA issues ban on Indian mascots

Last week an executive committee for the National Collegiate Athletics Association decided to prohibit the use of Indian mascots and nicknames by colleges and universities participating in the organization’s postseason tournaments. The NCAA also strongly encouraged institutions to cease scheduling athletic competitions with schools who use Native American nicknames, imagery or mascots.


UNC President Search is California Dreamin’

There’s an old North Carolina joke about bad ideas in California taking 10 years to arrive here. But one seems to be making record time. Exponential salary growth for public-university executives has the UNC president search committee California dreamin’.

Readers will recall that last year Marye Anne Fox, then chancellor of North Carolina State University, left Raleigh to take the same position at the University of California at San Diego. The West Coast school had offered Fox $102,000 a year more than N.C. State paid her. Fox was making $248,000 a year here; she picked up $350,000 in San Diego.


Controversy Surrounds UNC Board of Governors Selections

Every two years, members of the General Assembly are responsible for choosing half of the 32-member University of North Carolina Board of Governors (BOG). The BOG members make important decisions on issues such as tuition, and later this year they’ll select a new president for the system.

This year’s action by the General Assembly has, however, led to controversy, with some members asking whether legislative leaders followed the law.

Elections to the BOG are governed by General Statute 116-6. It outlines two requirements for the election procedure, one covering nominees and balloting, and the other specifying when the vote must occur. According to the statute, nomination ballots should include “at least twice the number of candidates for the total seats open” and that “each house shall hold their elections within 30 legislative days after appointments to their education committees are complete.”