Study Recommends Major Changes in UNC Governance

RALEIGH – A newly-released study commissioned by the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy and undertaken by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni recommends several key changes in the way the UNC system is governed. The two foremost recommendations are that the governor should appoint members to the UNC Board of Governors and that the Board should be reduced from 32 members to 15.

The study, entitled “Governance in the Public Interest: A Case Study of the University of North Carolina system” and was researched and written by Phyllis Palmiero, an education consultant who previously served as the executive director of Virginia’s higher education system.


Study: Gov. should select BOG members

RALEIGH – The governor should appoint members to the UNC Board of Governors, according to a report released Monday by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni and commissioned by the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

The independent study made five key recommendations to improving the Board of Governors with the gubernatorial appointment the most prominent of the recommendations. Other recommendations included retaining the Board of Governors, delegate more powers to the individual campuses’ board of trustees, ensure a more proactive Board of Governors, and reduce the board’s size from 32 to 15.


How dare you question the Edwards Center at UNC?

All right, you skeptics, just why is it so hard to believe that John Edwards’ center at UNC Law isn’t really about solving poverty? Why don’t you believe all those statements about how Edwards’ interest in the center is not political? Why do you continue to think it’s simply about giving Carolina publicity and Edwards an issue for 2008?

Is it because of the timing of the center’s creation? Is it because no one’d heard a peep out of Chapel Hill about a poverty center until the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity was announced in early February? Does it have anything to do with the fact that shortly after Edwards lost in November, UNC Law School Dean Gene Nichol openly talked about his desire to get Edwards into UNC Law? Could it be that you’re suspicious over the center’s whirlwind creation in a matter of weeks without input from lawmakers or the public? Did all that make you think UNC’s real interest was in rescuing a darling of a desperate politician on the brink of political irrelevancy?


Diversity Mania Gets More Costly

East Carolina University recently announced the hiring of a new administrator with the title Assistant to the Chancellor for Institutional Diversity. ECU’s choice, Sallye McKee, currently associate vice provost for urban and educational outreach at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, begins her duties at ECU July 1.

According to ECU, the Assistant to the Chancellor for Institutional Diversity “will play a principal role in crafting and articulating a vision of East Carolina University as a diverse and inclusive institution of higher learning.” More specifically, this administrator “will contribute to the institution’s diversity efforts through honest, open dialogue and collaborative networking with administrative, faculty, staff and student colleagues in the development and evaluation of campus diversity programs, policies, and practices.”


What UNC needs in a president

The University of North Carolina system is hunting for a new president. Molly C. Broad, the current president, has announced her resignation and a committee of 13 distinguished individuals has been given the task of selecting her successor.

Perhaps it’s just public relations, but the committee has scheduled “town hall” meetings around the state this month to hear from people who have ideas on this matter. I have some definite ideas about the characteristics of the person the search committee should choose.


What UNC needs in a president

The University of North Carolina system is hunting for a new president. Molly C. Broad, the current president, has announced her resignation and a committee of 13 distinguished individuals has been given the task of selecting her successor.

Perhaps it’s just public relations, but the committee has scheduled “town hall” meetings around the state this month to hear from people who have ideas on this matter. I have some definite ideas about the characteristics of the person the search committee should choose.

First, the individual must have an overriding commitment to academic integrity. Of course, every candidate is going to pay lip service to academics. The tough job will be to get through the rhetorical smokescreen to find out if it’s just talk.


How Much Does a State University Have to Cost?

Every state has a state university system, although that was not always the case. (New York didn’t begin the SUNY system until after World War II, a fact that did not impede the state’s growth and prosperity.) Looking at the financing of those university systems, however, you find great differences in the degree to which they depend on government appropriations. Some states rely heavily on state funding, whereas others have chosen to constrict the money pipeline from the state capital to the universities and depend more on voluntary support.

I was interested in knowing just where North Carolina stands, so the Pope Center did an analysis of the financial data for each state found in the 2004 Almanac Issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education.


Town Hall meeting hears thoughts on search for UNC president

CHAPEL HILL – A town hall meeting Thursday afternoon at UNC-Chapel Hill provided a short glimpse into the mindset of a search committee commissioned to find a new president for the UNC system. The current president, Molly C. Broad, announced her retirement last month, effective at the end of the 2005-06 academic year.

During the one hour meeting, several people spoke about their desires for a new president – a strong leader who knows North Carolina was the most prominent of the wishes – and what they would like to see the committee do. At the end of the meeting, the only thing guaranteed was that the committee would be very deliberate in the coming weeks and months in selecting Molly Broad’s successor.


Women’s groups against Title IX changes

CHAPEL HILL — A group of female college administrators has begun a grassroots effort to overturn a recent Title IX clarification that makes it easier for college and universities to comply with Title IX regulations regarding athletics.

According to NCAA News, the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletics Administrators has sent an email to its members asking them to contact their congressmen and other political leaders to get the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights decision overturned. The Women’s Sports Foundation is also joining in the effort.


Kirsanow Assails Affirmative Action in Academia

For decades, higher education institutions have utilized racial preferences and quota programs, euphemistically called “affirmative action” in their admission policies. At least one member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights would like to see that practice come to an end.

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights who was appointed by President Bush, spoke to students Tuesday at UNC-Chapel Hill where he focused on ending the victim grievance model of civil rights. He also argued that the focus on civil rights activism should be on looking towards the future rather than to the past. In an interview prior to his speech, Kirsanow explained that higher education is focused too much on racial policies that were effective in the 1960s, but are now unnecessary and even counterproductive.