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.


Does North Carolina Need an Optometry School?

“No one spends other people’s money as carefully as he spends his own.” So says Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman. Let’s keep that in mind as we consider a new spending proposal being pushed by one of the schools in the UNC system.

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNC-P) has advanced a plan to build a new school of optometry at the geographically remote campus. The budget contains $10 million for the initial planning and development of the project, but no funds can be expended until the UNC president’s office gives approval. A meeting to decide on the plan is scheduled for later this month.


Using Free Market to Pay for College

More students than ever are attending the nation’s colleges and universities, but we nevertheless hear a lot about how terribly expensive it is. Even with the very low in-state tuition charged by UNC schools, the cost of a year in college, including housing and living expenses, can be a strain on the budget for low-income families. It can be a strain for not-so-poor families too, if they haven’t saved enough money.


Do College Rankings Mean Anything?

On August 20th, the annual “America’s Best Colleges” issue of U.S. News & World Report was released. Among North Carolina schools, Duke was tied for fifth, Wake Forest 27th, UNC-Chapel Hill 29th, and NC State 86th.


Conservatives criticize UNC-Chapel Hill reading program again

RALEIGH – Conservatives students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are criticizing the Summer Reading Program again. The surprise is that this year, the program’s selection, made for the first time with an open selections process, was expected to avoid the sort of criticism previous selections endured.


Inspired by Sept. 11, some new college courses dismissed as ‘psychobabble’

New courses inspired by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 have been developed on college campuses nationwide. Most deal matter-of-factly with the issues, but some have come under criticism for being “gadfly courses” and “politically correct pseudo-courses.”


Bill would study giving illegal immigrants access to in-state tuition rates

Some illegal immigrants may now pay resident tuition to attend public universities in California, thanks to legislation signed last year by Gov. Gray Davis and a vote this week by the University of California Board of Regents. In North Carolina, a bill before the Senate would create a commission to study doing the same thing here.


UNC-Chapel Hill mulls opening business school in Qatar

As the liberation of Afghanistan continues unabated and well ahead of schedule, and as Hamas takes credit for another bloody round of suicide-bomb attacks on civilians and teenagers in Israel, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill mulls a proposal to open a business school in the Emirate of Qatar.


Accreditation has no clothes

Accreditation is one of those “the emperor is wearing no clothes” phenomena overloading our educational system.