CC Board to hear update on Halifax investigation

RALEIGH — Members of a special investigative committee looking into allegations against Halifax Community College President Ted Gasper will be given an update on the investigation’s progress during the North Carolina Community College System’s board meeting Friday.

This comes after a week of meetings at the community college surrounding the allegations, a separate investigation by the State Auditor’s office and new revelations from a former administrative assistant who worked for Gasper.

Gasper has been placed on paid leave for the past month as the state board began its investigation into multiple claims of abuse, including the elimination of academic programs without trustee or state approval. His administrative assistant, Faye Pepper, has also been placed on paid leave because of her close working relationship to Gasper. Joy Cooley is serving as the college’s president.

The High Cost and Low Productivity of Our Higher Education System: What it Means for America

I am honored by the invitation to speak to you today. The Pope Center is a very positive force in rethinking higher education in America. I am somewhat surprised, frankly, that I was invited to speak, since I am an economist, and economists suffer from two defects. First, they are deadly dull. It is usually more fun watching paint dry than listening to an economist. Indeed, it might even be preferable to have a hemorrhoid operation without an anesthetic from an unlicensed French physician to having to listen to an economist pontificate.

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.

DTH columnist fired for controversial column

CHAPEL HILL – A UNC-Chapel Hill student was fired from The Daily Tar Heel, the school’s student newspaper, Wednesday after she wrote a column on airport security that maintained Arabs should be “stripped naked and cavity-searched if they get within 100 yards of an airport.”

Jillian Bandes, a junior from Florida, was the author of the controversial column that ran in Tuesday’s edition of the school paper. She says she was just stating her opinion on airport security in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and was never given an opportunity from The Daily Tar Heel editors to defend herself.

Better Way to Nominate BOG Members

CHAPEL HILL — Every two years, the General Assembly is charged with appointing 16 members to the UNC Board of Governors, half of the board’s 32-seat voting membership. The Board of Governors is invested with great power, and its decisions affect the state’s citizens, especially those with children in the UNC system.

State law tasks the House and Senate each to choose eight members, but it doesn’t stipulate exactly how the selections are to be made. That is left up to the rules adopted by the respective chambers. You might expect that the procedures would be fair and open, but that isn’t the case.

Recently, the process has been conducted under a veil of secrecy that does a disservice to the taxpayers who fund the UNC system to the tune of more than $2 billion annually.

NCAA Committee Issues New Warnings on Offensive Mascots

INDIANAPOLIS – A NCAA committee has issued new demands to several colleges and universities across the nation seeking justification for their continued use of offensive mascots, NCAA officials announced today. At issue is enforcement of the NCAA’s new edict against “hostile and abusive racial/ethnic/national origin mascots, nicknames or imagery,” with which schools must abide in order to have eligibility to participate in NCAA postseason events.

The Executive Committee on Making Foolish Pronouncements During the Off-Season, reputed to be the NCAA’s busiest committee, initiated the latest spate of demands. Their purpose is to clarify and expand the NCAA’s position on offensive mascots, said committee head Giselda Knickertwist.

When is a Student from Ohio Really a North Carolinian?

In one of the strangest state budget provisions in years, if a student from Ohio (or any other state or even a foreign country) is awarded a full scholarship to attend one of the campuses of the UNC system, then that student can be officially counted as being a North Carolina resident. What is going on? Why say that a kid with a New Jersey driver’s license is a North Carolinian?

The answer is that this bit of definitional legerdemain is designed to evade the long-standing cap on out-of-state residents who may enroll in the state university system. Under state law, UNC campuses cannot enroll more than 18 percent of their students from non-residents. Since the taxpayers of the state put up most of the money to operate the UNC system, the argument goes, most of the places for students ought to be reserved for students whose parents pay taxes into the state treasury.

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.