Why is this Happening?

What a week!  We are proud to welcome the class of 2022 to their new status as UNC-CH alumni. Last week was filled with celebrations.  Frank Bruni and Chancellor Guskiewicz gave excellent remarks at the commencement ceremony and, coming off the heels of our fantastic men’s and women’s basketball season, things felt pretty good. 

Yet, as our great University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill successfully launched the class of 2022, ugly headlines related to university governance once again appeared. A damning report from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was followed by a downgrading of the journalism school accreditation from The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC).  This rollercoaster of good times followed by bad news is frustrating and as we work our way through a series of emotions, many ask; why?  With respect to our governing bodies being so often at the center of the controversies, we asked former Chancellor Thorp for his opinion on what has changed.  It turns out that our governing bodies are not following what is known as good governance practices of “noses in and fingers out”.  Check out Chancellor Thorp’s opinion in the video below.

I would say, based on what I’ve observed, that the legislative bodies are much more involved in areas of university operation that they’ve never been involved in before. Particularly the hiring of administrators and the deciding on tenure and also on the curriculum.  This has never really been the case it’s always been true that the administration was responsible for hiring other administrators and the faculty were responsible for deciding on tenure and on the curriculum.  So, what you have now is kind of an incursion of the governing boards into areas that are not within the responsibility of the governing boards.  

There always has been incursion of various kinds from the UNC system and the governing boards.  During my time that was mostly in athletics.  And, you can see there that all of that interference really didn’t help matters very much and it’s not helping matters very much now to have the governing boards working on parts of university operations that are not in their remit.

Links to Recent News:

UNC-CH Journalism School Re-Accreditation Threatened

In the wake of the AAUP report that criticized “pervasive and overly partisan political control” at Carolina, The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, ACEJMC, sent another shot over UNC’s bow by downgrading the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s accreditation to “provisional.” https://www.wral.com/questions-about-diversity-inclusiveness-threaten-accreditation-of-unc-journalism-school/20261803/

After its review of UNC in 2021, the ACEJMC dinged the Hussman School for its lack of faculty diversity and inconsistencies enacting a 2016 diversity and inclusion plan.

It was an unexpected rebuke for what is widely recognized as the best school of journalism in the United States. Hussman students have won seven out of eight of the last annual Hearst Awards Competitions, the Pulitzer Prizes of student journalism, and the current Daily Tar Heel editor was just hired by the Washington Post even before her graduation.

Last year, in a widely-hailed coup, Pulitzer Prize winning author and McArthur Genius Grant recipient Nikole Hannah-Jones was hired as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism by Dean Susan King. But, instead of granting her the tenure offered to previous Knight Chairs that had been approved by the Hussman School’s faculty and the University’s Committee on Appointment, Promotions and Tenure, the University only offered her a five-year contract. After an outcry from faculty, students, and national media, the UNC Board of Trustees, working through its sub-committee on University Affairs, relented and finally voted to offer tenure in June. Hannah-Jones declined the position and took a Knight Chair at Howard University.

The accrediting team noted that in the aftermath of the Silent Sam controversy and the Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure debacle, “The UNC Hussman School is dealing with an existential crisis both internally and externally. The controversy surrounding the decision by Nikole Hanah-Jones to turn down a tenured, endowed chair at the school exposed long-standing problems. Several faculty members and staff, particularly those of color, said morale is low and they are considering leaving the school.” What we are experiencing here is yet another example of governance overreach that we alluded to in previous posts and Opeds. “Just as termite destruction can go undetected until the building starts to collapse, persistent politicization and governance overreach is taking a toll on Carolina.” The cumulative effect of politicization and overreach is now showing tangible damage to one of Carolina’s most respected schools.

Webinar Recording: How and Why Tenure Strengthens Carolina

If you missed our “How and Why Tenure Strengthens Carolina” webinar on April 27, 2022, you missed a great discussion.  Like business career paths, tenure is a 10-to-15-year highly competitive process designed to prepare talented and committed scholars for coveted leadership positions. 

Tenure plays a critical role in preserving academic freedom and protecting free speech.  Webinar moderator and UNC Faculty Chair Dr. Mimi Chapman shared examples of how tenure has been threatened around the country.  Several audacious actions are underway around the country to proactively eliminate tenure; replace tenured professors with those without tenure’s protection; or simply reduce the number of tenure- track professors.  If these efforts are successful, there would be a serious erosion of both academic freedom and free speech rights. Additionally, such a move could be yet another dangerous step in governance overreach. Dr. Lloyd Kramer shared an ominous historical fact during the webinar: “One of the most common characteristics of authoritarian societies is that when teachers or faculty go against some reigning ideological or political position, they are dismissed. They are removed.” Tenure prevents such acts of retaliation and retribution.  

Check out the webinar recording for more…

Faculty Tenure, Sustainer of Free Speech and More

One of the best-known benefits of faculty tenure is that it protects academic freedom. 

There was a time in this country when educators were restricted in what they could cover in class, speech and writing.  (Think the 1850s when Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was banned for pro-abolitionist views as one example of such a time.) As a result, and out of fear of retribution, faculty stayed away from controversial or questionable topics. Tenure, and the protections it provided, changed that. With tenure, professors could speak freely, write freely, and encourage debate on the controversial or questionable issues of the day.

While the concept of tenure has been around since the founding of Harvard in 1636, modern tenure began to develop in the early 20th century. Tenure especially gained ground in the period around World War I (in part because some professors who criticized that war, or the developments of modern economic systems, lost their jobs).  Over the past century, academic tenure has helped to protect free speech on college campuses, foster research on difficult or controversial subjects, enhance the free exchange of ideas in university classrooms, and strengthen enduring connections between professors and the universities they serve.

Join our discussion about how and why tenure benefits Carolina. Featured speakers are UNC Chapel Hill professors Dr. Karin Pfennig, Dr. Lloyd Kramer, Dr. Patricia Parker, and Dr. Mimi Chapman.

A Conversation with Former UNC System President Tom Ross – Part 1

Over the next several weeks, Coalition for Carolina will share videos from a recent conversation with former UNC System President Tom Ross.  We start with the following two videos where Ross shares thoughts on how shared governance should work and what the original vision was for the board of trustees.

How Shared Governance Should Work

Coalition for Carolina: We talk a lot about “shared governance” how has that changed or evolved over the past 10 years?

Former UNC System President Tom Ross:I think shared governance is a really fascinating concept in higher education, because the way it’s designed to work is for the faculty to have a role in the governance of institutions as well as the administration and governing boards. And I think it’s been healthy for universities to have that kind of shared governance. And over time, it has proven to be a smart way to govern institutions.

Over the last ten years, we’ve seen that begin to shift really everywhere around the country. And there’s been sort of [more] of a role of governing boards and perhaps a little bit lesser role for faculty in the way it’s working now.

I’m not sure if you go back historically and think about the role of faculty that is at the core of an institution.  That [faculty] is what makes higher education what it is and what makes a university great is the quality of their faculty. And, so when you have a system that begins to have faculty playing a smaller or lesser role, then I think that can do damage over time to the university.”

The Original Role of The Board of Trustees Explained

Coalition for Carolina:  We have a complicated governance hierarchy with legislators, the Board of Governors and boards of trustees.  What do you think the role of the trustees is in this structure?

Former UNC System President Tom Ross: “I think when you’re thinking about the role of the board of trustees and the governance structure, particularly in the UNC system, you have to remember that you have a board of governors [that] is really responsible for the major oversight and policy questions. 

And, if you go back to when the system was created, we created a new board of governors to represent the whole state and look at all of the system. But we wanted to retain, or there was a movement to retain, boards of trustees because I think people felt like you needed a board on the campus because you wanted a group of people to promote the campus and to enthusiastically endorse that campus and go out and help the chancellor in any way they could. And that’s really what the tradition of the [board of] trustees has been– to advise and assist the chancellor, advise on the budget, advise on a number of different issues, including athletics and that sort of thing. But really to be a booster for the institution.And [while] they’ve had responsibility to approve tenure and some issues that are campus based, I think that [it] was appropriate to have that board [of trustees] really focused on advising the chancellor. But I think what you have to be careful of with a campus board of trustees is that it becomes more of an oversight operations board, which is really what the Board of Governors should be doing.”

President Peter Hans responds to questions from The Coalition for Carolina

The Coalition for Carolina posed several questions to UNC System President Peter Hans and appreciate his written responses. 

Coalition for Carolina: What makes Carolina great? Why are we among the top five public universities in the country?

President Peter Hans: By any measure, UNC Chapel Hill is an extraordinary institution. It’s the nation’s oldest public university and one of the world’s great centers of research and innovation. It has been a beacon of opportunity to generations of North Carolinians. It changed my life, certainly, and I know it does the same for thousands of students each year. 

You could write a book on what makes Carolina a great university — people have! — but to me it comes down to this: UNC Chapel Hill has grown into a world-class university while staying true to its core mission of welcoming and serving the people of North Carolina. There aren’t many public flagships in the country that have remained so deeply rooted in service to their home states while also performing at the very highest levels, and Carolina’s ability to balance those goals is what really sets it apart.

Coalition for Carolina: In what ways is UNC Chapel Hill’s role unique among System schools? How does the System Office and the Board of Governors more generally understand the role of the flagship?

President Peter Hans: Every institution in the UNC System has a unique history and a unique role to play. Carolina is a magnet for some of the most talented students in our state and across the country. It’s a research powerhouse, helping to make North Carolina a leader in areas crucial to our long-term growth. And through UNC Health Care and all of its affiliates, Carolina plays a huge part in meeting the health needs of our state. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I think all of us understand the importance of having an institution like Carolina at the heart of our state and our university system. 

At the same time, I think everyone in Chapel Hill recognizes the value of being part of a broader system of higher education, and having partners across the state in fulfilling the core responsibilities of teaching, research, and public service. Support for public higher education remains so strong in North Carolina because the people of this state see its continuing relevance to their lives and aspirations, whether that’s Nobel-winning research in Chapel Hill, excellent public health programs in Greenville, or a fantastically good nursing school at NCA&T. We’re all stronger when we work together toward shared goals for our state.

Coalition for Carolina: Chancellor Guskiewicz enjoys strong support from many Carolina constituencies. What do you think the strengths of his leadership approach are? What would you like to see him do differently? Do you support his continued leadership?

President Peter Hans: He enjoys my strong support, as well. Through some of the greatest disruption in the history of this University, Chancellor Guskiewicz has kept Carolina focused on its core mission. The ability to stay focused and deliver on those key priorities is a major reason that UNC Chapel Hill is emerging from the covid pandemic in such strong shape to invest and grow. 

Like every big and high-profile institution in the country, I think Carolina is struggling to manage some tension between people who see the place as a stage for conflict and people who just want to do good and worthwhile work. There are times when I think the University could do more to elevate thoughtful voices rather than conflict entrepreneurs, but that’s a challenge for everyone in public service right now. In this regard, the UNC Program for Public Discourse is an example of the Chancellor’s leadership in a positive direction.

Coalition for Carolina: What would you like to see Carolina doing differently and why?

President Peter Hans: My job is to support our state’s public universities. I have conversations all the time with our chancellors about how we can work together to improve performance, address problems, or change our approach as the needs of North Carolina change. I don’t think those working relationships are well-served by the person in my role offering public critiques.

I’d also point to the System’s strategic plan, and each institution’s annual report on their progress, as an excellent and very transparent look at how we’re asking each campus to grow and focus. At UNC Chapel Hill, that has meant putting more resources into low-income completion, rural enrollment, and graduates in high-demand fields like health sciences and education. (You can 
read the details here.) What I find so valuable about the System’s approach is that it sets shared goals, then allows each campus to decide how they can best contribute. Everyone gets to play to their strengths while improving core performance, and the whole System gets better.

Coalition for Carolina: I think we can all agree that certain metrics like enrollment, student quality, and research are all very strong at Carolina today. But do you agree that faculty and staff morale, their latitude and compensation are also key metrics and vitally important to the success of every university?

President Peter Hans: A strong and intellectually vibrant faculty is the foundation of any great university. By any measure, Carolina’s faculty is among the most productive and accomplished in the world. We’ve been vocal at the UNC System about the need to raise compensation so that we can retain talented faculty and staff, and our lawmakers came through a 5% raise in the last budget. I know the leadership in Chapel Hill is very focused on raising private dollars to remain competitive, and the shared work between the System and the campus on a more comprehensive and transparent budget model should make it easier to allocate resources toward those critical priorities.

But before we move on, I just want to note that those metrics you mentioned — growing enrollment, highly competitive students, and being on track to earn more than a billion dollars in sponsored research this year — are incredibly hard to pull off, even for a highly regarded institution like Carolina. I don’t take that for granted, and I don’t think anyone in our state does, either. You can’t achieve that kind of excellence without an extraordinary faculty.

Coalition for Carolina: The peer set for every school is different. Historically, faculty salaries have taken that into account and UNC has been very competitive. We’ve seen from the Chronicle of Higher Education data that UNC-CH faculty salaries have fallen behind alarmingly. This may also be true for other schools in the System. What actions can you and the BOG/BOT take to address this?

President Peter Hans: We advocated strongly to raise compensation for both faculty and staff in the latest state budget, and we succeeded. We know there’s more to be done, especially for graduate students and adjunct instructors, and particularly as inflation affects the cost of living. We’ll continue to push for competitive compensation.

We’ve also worked with each of our institutions to create a more comprehensive and transparent budget model that allows campus leaders to make strategic investments with greater confidence. I think one of the most important things Chancellor Guskiewicz and his team have done over the last two years is confidently tackling the university’s long-running budget deficit, making some hard choices so that Carolina is in a position to invest in key areas, such as compensation. That underlying budget challenge had been building for a long time, and it took courage and discipline to fix it.
 

Coalition for Carolina: Many people have pointed out the lack of diversity on the Board of Governors. How important do you think it is that we have a diversified Board of Governors that represents all North Carolinians. Is your own team reflective of the state’s diversity?

President Peter Hans: North Carolina is a big and diverse state — ninth largest in the country and growing fast. I think we all take seriously the obligation to represent and serve that very dynamic population, and we all recognize there are ways we can do it better. Diversity in race and gender is important, as is diversity in terms of economic background, expertise, and ideas. We have a broad and diverse twenty-five person leadership team at the System Office, and I’m committed to working with colleagues that can earn the trust and confidence of the people we serve. If you’d like further detail on the team please contact my chief of staff, Norma Houston, who is incidentally a fifteen-year member of Chapel Hill’s faculty.

Coalition for Carolina: Talk about the policy that enables you to add your own candidates to searches for Chancellors, and specifically the part that requires at least one be sent to you as a finalist. What was the purpose of this policy change? If your final pick was not a choice of the campuses’ search committees, what do you think the repercussions would be?

President Peter Hans:
To be effective, chancellors must have the trust of their campus communities so their involvement in the search process is essential. Chancellors also need the confidence of state policymakers and the broader public. Higher education depends on a lot of different constituencies to succeed.Hiring and helping chancellors is one of the most important things the UNC System President does, and no one is more invested in their success than I am. I spend an enormous amount of my time talking with our chancellors, supporting them to work through difficult problems or figuring out how we can provide better assistance in key areas.

Given that those campus leaders report to the System President, it makes sense that the person in my role has strong input into the selection process. This change provides a transparent option (not a requirement) in the search process. Again, no single person has a higher stake in a successful search than the System President when you consider the reporting relationship and when you take into account my responsibility to each institution.

Coalition for Carolina: In the past, the Chancellor has recommended candidates for the UNC Board of Trustees. This year none of those recommendations were taken. Were you aware or involved in that decision-making? Do you think that was a good course of action?

President Peter Hans: Under our governance structure, the System President is not involved in trustee selection. I think the trustees at Carolina and all of our institutions understand that their role is to advise campus leadership, offer insight and informed judgment to the Board of Governors with their delegated responsibilities, and help tell the story of their institutions to the wider world. 

I also think it’s worth remembering that these are not easy roles. They involve a lot of public scrutiny, as they should, and working with a lot of different constituencies that often have competing ideas about the direction of the University. I commend anyone — past and present — who’s willing to step up and render that volunteer service to our public universities.

Coalition for Carolina: Do you think it’s good practice for Trustees to serve on the search committee of Deans and to get involved with the search and approval process of Tier I and Tier II hires, promotion, and compensation?

President Peter Hans: I think the right balance in shared governance between oversight and autonomy can take some time to get right, and it relies as much on norms of trust and reciprocity as it does on formal rules. Having trustees who are well-informed and fully invested in the leadership of the campus is valuable, and chancellors have a lot of say in how they choose to involve their boards and keep them updated. Each institution takes a different approach, and I don’t micromanage that.

Coalition for Carolina: How do you think the Nikole Hannah-Jones situation could have been handled differently?

President Peter Hans: Any time you have a failed hire — and especially a very high-profile failed hire — there are things that could have gone differently. In this case, I think the University could have been much more clear about the tenure process, the criteria, and where the authority to grant tenure resides. A lot more direct communication and dialogue would have been better than seeing various parties trying to fight out their viewpoints in the media.

Coalition for Carolina: What is your perception of the Coalition for Carolina?

President Peter Hans: The passionate involvement of alumni and supporters is a good thing in the life of any university, and I welcome it. The conflicts at Carolina get plenty of airtime already, so I hope the Coalition can help people understand what a magnificent and prodigiously productive place UNC Chapel Hill continues to be. I’m proud to be a Carolina alum, and I will always work with anyone who wants to make it better.

We see many troubling signs on the horizon at Carolina

We are responding to a recent opinion piece by David Boliek, Chair of the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, which objects to recent articles in the News and Observer about actions taken by the leadership of the General Assembly that have been harmful to UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC System.

Mr. Boliek ends his opinion piece with the statement, “You can’t be for something and against it at the same time.”  We think he entirely misses the point of the recent analysis and feedback on the UNC System and UNC-Chapel Hill governing boards by the News and Observer and the Coalition for Carolina.  We agree with Boliek that, in many ways, Carolina has never been stronger.  Application numbers are up, external funding for research has reached record levels, and the Campaign for Carolina has already reached its $4 Billion goal a year early. This is happening in spite of the damage our governing boards are inflicting. It is happening because of the leadership of Chancellor Guskiewicz and the commitment and hard work of faculty and alumnae who believe in the mission of the University and the strong foundation of excellence the university built long before the unprecedented politicization and governance overreach of the past 10 years. Boliek himself acknowledges this foundation. As an example, Carolina recently announced that $31 million in technology licensing deals and equity payments received in 2021 is due to decades-long investments into big ideas.

We see many troubling signs on the horizon. Just as termite destruction can go undetected until the building starts to collapse, persistent politicization and governance overreach is taking a toll on Carolina. Some examples:

  • Last summer, the Board of Trustees created a policy to insert themselves into tier II hiring. This has led to a new biweekly administrative procedure that deans and others must follow in order to hire the people they need to make their schools and departments work.  This new process is unnecessary overreach that gums up the works, hurts morale and productivity, and makes life more difficult for administrators and deans. It should be reversed for the good of the campus.
  • The mishandling of the Nikole Hannah Jones tenure debacle as well as the protracted fight over Slient Sam has had a very negative impact on faculty, staff, and students of color. Many in our community are “on the bubble” of wanting to stay or go because of the overreach and interference by the BOT and BOG in these situations.
  • While the faculty did receive their first state-funded increase in compensation this year, between 2008 and 2018 average salaries for full-time and associate professors at peer schools rose more than 30%, but Carolina salaries rose less than 15%.  As a result, Carolina has slipped from ranking in the middle to in the bottom quartile. Yes, we are strong because they are committed (for now), but we are also very vulnerable and this needs to be addressed.
  • The Board of Trustees is silencing key members of the community. The UNC Chapel Hill Faculty Chair, President of the Graduate and Professional Student Government, and Employee Forum Chair have historically been invited to speak at every UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees meeting.  At least one of these individuals, and usually all three, spoke at every BOT meeting until May of 2021 when the Board of Trustees stopped inviting them. The Board later reinvited them, but only for 1/3 of the time that they historically have been given. Actions like this chip away at trust and contribute to the slow destruction of the university from the inside.
  • The Board of Trustees has even considered inserting themselves into the admissions appeals process. Following through with such unprecedented overreach would be yet another blow to stability and trust at Carolina.


In his penultimate paragraph Boliek states, “it would be much more productive to suggest positive initiatives that make Carolina better, not tear it down.”  We have and will continue to offer suggestions.  Here are a few more:

First, acknowledge the critical role that the faculty, staff, and administration play in maintaining UNC Chapel Hill’s excellence and let them do the job of teaching, research, and running the campus without policies that undermine their voice and interfere with day-to-day university operations.

Second, acknowledge and take seriously the letter signed by all former faculty chairs asking that faculty chairs, now and in the future, have a place at the BOT table to promote communication, relationship building, and meaningful shared governance. This letter was sent to the Trustees and has been referenced by the current chair at multiple meetings. It has not been discussed, simply discarded.


Third, both the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees need to respect the tradition of shared governance with the faculty.  Faculty are disheartened and feel disrespected by several actions that the Trustees have taken in the last few months. (Some of which we referenced above.) Governing boards exist to set policy for the institutions in their charge and to hire the chief executive to operate the day-to-day activities of the universities.  The trustees and the governors need to stay in their lane, and let the Chancellor and his staff run the University. Trust our leaders, staff and faculty to run the university. Give them the freedom to run the school unencumbered.


Next, Mr. Boliek said not a word about the arts and humanities, areas of great strength historically at UNC.  Nor did he mention our School of Social Work which is number 3 in the country. Why is that?  And, as for diversity, the Board of Trustees does not reflect the demographics of the University nor the state and it should.  This is something that is an easy fix. 

Finally, we would conclude by suggesting that Carolina should strive to be both great and good, by which we mean that excellence should always be our goal, but not our sole criterion.  We should also strive for moral and ethical leadership.  The quality of goodness has always defined Carolina.  We think it is our most important legacy. It is how we changed North Carolina, and indeed, the entire South.

Hark the Sound.

James Moeser
Chancellor Emeritus
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Roger Perry
Co-founder, Coalition for Carolina
Former Chair, UNC-CH Board of Trustees

Eric Johnson: #CarolinaLove

What do you value/love about Carolina?

My love for Carolina is in the same category as my love for America: a set of impossibly idealistic aspirations, rarely achieved but always worth striving toward. I think it’s an absolute miracle that a deeply impoverished southern state built this place, sustained it for two centuries, and continues to support it today. It’s miraculous that any society has managed to build and celebrate institutions purpose-built to question orthodoxy and encourage free thinking. “There is a vast educational culture in this country, unlike anything else in the world,” writes Marilynne Robinson. “It emerged from a glorious sense of the possible and explored and enhanced the possible through the spread of learning.”

What do you value/love that?

That’s what I feel when I walk across campus at Carolina — a glorious sense of the possible. Public universities, Robinson says, ”are a tribute and an invitation to the young, who can and should make the world new, out of the unmapped and unbounded resource of their minds.” That invitation is still very much open, and not just to the young.

A RIGHT TURN: HAS GOP INFLUENCED HOW THE UNC SYSTEM IS LED?

Our title is copied from the title of a series recently published in the Charlotte Observer and News & Observer. The series introduction reads as follows:

“Have corrosive tensions between conservative leadership and more liberal campus cultures, along with a run of bad press, done enough to actually damage the University of North Carolina System’s traditionally stellar quality during a decade of Republican control? Are some groups of people being left behind? Read this series of special commentary from the opinion staff at The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer.”

We’ve read each piece in the series and they are very well worth your time to read if you’re concerned about what’s happening with governance of the UNC system. Several of our followers on social media have asked if we can reprint the pieces in their entirety since they require a subscription to view. Unfortunately, we don’t have permission to reprint that content, however we have shared a few of our takeaways below.

Note: One reader on Twitter asked why more republicans were not quoted in the pieces. Here is the response from Ned Barnett, the lead journalist of the series:

“We sought comment from the chair of the UNC Board of Governors, the chair of the UNC-CH Board of Trustees and House speaker Tim Moore. None responded. We asked UNC Board of Governors member Leo Daughtry to comment, he declined to comment.”

Part 1: Has a decade of Republican maneuvering really harmed the UNC System? | Opinion 

  • UNC board of governors members are political appointees who then go on to appoint like-minded board of trustee members. The appointment and selection processes are, therefore, political.
  • In the wake of a demoralized faculty, declining faculty salaries, and a series of embarrassing episodes that make national headlines, the UNC System president, Peter Hans, believes the fundamentals of the UNC system are strong.

Part 2: Across the UNC System, signs of Republican influence | Opinion 

Instances of GOP influence and impact on UNC system on multiple campuses is examined. Campuses highlighted include NC State, East Carolina, Fayetteville State, NC Central, Western Carolina. Topics cover covid, campus life, chancellors, the current chaos and more.

Part 3: NC has cut spending on higher education — at the expense of everyone else | Opinion 

A compelling piece by Paige Masten on waning state investment in higher education.

  • State investment in higher education decreased 13% between 2008 and 2020
  • The expense from the disinvestment was passed on to students and parents
  • Campuses have been forced to seek private funds to meet needs – both Carolina and NC State just finished billion-dollar campaigns. (We know from what happened with Nikole Hannah-Jones that private funds can come with strings.)
  • Faculty pay has fallen behind that of peers

Part 4: Who is UNC-Chapel Hill truly for? Just the university of (some) people? | Opinion 

This piece details the challenges in preparing students from rural NC and other diverse backgrounds for the academic rigor that Carolina provides. The writer makes a case for adequately funding all of public education and providing the additional resources these students need to succeed.

Chart: NC appropriations for full-time college students decreased more than national average 

The referenced chart shows the trend in per student funding between 2008 and 2020. Here is a quote from the piece: “

“Per-student appropriations for higher education in North Carolina decreased by 13% between 2008 and 2020, when adjusted for inflation. The U.S. average in that same time period was just a 2% decrease.”

Webinar Recording: How University Governance Impacts UNC

On February 2, 2022 UNC-CH Chancellor Emeritus James Moeser moderated a panel discussion on university governance. Topics included shared governance, university governance practices, current governance challenges, governance board overreach, and how accreditation issues are impacted by governing decisions.

Featured speakers were:
– Paul Fulton – Former dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School and former member of BOG and BOT
– Dr. Holden Thorp – Editor-in-Chief at Science Family of Journals, former UNC Chancellor
– Dr. Belle Wheelan – President of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC oversees accreditation for over 800 southern colleges and universities.

Copy the link below and paste it in your browser to access the webinar recording:

https://zoom.us/rec/share/9D0L_d7eLfUiYUk12TC57lE5Ej9rVFbv8E6cz6yfBJyInLvRwn-H8eu5FR0cUswr.bPHUIG12_AxXQp7J?startTime=1643833856000

PLEASE ENTER PASSCODE:

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