UNC Board of Governors

Stifling dissent: WUNC-TV set to cancel NC Spin

And once again, this behavior is usually associated with 3rd world dictatorships:

After almost 22 years on the air, the political debate show “NC Spin” will end on UNC-TV after its contract is up this year. Tom Campbell, the show’s founder and host, told The News & Observer this week that he learned of the decision in an email from UNC-TV’s interim director Kevin Fitzgerald last Friday.

Campbell thinks the show was essentially canceled because it had been critical of the UNC Board of Governors and its treatment of former UNC System presidents Tom Ross and Margaret Spellings, former UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Carol Folt and former East Carolina University chancellor Cecil Staton.

While there may have been an occasional controversial statement made by guests on the show, Tom Campbell has managed (well) to keep it balanced and informative. The truth is, the UNC BOG has made many questionable decisions, and has operated in a plainly partisan fashion on more than one occasion. Talking about that isn't "out of line," it's something everybody involved with UNC should be doing, from students to professors to alumni, and all points in-between. And to get rid of Tom's show while keeping this one:

UNC Board of Governors crumbling under ideological discord

And big surprise, Tom Fetzer is right in the middle of it:

In a stunning and contentious session, a faction of the UNC Board of Governors moved Thursday for substantive changes in the university system, including lowering tuition and fees at the campuses, reorganizing the staff of UNC President Margaret Spellings and moving the UNC system headquarters out of Chapel Hill.

The meeting followed a scathing letter to Spellings and Board Chairman Lou Bissette that was reported by The News & Observer on Thursday. The Aug. 22 letter, signed by 15 members, took Spellings and Bissette to task for a lack of communication to the members before they sent a letter to Gov. Roy Cooper about security and plans for Silent Sam, the Confederate statue on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Some board members said they had never seen and wouldn’t have signed the letter written by new member Tom Fetzer.

If you find that second paragraph somewhat confusing, it doesn't mean your cognitive skills are waning. Two different letters are elevated to "subjects" in the narrative, making the letter referenced in the final sentence somewhat of a mystery. Tom Fetzer wrote the second letter, which is the first one mentioned in the paragraph. And he was complaining about the first letter written, which is the second one referenced in the paragraph. Does that help? Yeah, not so much. Basically this "renegade" group, which is apparently a majority of the Board, are pissed off they didn't get a chance to defend Silent Sam and/or accuse Roy Cooper of being the 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll in the letter Spellings sent to the Governor, and they feel it made them appear "weak." And it's that last part that should worry people the most, because if this vastly Republican body decides to really flex its muscles and make a show of power, the effects on the UNC System could be devastating. In addition to Fetzer, there are a couple more individuals who signed his letter that bear close watching:

NC GOP pay-to-play politics at its very worst

And not one tiny drop of shame:

One of the nominees hoping the state House will award him another term on the UNC Board of Governors emphasized his fundraising efforts on behalf of conservative legislative campaigns in an email to top lawmakers earlier this week.

“I would challenge you to find anyone who has worked harder than myself to get conservatives elected and keep them there,” Hinton wrote in the email obtained by the N.C. Insider. “In fact I have been leading an effort for a new PAC to raise $250,000 to help with the 2018 elections. We have had two organizational meetings and are planning a kickoff on April 26th with an invitation list of over 200 people.”

This article is one of Mark Binker's first contributions to NC Insider, and a prime example of why they hired him away from WRAL. Hopefully the N&O sharing this at their main site (NC Insider is a paywalled subsidiary) is not just a teaser, but will be done on a regular basis. At least until after I get my daughter married off in June, because my budget belt is so tight I feel like one of those balloon animals. ;)

The UNC Board of Goolsby?

There's apparently not enough fraud and misrepresentation on the BOG:

Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) nominated Goolsby for the position, according to the Senate Clerk's office.

Goolsby says he wants to make sure taxpayers get their money's worth from the UNC system by cutting wasteful spending. Goolsby says people deserve a huge return on investment from the UNC system.

Bolding mine. If the taxpayers were given a choice as to who would be safeguarding their investment in higher education, I doubt very seriously they would choose somebody who misled investors and has been barred from securities trading or advising for ten years:

On Art Pope and the UNC System

A few jabs from Thomas Mills to set the tone:

It’s part of why North Carolina developed a reputation as a beacon of light in an otherwise dark South. Our university system became an engine of economic progress that has made the Triangle a leader in the information age and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country.

Pope doesn’t believe in any of that. He believes that the free market is the key to success. Higher education should be little more than job training and critical thinking skills learned in a liberal arts curriculum have little place in his world. Pope is neither a manager nor a deep thinker. He’s an ideologue born with a silver spoon in his mouth who has spent his life forcing square pegs into round holes.

Many of those discussing the possibility of an Art Pope-directed UNC System are focusing on how he might cut programs, but the more likely result would be a skewing of the curriculum, something he's been trying to do for years. But I'll let one of UNC's professors explain:

Tom Ross fired from UNC because GOP

When you don't really need a reason to do something:

After the meeting Ross and Board Chair John Fennebrusque met with reporters in one of the most bizarre press conferences you will ever see, with a combative Fennebrusque unable to answer a basic question asked by reporter after reporter; why exactly was Ross forced to step down.

Fennebrusque said it had nothing to do with his performance, the joint statement said that too. Fennebrusque said he was very pleased with Ross’ efforts for the UNC system, that he had been doing a wonderful job. And Fennebrusque said it had nothing to do with politics either, the hardest answer of all to believe given the rumors about pressure on the board from legislative leaders to make a change.

I think a lot of people still haven't grasped the fundamental truth about Republicans: Once you have achieved the power to do something like fire a University President, you no longer need to explain yourself when you exercise that power. Aside from the fact it's difficult to justify the unjustifiable, providing reasons for your actions is a sign of weakness, and inevitably leads to an erosion of your power. And this is why they make so many embarrassingly foolish mistakes; because they don't adequately scrutinize their own ideas before putting them into practice.

Pope's Puppets swing and miss in defending UNC BOG

When Libertarians try to rewrite history:

In the 2012-13 academic year, the center hosted members of the AFL-CIO to discuss “the legislature’s war on labor”; screened clips from a “Story of America: A Nation Divided,” about “the fundamental divisions and the political struggle throughout America”; screened “The American Winter,” which “highlights the human impact of budget cuts to social services, a shrinking middle class, and the fracturing of the American Dream”; discussed “Wage Theft in North Carolina”; and invited people to projects sponsored by the Durham People’s Alliance and the N.C. Justice Center.

Where were the success stories of combating poverty through limited government and economic freedom – the approach that has saved millions from poverty in countries such as Taiwan, Estonia and South Korea? They weren’t mentioned, as far as one can tell from the archives.

To their main underlying complaint, that Conservative and/or Free Market proponents are not "invited" to such seminars: When you refuse to acknowledge that poverty and wage inequality and workplace discrimination and a bunch of other problems even exist, much less need to be addressed, why should you be included in these discussions? And we wouldn't be having many of these discussions if your bent ideology hadn't permeated the Legislature already, encouraging massive cuts to the social safety net. So thanks, but no thanks. And as far as your "missing" examples of small government success stories, you've (as usual) overlooked the obvious:

UNC Board of Republican Governors launches inquisition

The mostly white, mostly male, mostly Republican UNC Board of Governors has launched an inquisition into several of the UNC system's centers that focus on various societal issues. Of the 240 centers statewide, the white male Republican inquisitors have chosen about 30 for special grilling on the hot seat. In case you're wondering if the centers chosen to be questioned in the spotlight largely address causes the tea party opposes (you know, poverty, women, diversity, the environment, civil rights and such), the answer is (SURPRISE!) yes.

The white male Republican inquisitors claim that their inquisition is all about efficiency, but of course it's really all about ideology and quashing opposition voices.

In a debate that at times veered into testy ideological exchange, UNC-Chapel Hill center directors mounted a vigorous justification of their work Thursday before a UNC Board of Governors panel reviewing more than two dozen centers and institutes.

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