You'd think UNC would be hustling like heck to get donations for me. I'm a wealthy alum married to a woman who used to be chair of the faculty. Together we give a great deal of money to educational and advocacy organizations in North Carolina. In any reasonable world, I would be at the top of UNC's development hit-list. But I'm not.
It might be because the fundraisers believe I'm not worth pursuing, and for now they'd be correct. Ever since the zealots in the legislature decided to drag the university to the right, I haven't been inclined to contribute. Indeed, it's hard for me to understand why anyone would be contributing to an institution that with people like Thom Goolsby on its Board of Governors. His presence is all the evidence anyone needs that racism and bigotry are alive and well at UNC.
It didn't have to be this way. There was no need for the legislature to pick an ideological fight with higher education. There was no need for the kind of micromanagement we see happening every day of every week. UNC has been doing just fine. The Chancellor shouldn't have to be apologizing for assholes on the board.
I spend most of my days working for one of the most respected companies in the world. But these days, when I'm on conference calls with people all across the country, the main reaction I get when they hear where I'm calling from is sympathy. Electoral corruption. Bathroom discrimination. Racial unrest. And athletic scandals. That's what we're known for. Oh yeah, great mountains and beaches.
Why the Board of Governors would think appealing to Deplorables is a good thing boggles my mind. I really can't get my head around it.
But somehow I think we'll get through it. Demographics are destiny, and it won't be too long before North Carolina gets back on track, restoring our state's reputation among business leaders and good people everywhere.
I suspect that UNC will look back on this mad detour through right-wing fantasy as some kind of sick nightmare.