Carolina North Executive Director Announced

While this is mostly a local issue, the decisions have implications for taxpayers throughout the state. I just read in the N&O that UNC CH has picked an Executive Director for the Carolina North development, his name is John P. Evans.

I don't know much about Mr. Evans, so i will pluck heavily from the N&O, or you can go read the whole story yourself.

By Jane Stancill, Staff Writer
Longtime business professor and former dean John P. Evans will be executive director of Carolina North, UNC-Chapel Hill's research campus planned north of the main campus, Chancellor James Moeser announced today.
Evans, a faculty member since 1970, already serves on a Carolina North advisory committee that includes local, state and university representatives. That group is working to hammer out guiding principles for the university's development. Evans has been involved for years in discussions about the large tract of land. He helped lead campus committees on the planning under previous chancellors Michael Hooker and William McCoy.
Moeser said Evans knows the people and politics of the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, which will be key when UNC-CH submits its plan next year.

Evans resume seems appropriate. I'll leave it to those who are involved with the process to decide whether this is a good sign for progressive issues like transit and green power.


I know Jack well.

He is a Carolina booster through and through and is a probably a good choice for this thankless job. He's smart, creative, experienced and tough. Some people won't like the fact that he's married to a former town council person, but I think that gives him a unique view of town-gown relations.

I guess it depends...

on who the town council person is, but this being Chapel Hill, I agree that it seems like a plus to me.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Interesting timing re: UNC Sovereignty again?

Along with Evans appointment, we have this little tidbit from the N&O

How serious are UNC-Chapel Hill leaders about wanting to gain more independence from the state?

This week, university trustees held a retreat that included a how-to lesson from University of Virginia officials, who recently negotiated significant autonomy from the state government there.

Last year, the Virginia legislature passed a law restructuring higher education, giving universities freedom from state controls in many areas.

Moeser disagrees with the N&O's characterization

The N&O missed the mark in its reporting of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's retreat with its Board of Trustees this week. The headline, "UNC-CH gets tip on gaining autonomy," (Under the Dome, July 27) and the article's characterization of the retreat could not be further from reality. Your readers deserve an accurate portrayal of the retreat and the proper context.

but the whole thing reeks of the regular UNC two-step. Moeser defends the talks as ones about "autonomy" over "sovereignty". I guess we're supposed to be comforted that UNC-Chapel Hill only wants to emulate a system that

can set their own tuition and fees, establish their own personnel systems, perform code reviews on campus buildings and issue debt without state approval. In exchange, the universities agreed to be accountable for state goals in education.

Issue debt without oversight? Considering the incredible cost over-runs from the recent main campus buildout, the restricted budgetng for maintenance and other UNC funding boondoggles, who in their right mind would allow even this "moderate" autonomy.

And code reviews? We barely get a chance to review the billions of dollars of facilities that the town protects vis-a-vis fire service.

This LTE from Greg Doucette notes the downside of Virginia's approach:

Your article failed to mention that, without an oversight body akin to UNC's Board of Governors, the "Big 3" public universities in Virginia (UVA, Virginia Tech, and William & Mary) had jacked up their tuition rates so high throughout the 1970s and 1980s that the schools became taxpayer-funded havens for the state's wealthy elite. The problem got so bad that governors and legislators alike began enacting tuition rate freezes, and even an occasional tuition rollback. This is why UVA devised the whole "Commonwealth Chartered Universities and Colleges" scheme in 2004: to take back that tuition-hiking power.

The last two days have been a kind of a one-two Carolina North punch for Chapel Hill.