Pope schooling

It's bad enough that Art "The Puppetmaster" Pope wants to control the Republican Party and state government - he also wants to control the University of North Carolina. Recent stories about his attempts to illegally peddle influence in local elections reminded me of this story which ran in the Independent this past January.

Anyone who has attended or worked with one of the UNC-system schools--or any other public university system for that matter--should know about the endless debate between faculty and administrators, and the legislature and big money donors that fund them.

::snip::

The university opened the floor for public comment on Tuesday and will again on Monday, Jan. 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center. Administrators at UNC created the task force after 71 faculty members signed a letter to The Daily Tar Heel last year accusing the administration of cutting the faculty out of the process to propose a program in "Western Cultures" to the Pope Family Foundation. The letter states, "The lack of transparency and the administration's withholding of information throughout this process are disturbing."

::snip::

The issue arose when faculty learned the UNC administration was in discussions with the Pope Foundation for a potential multi-million-dollar grant to promote study of Western civilization, which other conservative, Pope Foundation-funded organizations say has been neglected at UNC in the name of multiculturalism.

The Raleigh-based John William Pope Foundation is the primary source of funding for the John Locke Foundation and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy--which has launched attacks on "left-wing bias" in UNC classrooms and campus groups. The foundation, headed by UNC alumni Arthur Pope and John Pope Sr., gets most of its money through the Pope family's closely held corporation Variety Wholesalers, which owns Roses and a couple other retail chains in the South.

(One professor) explained in an e-mail why she opposed the Pope family funding: "The Pope Center, which is funded mainly by the Pope Foundation, mocks and disparages the university's efforts to respect ethnic, gender, and sexual diversity and to create a more inclusive scholarly community. To judge from its Web site, the Pope Center would like to roll back the clock to a day when the study of western civilization meant the celebration of great white men, with no mention of racism and sexism, or oppression and exploitation of any kind."

Must be frustrating for the Puppetmaster when the help gets uppity.

Comments

UNC gifts

If you check out The Pope Foundation IRS Form 990 (pdf), you can get a good feeling for how the Puppetmaster spreads his money around. There are some laudable contributions, to be sure, but most are pretty creepy. I wonder what he got for his $100,000 contribution to the UNC Philosophy Department last year. I'm guessing he either got a class on creationism or a seminar on the Musings of White Old Rich Men.

I think it was a "how to" course

You know...how to pull your head from your nether region - you know...one of those mind broadening experiences...:)



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

the help gets uppity again . . .

This past Friday, the following resolution was presented to the Faculty Council at UNC-CH, in response to the new and "improved" proposal from admins to the Pope Foundation to fund a curriculum in "Western Cultures."

The whole thing is below, but take note of the following in particular:

"appropriate and directly concerned faculty on the Honors Advisory Board, in the Honors Program, and in the Department of Classics were neither informed about nor given an opportunity to participate in discussions about the content and relevance of said Program;

"numerous colleagues, including many in the Departments of English and Classics, and on the Honors Advisory Board, have formally expressed dismay at the proposed Program;

"in 2005 the Honors Advisory Board rejected a similar Honors Foundation in Great Books sequence described in the University’s original proposal (dated February 3, 2005);

"in 2005 over 100 faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and across the University publicly condemned the University’s secretive negotiations over a similar program;"

Here's the whole thing:

A resolution calling on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to withdraw from negotiations over the Program in Honors Foundations in Western Cultures and to abide by rules for faculty input into donations that affect the curriculum

April 21, 2006

WHEREAS:
the University exists to foster research, free inquiry, and public service;

integrity begins with appropriate policies, operations, and curriculum;

it is a basic tenet of academic freedom that instructional faculty are best suited to set the curricular agenda and maintain educational excellence;1

the Task Force on Donations Affecting the Curriculum concluded in its Final Report, submitted to the Provost and accepted by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council (ECFC):2

1) The purpose of these guidelines is to promote early consultation with faculty about potential donations that have a material effect on the curriculum;

2) The University recognizes the need to involve faculty early in the process when potential donations affect the curriculum, and to provide faculty with as much information as possible throughout the process;

3) The head of an affected unit shall consult with the administrative board of the unit, other appropriate committees within the unit, and individual faculty members, as deemed appropriate by the unit head, in order to ensure that the proposed donation is consistent with the needs and priorities of the unit. The unit head should bear in mind that one purpose of these consultations is to ensure that faculty are informed of the potential donation;

AND WHEREAS:
the College of Arts and Sciences has developed a detailed proposal for an undergraduate Honors Program in Western Cultures aimed at the Pope Foundation;

the University administration has repeatedly misled faculty members and violated explicit promises that this proposal would be publicly reviewed and that instructional faculty would be consulted at all stages;

appropriate and directly concerned faculty on the Honors Advisory Board, in the Honors Program, and in the Department of Classics were neither informed about nor given an opportunity to participate in discussions about the content and relevance of said Program;3

numerous colleagues, including many in the Departments of English and Classics, and on the Honors Advisory Board, have formally expressed dismay at the proposed Program; in 2005 the Honors Advisory Board rejected a similar Honors Foundation in Great Books sequence described in the University’s original proposal (dated February 3, 2005);

in 2005 over 100 faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and across the University publicly condemned the University’s secretive negotiations over a similar program;4

the University has publicly reiterated its commitment to furthering undergraduate education in international and global studies and to an inclusive educational mission;5

instructional faculty participating in the recent evaluation and revision of the undergraduate curriculum did not identify a need for additional courses or programs in western culture; and

the proposed program, by requiring disproportionate attention to “the West,” is intended to have a lasting influence on the direction of the curriculum which would reflect negatively on the quality, reputation, and image of the University;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the General Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

• Calls upon the Chancellor and the Administration of the College of Arts and Sciences to withdraw formally from negotiations over the proposal;

• Reiterates the faculty's role as the primary arbiter of intellectual and curricular matters;

• Restates the faculty's long-running commitment to academic freedom;

• Expresses grave concern at recent attempts to circumvent that role;

• Calls upon the Chancellor and Administration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to implement policies and practices that faithfully preserve curricular integrity and transparency; and

• Calls upon the Chancellor and Administration of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to act in accordance with the spirit and letter of the rules established by the Task Force on Donations Affecting the Curriculum.

_________________________________
1 American Association of University Professors, .Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities..
http://www.aaup.org/statements/Redbook/Govern.htm
2 http://www.unc.edu/provos t
3 The proposed program would be housed in Honors and the first course of the proposed sequence
contains exclusively Greco-Roman material.
4 The letter, with a list of the first 71 signatories (33 more have since signed on) may be found at
http://www.dailytarheel.com/media/storage/paper885/news/2005/03/01/OpinionslettersToTheEditor/Open-
Letter.From.71.Faculty.To.University.Administrators-
1363732.shtml?norewrite200604171552&sourcedomain=www.dailytarheel.com or via a link at
http://perrin.socsci.unc.edu.
5 Moeser, James, .State of the University, 2005.
(http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/sep05/stateofuniversity091505.htm); Faculty Council resolution 98-6
(http://www.unc.edu/diversity/facultystment.html)

Glad to see the faculty

standing its ground . . . and we'll no doubt soon be witness to a Puppetmaster diatribe about the mean old libruls who don't want to take his blood money and teach the History of White Old Rich Men.

Please please please keep us posted on how the administration reacts, and let us know if any acting up by us concerned citizens might help.

it's own entry?

what do you think, anglico -- is it worth making a new entry on your blog concerning this resolution? it might make the puppetmaster take note . . . if the folks in honors, classics, and english are unhappy about the proposal, who's going to teach in it? the resolution is now posted on the faculty council website here:

http://www.unc.edu/faculty/faccoun/agendas/10May06/Res2006-10Perrin.pdf

also, the proposal itself, and the proposal appendix (definitely worth looking at), can be found here:

http://www.unc.edu/~deereid/PopeProposal/