UNC Board Games

NC Policy Watch raises a whole bunch of eyebrows this morning with its dead-on assessment of the UNC Board of Governors and their propensity for questionable judgment. The way I see it, there's no more than a handful of Rich White Guys for Bidness and Industry running the show here in North Carolina these days. Basnight, Black, Easley and Pope are the first tier. Then there's a back-bench club of also-rans, of which tobacco lobbyist Jim Phillips is apparently a member.

It is not surprising that lobbyists are on the Board, considering how Board members are chosen. They are elected by the General Assembly. People who want to serve in effect lobby legislators for support. Who better at that than people paid to lobby for a living?

The problem is that it’s hard sometimes for legislators and the public to know who the Board member lobbyist is speaking for and we shouldn’t have to wonder. There are plenty of ways for dedicated supporters to help the university system. And surely there are people qualified to serve on and lead the Board of Governors who are not also paid to influence state lawmakers on behalf of other clients.

Ya think?


Well the way the System is going

Lobbyists as chairs will not be the only slap in the face to education. Soon enough we'll be needing sponors to run our Universities: Envision "Welcome to UNC at Pembroke, brought to you by Dell", or "Carolina's School of Journalism, Now part of the Rupert Murdoch Broadcasting Co.".

So how will the election of Board Members be fixed though? Its not like anything short of public outcry will get the Assembly's attention. Espicially if it involves fixing a problem with lobbyist friends, that the state doesn't now about.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Already happening

They just named a building at UNC-CH after FedEx. No shit.


PS It won't get fixed. North Carolinian's don't know how to stage public outcry except about lottery tickets and taxes. It's going to take a small, committed band of progressive warriors to move the needle in this state. So welcome to the long war.


At least it might have a tracking number. Too bad Art Pope's money doesn't have tracking numbers.

Legislative Corruptiona and the Board of Governors

Believe or not, and I realize it is not worth much to you, I agree with you guys on all of the above. And Locke Foundation and Pope Center reports on university “governance” agree with your concerns and propose alternatives.

So whether you like it or not, acknowledge it or not, on some issues you are headed in the same directions as conservatives, and even the Locke Foundation.

Also, the few Republicans appointed to the Board of Governors in the last couple of years were all picked by, and usually contributors to Richard Morgan, subject to the approval of the Democrats.

During the 2005 Session, the House did not follow the statutes as to the nomination and election procedures for the Board of Governors. The statute requires a committee nonmination process and at least two nominees for each opening on the Board. Rep. Bill Culpepper, Democrat Rules Chairman, put out a resolution directly on the House floor, with just one name for each position, and had it voted on the same day, with no debate, other than Richard Morgan, Republican, saying it was agreeable to him.

The Senate Democrats went through the motions of complying with he statute, but then on the day of of the Senate floor vote, it was announced that half the nominees had “withdrawn,” so there was again only one name per opening on the Board of Governors. Luther Hodges, a former Democrat turned Republican, was one of the nominees who had it announced he had withdrawn. Hodges told the press that it was not true, and he did not even know about it in the advance. The press did not care, it was just “partisan bickering” according the News & Observer’s Dome article.

Corruption is corruption. Both Republicans and Democrats in power in the General Assembly are corrupt. And we all suffer, including our institutions such as the University of North Carolina.

Hey I said we could get along

In a previous post, I mentioned just this deabte as a battleground where real progressives and conservatives could agree on. We share the same pretense that money will not solve are education problems, but ingenuis creative thinking will. We need a better system of education policy, not just more money.

And I love, not begrudingly, the fact we are on the same page, because it may just foster that respect and collaboration we so desperately need in the State and Federal Govt.

And youre right corruption is corruption. But how do we get the rank and file to see that, regardless of your tailored rose colored glasses?

And UNC really named a building after FedEx?? Are you serial??

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.