Education

Group planning for UNC system future draws criticism

Posted October 4, 2012
Updated October 9, 2012

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— Criticism of a panel tasked with overseeing strategic planning for the University of North Carolina system continues to mount, with faculty members joining a recent call by students for more input.

The UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions consists of 10 university leaders, eight business leaders, seven members of the UNC Board of Governors, four state officials, one student and one faculty member.

"I'm concerned that it should be more open to the views of the citizens of North Carolina," said Altha Cravey, vice president of the American Association of University Professors chapter at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Cravey, an associate professor of geography, also said that the planning process has created distrust among university faculty.

"It seems like it is going on behind closed doors," she said. "It seems like a very closed process rather than an open process, and it is such an important institution."

Last week, a group calling itself North Carolina Student Power Union criticized the advisory group, which UNC President Tom Ross and Board of Governors Chairman Peter Hans put together to chart a course for the 17-campus UNC system over the next five years.

"Our biggest concern really is that we want to ensure that our values and our principles are really being put forth," Zaina Alsous, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill and one of the organizers of the group, said Thursday.

UNC System Students plan 'day of action' in reaction to UNC System panel

The student group called for the removal of Raleigh businessman Art Pope from the advisory panel, saying the conservative causes he finances are hostile to public education.

The students also said the panel should hold town hall-style meeting across the state, much like the UNC Tomorrow planning group did several years ago. Cravey said faculty members also want more public feedback in the new panel's operations.

"We first and foremost need to be soliciting public input, and we need to be hearing from the voices of the people who really, day to day, make our universities work," Alsous said. "In our opinion, that’s the students and the faculty and the staff.”

Ross and Hans are committed to working with the student, faculty and employee representatives on the planning committee and expect them to funnel ideas from the groups they represent to the panel, UNC spokeswoman Joni Worthington said.

The committee doesn't have plans to hold public forums, however, Worthington said. A website will likely be used to gather feedback from people outside the university community, she said.

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  • Objective Scientist Oct 12, 6:09 p.m.

    Over several decades I've been a position to observe such committees or panels as this one. Each and every time probably the most "key" stakeholders in the matter addressed by the committee are basically "left out" with regard to having input and influence. It is a committee such that membership in it is both political and prestigious... and it may very well be that membership on such a committee/panel can be "bought". It is truly a shame that the stakeholders most greatly affected by such committee work... is denied significant participation in its work.

  • Tarheel born Oct 9, 10:58 a.m.

    maybe art pope should stop donating money to unc.... that would make the little communist happy, until they get the bill
    woodsman12169

    I guess your saying "from one communist to another communist" keep playing the game?

  • Tarheel born Oct 9, 10:55 a.m.

    How about demanding that UNC-Chapel Hill stop the academnic fraud of hosting no show classes that provide high grades for otherwise failing athletes. A ccomplete cleaning up of this mess and setting strict academic fraud policies might help the "UNC system future".
    westernwake1

    How about you try reading the news. There are NO MORE SUCH CLASSES. AND it is being cleaned up to bright that you can see you picture in it. AND it's so transparent that you can clearly see the Carolina Blue Sky.

    Try being a part of the solution instead of a "howling" mouth piece.

    GO HEELS...now the cleanest athletic program and academic program in the country.

  • woodsman12169 Oct 9, 10:06 a.m.

    maybe art pope should stop donating money to unc.... that would make the little communist happy, until they get the bill

  • ccsmith1902 Oct 5, 1:35 p.m.

    THEWAYITIS:
    So they want Art Pope to be fired because he is conservative? What causes does he fund that are hostile to public education?
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/John_Locke_Foundation

  • ccsmith1902 Oct 5, 1:17 p.m.

    "The student group called for the removal of Raleigh businessman Art Pope from the advisory panel, saying the conservative causes he finances are hostile to public education"
    Good call by the students!!!
    Do not need Tea Partiers at UNC!

  • Objective Scientist Oct 5, 12:51 p.m.

    I've been involved with "education" all my adult life and it is rare, if ever, if primary stakeholders are adequately represented on such committees, boards, etc. Who actually teaches the students? Teachers and/or Professors - of course. Who sits in the classrooms of those teachers/professors? Students - of course. Who is responsible for everything involved in "running" a school or university? The administrators - of course. Who pays the bills-of all costs associated with the "running" of the school? The tax-payers for K-12 and a combination of tax-payers, parents, and the students themselves for higher education - of course. Are all those very involved, very legitimate stakeholders in and/or consumers of the UNC System adequately represented on this board? Simple math yields a RESOUNDING "NO!". I have found it incredulous that, in particular, teachers/professors and students are often very much "out of the loop", having no place at the table - with regard to such planning groups!

  • Toe Jam Oct 5, 9:19 a.m.

    There should be an even distribution of member schools. Isn't at least 60% of the board made up of UNC graduates? That screams favoritism, which has been pretty evident through the years.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 5, 9:00 a.m.

    "So they want Art Pope to be fired because he is conservative?"

    Yes, these are leftists. If you do not agree with them in all aspects, then you are to be eliminated.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 5, 8:59 a.m.

    "I'm concerned that it should be more open to the views of the citizens of North Carolina," said Altha Cravey, vice president of the American Association of University Professors chapter at UNC-Chapel Hill."

    Nice thought, However, this is simply a parasite that wants taxpayer money and then we need to shut up and sit down. We are the serfs useful only to provide them with the means to sustain them. They are busy forming up future serfs to keep them well fed.

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