State News

Hagan highlights UNC, military partnership

Posted November 15, 2010

— Higher education and the military are two of North Carolina's most important industries, and one U.S. senator says it's natural for them to be partners.

Sen. Kay Hagan joined representatives from the military and the University of North Carolina system Monday at a meeting of the North Carolina Military Foundation in Chapel Hill. They explored how the UNC system and military commands based in North Carolina work together on training, access to education and research.

Hagan said such collaborations are increasingly important as the nature of the military's mission changes.

"We need to create a partnership where the university can provide the educational knowledge to our military," she said, citing engineering, chemical analysis and foreign language skills as areas that could benefit the military now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Such cooperation also will help create jobs in North Carolina, Hagan said.

"It's important for the Military Foundation to focus on different job opportunities here in North Carolina," she said. "We have the third largest military presence of soldiers on the ground. However, we are 26th when you look at defense contracts. That's an area in North Carolina we can grow and provide jobs for people here in our state."

UNC President Erskine Bowles said the university campuses also benefit from the experience provided by military personnel. About 40 active-duty military members are at North Carolina State University this year, he said, and the number will grow exponentially in the coming years.

"The military is a treasure for North Carolina. It's an enormous asset, and we wanted to start five years ago to try and figure out how could we be more helpful to the military," Bowles said. "So, we've come up with lots of different programs that they find very useful."


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  • TarheelVet Nov 16, 2010

    Honestly, pitmantj, what are you talking about. As a veteran and recent graduate of UNC-CH I never received anything but respect on campus.

    UNC-CH is one of only three colleges in NC to provide Army, Navy/MC, and Air Force ROTC programs, who's cadets and midshipmen wear their uniforms proudly.

    The University's Peace, War and Defense Program ( boasts over 200 undergraduate students.

    There are over 350 veterans on campus using their GI Bill.

    There is both an active veterans club and an active student organization that has events to support deployed service members.

    There is a permanent stone memorial on campus that honors those Tarheels that have fallen in battle since the birth of the University.

    If all you can find is protesters, it must be all you're looking for.

  • pitmantj Nov 15, 2010

    Is this a joke article? Any military member foolish enough to wear his or her uniform at UNC-CH, the holy grail of the system, is met with jeers and taunts from students and staff opposed to war or almost anything else related to the military. They may be welcome at other campuses, but not there.

  • RB-1 Nov 15, 2010

    And by the way, before you start dumping on Kay, understand this - she's the only one who stands up for veterans in DC and here in NC, going to bat for them when the VAMC denies valid benefits to them.

    A friend of ours drove a tank from the Kuwait shore into Baghdad. It caused nerve damage to his hands, arms and shoulders, to the point where he cannot even hold a coffee cup.

    It was all noted in his SRB, yet when he got out and went to the VAMC, they only gave him 35% disability. How can one work if they can't hold anything in their hands???

    Kay went to bat for him and got him 65%. She has an agent call him once monthly from her office for updates, and if the VAMC is dragging their feet, she lights a fire under them for him.

    The guy needs 100% disability, and she's the only one helping him to get it.

    Just thought you'd like to know.

  • RB-1 Nov 15, 2010

    "Higher education and the military are two of North Carolina's most important industries, and one U.S. senator says it's natural for them to be partners."

    Why is it "natural" for them to be partners?

    One can join the military without a college education.

    Those who have a college education can earn more money OUTSIDE of the military, so why would they join then?

    Skewed thinking.

  • blasernj Nov 15, 2010

    So let's take some of the funding from the military and dump it into the NC education system. Nice!-heelrox

    I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic but I think thats a great idea. You do realize how far we've fallen in education compared to other developed countries? Yeah sure argue that we spend so much waste on it, but ultimately we have to put more focus, reform work, and money into our public education system. We spend more than any country on our military, yet we are rapidly slipping in the world's economic and educational stage.

  • heelrox Nov 15, 2010

    So let's take some of the funding from the military and dump it into the NC education system. Nice!

  • dsalter Nov 15, 2010

    I'm a non-affiliated voter and couldn't care less about the politics of it or what it does to Kay Hagan's track record. I think it's a good move to hook up the military with the UNC system though. I'm for the military and for helping them in any feasible way.

  • wideNCawake Nov 15, 2010

    .... listen to Henry Rollins' reality word about the military, recruitment and the horrors of war.

  • tgcmisc Nov 15, 2010

    Does that mean that Senator Hagan does NOT support anyone who does NOT allow Military Recruiters to RECRUIT on college Campuses?

    If so, then perhaps Senator Hagan should be asked HOW she can support the military at UNC and also vote YES for Elena Kagan, the newest member of the Supreme Court who BANNED the military from Harvard Law School.

    I have read the dribble about it being a "Don't ask, Don't tell" issue and that is totally irrelevant.

    I would have more respect for Senator Hagan if she voted like her constituents wanted and NOT along Harry and Nancy and Barack's "be a good little girl and do as we say" mentality.

    One does remember that at least one Representative, assuming that the vote factory has closed, will NOT be going back to DC because he turned his back on his constituents.

  • affirmativediversity Nov 15, 2010

    Unbelievable...I suppose Kay has to get her ONCE A YEAR photo op with the military in...why doesn't she just tack a list of all her pork on the gate and leave it at that.

    2014 Kay...that's when YOU'LL BE FIRED!!!