Opinion

Editorial: A predictable partisan potshot from subservient UNC board

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 -- Seldom has an utterly predictable pronouncement of such insignificance received the kind of over-blown coverage as did the University of North Carolina Board of Governor's unanimous resolution last week in support of the budget bill crafted by the leaders of the General Assembly. What else might any person expect from the board? This is a collection where EVERY member is hand-picked by the leaders of the legislature.

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CBC Editorial: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020; Editorial #8502
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company.
Seldom has an utterly predictable pronouncement of such insignificance received the kind of over-blown coverage as did the University of North Carolina Board of Governor’s unanimous resolution last week in support of the miserly budget bill crafted by the leaders of the General Assembly.

What else might any other semi-conscious person expect from the board? This is a collection where EVERY member is hand-picked by the leaders of the legislature. It would not be a surprise at all if the resolution was drafted – or at least scrutinized and approved – by Senate leader Phil Berger and Tim Moore’s offices before even coming up at the Board’s meeting.

The public relations mavens for the board and the legislative leadership may be in danger of dislocating elbows with self-congratulatory pats on the back for such a PR coup – garnering front-page newspaper coverage and top-of-the-broadcast television news accounts.
Reports displayed a furrowed-browed and concerned UNC President Bill Roper and Board Chair Randy Ramsey castigating those who they said merely offered “platitudes” of support. They called for passage of the legislature’s budget. Hardly mentioned, if at all, was Roper, Ramsey and the entire board’s literal fealty to their legislative overlords.

More than support for an inadequate budget it was a blatant partisan potshot at Gov. Roy Cooper and the Democrats in the legislature -- by the Republican UNC Board -- who have been pressing for GREATER resources for education – including UNC.

It was Cooper after all, who vetoed the budget as vastly inadequate to meet the pressing needs of the state --- particularly education and UNC as well as failing to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of working citizens. Democrats in the legislature have backed Cooper and demanded the legislative leadership do more.

Legislative Democrats won’t relent, and rightly so, until the legislative leaders adequately fund the states needs rather than sacrifice the state’s well-being to support increased corporate tax cuts.

While this all may not qualify as fake news, it certainly did little to fully inform North Carolinians about the REAL issues concerning the financial health and well-being of the University of North Carolina system.

If the schools are suffering from neglect, it has been because of the decade-long assault on public education by the legislative leadership.

It is a record of mismanagement and neglect. Need proof? The system is on its third president since 2011 for starters.

The colossally bad decision to negotiate, settle and pay the Sons of Confederate Veterans millions is another.

The problem here isn’t the people who are fighting against all odds to do better by our universities.

The crisis is the current management – from the legislative leadership to the UNC Board it appoints that demands passage of a budget that doesn’t do the job.

Our students and their parents, our university faculty and staff, our state that so relies upon excellence in higher education, deserve better.

It is a priority voters must keep in the forefront as they look to statewide and legislative elections this spring and fall.

November can’t come soon enough.

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