By Jay Shalin
I’ve been observing higher education in North Carolina for over eight years now. At first, substantive reform seemed an impossible dream. The university system’s governance—both board and administration—both houses of the state legislature, and the Governor’s office were all firmly in the hands of Democrats, with very little reason to the direction to change. The university system would only grow larger (through mission creep and inflated enrollments) and more liberal.
Today, Republicans are as much in control (at least in name) as the Democrats were back then. That doesn’t mean real reform is certain to happen—the RINO element is quite strong. But we’re starting to see a few people on the system board and in the legislature bucking the tide and speaking out against the establishment way of doing things. One of those fighting the good fight is Senator David Curtis. He recently wrote a letter to the University of North Carolina system’s Board of Governors laying a plan to improve governance and cut costs. His letter, along with some analysis by Jenna A. Robinson appears here.
Jay Schalin is director of policy analysis at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.