The UNC Faculty Assembly is tattling on its governing bodies. In a memo to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Assembly listed 17 “serious concerns” about the North Carolina General Assembly and the UNC Board of Governors.
In an article published yesterday evening by the News & Observer, Jane Stancill describes some of the.
The memo from Lugo listed 17 actions that faculty members say appear to run afoul of the commission’s accreditation standards, noting legislators’ active participation at UNC board meetings, interference in the presidential search process and the passage of laws that encroach on board authority for tuition, admissions and policy. Specifically, the faculty cite: the legislature’s “guaranteed” admission plan that would divert more students to community colleges; the legislature’s $500 per semester tuition plan for three campuses and the legislature revoking the board’s fine against UNC-Chapel Hill for exceeding a cap on the number of out-of-state students allowed.
A careful reading of the(and the that have allegedly been violated) reveals that the complaints are mostly a rehash of past disagreements about policy. For example, the memo accuses the Board of Governors of “abrogating campus management prerogatives” when it dissolved three centers in the system.
For many years, the Board of Governors and the General Assembly paid little attention to the UNC system. Their deep pockets and rubber stamps allowed schools to become bloated and opaque. Administrators and faculty experienced very little oversight.
But, reformers at the legislature, the Board, and now the General Administration have changed that relationship. Policymakers have begun to introduce transparency, frugality, and governance reform to UNC schools. The Faculty Assembly disapproves of these changes.
The group’s complaint is unlikely to hold any water with SACS. But the public relations message is clear: any attempts at oversight of the UNC system are lawless and irresponsible. It is an attempt to bully legislators and the members of the Board into bringing back the rubber stamps.