by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Jay Schalin of the Martin Center takes aim at UNC’s recent leadership problems.
Carol Folt’s tenure as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill came to an abrupt end last week, thanks to her failure to grasp political realities and her defiant support of the school’s radical social justice crowd. She challenged the system’s governing body, the Board of Governors, by having the pedestal of the Civil War memorial known as “Silent Sam” removed. In response, the Governors gave her a couple of weeks to clean out her desk instead of letting her finish the spring semester as she intended.
It should hardly surprise anybody that Folt ran afoul of the university system’s ultimate authority to promote the social justice agenda. After all, she has always sided with the radical diversity agenda against more prudent interests; there is ample evidence from her days as provost and interim president at Dartmouth College as well as her time at UNC.
Once the Confederate statue known as Silent Sam was pulled down by a howling mob of protesters in August 2018, Folt’s end was inevitable. …
… With the foolish decision to yield to the mob, Folt was as good as gone. Perhaps she thought that, if the statue were pulled down outside of her visible control, the problem would just go away by itself. Instead, the situation’s volatility increased: Folt had placed herself in the middle of a highly charged tug-of-war between the campus and the rest of the state, with no possible solution that could please both sides.