by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
And then I remembered the calculated aversion to mainstream economics exhibited by the UNC Law School’s “Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity.”
It was already on my mind owing to John Hood’s excellent column in Carolina Journal today.
But the recent letter from the UNC Faculty Assembly to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is arguably more egregious, because of its obvious partisan bias. The relationship between the UNC system — which is a taxpayer-funded department of state government, after all — and the politicians who control state government didn’t start in 2010 or 2012.
Did the faculty ever complain to accreditors about Democrats routinely using the university system as an employment service for former Democratic officials? Did it object to the long procession of Democrats hired to run the UNC system and individual campuses while Democrats dominated the General Assembly and UNC’s governing boards? Did it complain when then-law school dean Gene Nichol and other UNC-Chapel Hill leaders created a “poverty center” in 2005 for former U.S. Sen. John Edwards to use as a platform from which to make another run for president?
No. In fact, the later decision of a UNC Board of Governors composed mostly of Republican appointees to close the poverty center was itself cited by the Faculty Assembly in its letter as an example of political meddling in university affairs — which was a bit like coming home after a trip, discovering that your house had caught on fire, and then suing the fire department that responded to it for causing water damage to your carpets.