by Jay Schalin
Director of State Policy
Former Squall Lines blogger Bob Smith notes on his new blog State Lines that even the Wilmington Star-News can’t help but question the UNC system’s secretive process for choosing chancellors at the individual campuses. In an op-ed entitled “Trust us, UNC Board insists,” the Star-News accuses the system of saying “Hey, taxpaying public—butt out.”
With such conditions as those leading to the Mike Adams academic freedom case, the anything-goes leftist atmosphere that includes the hiring of “Smutty Professor” Alessandro Porco and an event promoting abortionists as “heroes,” and the failed chancellorship of Gary Miller, there are rumblings that the UNC-Wilmington campus is almost ungovernable.
While it is tempting to see the selection of Jose “Zito” Sartarelli, a former Johnson and Johnson bigwig and West Virginia University business school dean, for the UNCW chancellorship as a sign that more sensible days are ahead, it also raises a few flags about whether the system’s general administration and Board of Governors really understand the academic mission. It seems as if Sartarelli would be a better choice for a vice-chancellor’s job at a high-powered research university such as NC State or Chapel Hill than to head a master’s level school with a primary mission of education. The BOG and others in the system seem obsessed with the idea of turning every campus into a mini-version of State with questionable emphases on economic development and global commerce. Sometimes a school is just a school.