Yes. There appears to be a national playbook for the egregious governance overreach happening at Carolina.
The Chronicle of Higher Education obtained, through public-records requests and which have not been previously reported, emails which … “shine light on an increasingly popular mode of intervention into public higher ed. In establishing the Hamilton Center, Florida joined other states— Arizona, Texas, and Tennessee — that have in recent years given millions to fund civics-related units at state universities. Plans are underway for such a school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which some professors oppose. These moves have been inspired, at least in part, by criticisms that professors lean too liberal, that debate on campus is imperiled, and that teaching the foundations of Western thinking is no longer a priority. Those criticisms are all the more alive in Florida — a state with a governor who has warned against universities becoming “hotbeds for stale ideology” and recently announced plans for a host of reforms to the state’s colleges, including the imposition of a Western-civilizations curriculum.” Follow this link to read the entire article.
And, if Florida is the model, it will get worse for Carolina and colleges in the UNC system.
“In recent months, Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has laid out a comprehensive vision that would place public higher education under extraordinary state control. A bill introduced this week would write that vision into law.
[Florida]House Bill 999 takes up almost every bullet-pointed goal that DeSantis included for public higher education in a press release last month. It would prohibit public colleges from funding any projects that ‘espouse diversity, equity, and inclusion or Critical Race Theory rhetoric,’ no matter the funding source; allow boards of trustees to conduct a post-tenure review of faculty members at any time for cause; and put faculty hiring into the hands of trustees. It also has new specifics DeSantis hadn’t proposed, such as a ban on gender studies as a major or minor. ‘This bill will be a gut punch to anyone who cares about public education in a democracy or academic freedom or the fact that our system of higher education is the envy of the world,’ said Irene Mulvey, president of the American Association of University Professors. ‘Because higher ed in America is organized around the fact that research and teaching and decisions involving research and teaching are best made by experts and scholars in the field.’” Follow this link to read the entire article.
Don’t believe it can happen in North Carolina? Not only is it happening, as cited above, with trustees overstepping their authority in instructing Carolina to create a new academic program promoted to right-wing media as a way to increase conservative faculty before even consulting/advising the faculty or the chancellor, but just last week the UNC Board of Governors made their move and it was reported by Fox News like this:
“University of North Carolina moves to ban ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ statements in anti-woke backlash … NC voted to ban DEI statements and compelled speech from admission, hiring, promotion and tenure … The University of North Carolina (UNC) moved against encroaching woke culture and voted to ban diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) statements and politically preferential hiring. UNC voted to ban DEI statements and compelled speech from admission, hiring, promotion and tenure at its Board of Governors meeting Thursday.”
Don’t like the direction this is heading? Contact your legislator, trustees, and the Board of Governors members to let them know.
Michelle Goldberg writes in a New York Times opinion piece; Florida Could Start Looking a Lot Like Hungary
“Last week, one of DeSantis’s legislative allies filed House Bill 999, which would, as The Tampa Bay Times reported, turn many of DeSantis’s ‘wide-ranging ideas on higher education into law.’ Even by DeSantis’s standards, it is a shocking piece of legislation that takes a sledgehammer to academic freedom. Jeremy Young, senior manager of free expression and education at PEN America, described it as ‘almost an apocalyptic bill for higher education,’ one that is ‘orders of magnitude worse than anything we’ve seen, either in the recent or the distant past.’” Read more here.
D.G. Martin’s opinion piece on WRAL entitled; UNC’s ‘Don’t ask; Don’t tell’ policy, begins with; “If UNC-Chapel Hill is to recruit the new school’s faculty “across the ideological spectrum,” it will have to inquire about prospective faculty members’ connections, something the UNC System’s Board of Governors has now prohibited.” Follow this link to read more.