What a week! We are proud to welcome the class of 2022 to their new status as UNC-CH alumni. Last week was filled with celebrations. Frank Bruni and Chancellor Guskiewicz gave excellent remarks at the commencement ceremony and, coming off the heels of our fantastic men’s and women’s basketball season, things felt pretty good.
Yet, as our great University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill successfully launched the class of 2022, ugly headlines related to university governance once again appeared. A damning report from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) was followed by a downgrading of the journalism school accreditation from The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). This rollercoaster of good times followed by bad news is frustrating and as we work our way through a series of emotions, many ask; why? With respect to our governing bodies being so often at the center of the controversies, we asked former Chancellor Thorp for his opinion on what has changed. It turns out that our governing bodies are not following what is known as good governance practices of “noses in and fingers out”. Check out Chancellor Thorp’s opinion in the video below.
I would say, based on what I’ve observed, that the legislative bodies are much more involved in areas of university operation that they’ve never been involved in before. Particularly the hiring of administrators and the deciding on tenure and also on the curriculum. This has never really been the case it’s always been true that the administration was responsible for hiring other administrators and the faculty were responsible for deciding on tenure and on the curriculum. So, what you have now is kind of an incursion of the governing boards into areas that are not within the responsibility of the governing boards.
There always has been incursion of various kinds from the UNC system and the governing boards. During my time that was mostly in athletics. And, you can see there that all of that interference really didn’t help matters very much and it’s not helping matters very much now to have the governing boards working on parts of university operations that are not in their remit.
Links to Recent News:
- Graduation 2022: https://www.unc.edu/posts/2022/05/07/graduating-tar-heels-celebrate-achievements-during-commencement-week/
- Coverage of the AAUP Announcement: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article260820252.html
- Journalism school accreditation downgrade: https://www.wral.com/questions-about-diversity-inclusiveness-threaten-accreditation-of-unc-journalism-school/20261803/
- Journalism school accreditation downgrade: https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2022/05/06/unc-journalism-school-accreditation-downgraded
- Editorial about implications of recent news: https://journalnow.com/opinion/editorial/our-view-a-unc-forensic-exam/article_d95b72e4-cc95-11ec-bbb4-4ba8dc5d1900.html#tracking-source=home-top-story
- Opinion piece about recent news: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/article260960187.html
- Chancellor Guskiewicz responds to the above opinion piece: