A new report from the American Association of University Professors says that the University of North Carolina System is rife with political interference that is maligning its member schools.
The 36-page report says that chancellor and presidential searches, prohibitions against research and advocacy centers, and revamped higher education laws show a system under complete control of G.O.P. lawmakers and their respective political agendas. From the New York Times:
While acknowledging that several university systems have been targets of political interference, the professors’ association contends in its report that the frequency and intensity of controversies at U.N.C., coupled with mismanagement on the part of the system and campus boards, is singular.
The association, a national watchdog organization, has no official authority over universities, and its actions are largely symbolic. But the report — and a possible official sanction by the group — could blemish the reputation of the nation’s oldest public system and one of the most prestigious. It could also hurt future efforts at recruiting faculty.
Lawmakers called their influence over the system the will of the people in action.
Tim Moore, the speaker of the State House of Representatives, defended the legislature in a statement, saying, “Our State Constitution gives the legislature the sole responsibility to govern the university system, and Republican members of the General Assembly will always ensure that the voices of the taxpayers across this state who fund U.N.C. are heard in its governance.”