Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just say “No” to Art Pope as UNC System President

Two days ago, Dr. Randy Woodson, the NC State University chancellor, was touted to be the next President of the UNC System. The endorsement drew responses all over the place. A lifetime yet wise newspaper man who has been living in the Raleigh area longer than Thad Eure served as Secretary of State exclaimed that Woodson would be an excellent choice, in the mold of Dr. John T. Caldwell, NCSU chancellor 1959-1975. The newspaperman referred to Caldwell's personality and his abilities to listen, learn, and take positive action. He was a consensus builder.

A response from someone of importance on State’s campus said NC State could not afford to lose Woodson to the other 16 campuses which is one way of looking at it. But, another way to look at it is that Woodson would be in a position to make sure NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill continue their climb up the national ladder of superior academic institutions in their fields of study instead of yielding valuable budget dollars to the other campuses. Amen to that.

A former member of the UNC Board of Governors was more inclined to support Tom Ross and Erskine Bowles and other “progressive” Democrat-supported Presidents. He also said the BOG will lean toward Art Pope, the “5 & Dime” executive who served as and recently resigned from being Budget Director for NC Governor Pat McCrory. Pope is outspoken, to say the least, about the UNC system budget and the educational direction of the system. He seems to dislike both. For his faults pointed out by newspaper editorial writers (not the newspaperman noted above), Pope is a good manager of money and has the political clout required to dance through the halls of the General Assembly when it comes budget time.

Pope is not the choice here. He’s too political, too abrupt, and a lightning rod that would take the focus away from academics and place it squarely on politics, not about what the UNC System should be. Woodson remains at the top of this early list. One reason for not going with Pope is that he is vocally supported by the face behind the mask known to many as “BobLeeSays,” a nationally “acclaimed” (in his mind) blogger who thinks he's funny and disrespects most everyone about whom he spews forth. Why would anyone select a person "nominated" by a fictional character?
-------------------- word of the day
pyrophoric (adjective) [pahy-ruh-fawr-ik]: capable of igniting spontaneously in air

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