With lawmakers and members of the UNC Board of Governors openly suggesting this week that N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore would be a good choice for President of the UNC System, The Daily Tar Heel’s editorial board is also weighing in.
The student newspaper of UNC-Chapel Hill, the flagship campus of the 17 school UNC system, said the choice could be disastrous.
At a recent meeting of the UNC System Presidential Search Committee, former UNC Board of Governors chairperson Harry Smith said the committee’s goal is to select a president who can serve for 5 to 10 years. But a decade with Tim Moore at the helm of public higher education across North Carolina could have disastrous consequences. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine anything worse.
The next UNC System president must be virtuous, with a reputation of reaching across the aisle and building credibility with political opponents. Moore has shown countless times, however, that compromise and integrity are not his strong suits.
The editorial traces divisive political acts in Moore’s career from his time as an undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill to the recent “surprise” House vote to overturn Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. The pattern, the paper said, is one of Moore prizing politics above all and believing the ends justify the means.
That isn’t what the UNC system should be looking for in its next leader, the editorial said.
Moore could be the perfect choice for UNC System president — if you’re looking to uphold the status quo of political turmoil and moral turpitude that have plagued the UNC system since its inception.
One of the biggest problems with the UNC System is the uncomfortably close relationship that its leadership enjoys with the Republican-controlled General Assembly. Granted, Moore may not be the reason the system is broken, but he most certainly benefits from its corruption. In fact, many BOG members have made significant financial contributions to Moore’s campaign.
And, as N.C. House Speaker, he is at least partially responsible for the many failures of UNC System leadership in recent years, considering BOG members are elected by the General Assembly itself. In North Carolina, there’s a clear revolving door between higher education and the state legislature — and conflicts of interest abound.
Our goal as a system should be to move forward — morally, academically and financially. But progress will be impossible if we appoint a president who has nothing to offer except controversy and a broken moral compass. It would only take us backward.
Being president of the entire UNC System is an incredibly important job. We can, and must, do better than an openly partisan, morally corrupt career politician.
Read the whole piece here.