The tone is very measured, but the basic message of this morning’s editorial in the Wilmington Star News echoes the the negative reviews that have been appearing over the last few days to the UNC Board of Governors’ decision to fire President Tom Ross:
“It is understandable that the board would want to leave its own mark on the university, and the most effective way to do that is to appoint a president of its choosing. But given the partisan transition in state government, which is also reflected on the board, there is reason to worry that political ideology might play a larger role than it should in UNC’s future.
Historically, the president’s loyalty has been to the legacy of the University of North Carolina system, not to partisan agendas. There have been signs that this board intends to make major – and not necessarily positive – changes in an institution that has grown into one of the nation’s most respected public university systems.
While a strategic plan completed by Ross and the board rightly focuses on the need to increase graduation rates and provide a better pathway into the job market for students, a conservative push to marginalize liberal arts education – unfairly maligned even by Gov. Pat McCrory as being of less value than other types of degrees – has been disappointing.”
In short, Chris Fitzsimon put it more pointedly in his take down of the decision last week, but the basic message is the same: The Ross firing is just the latest act in the longstanding conservative scheme to remake the university system in a partisan and ideological fashion and the state is going to suffer as a result. Read the entire editorial by clicking here.