….Of course, we understand that state resources are limited and agree that there must be many pathways to jobs in the modern economy. We are completing a Strategic Plan that involved business leaders from across the state, the president of the Community College System, and legislators in our efforts to set degree attainment goals for our state that are responsive to the talent needs of the future economy. UNC is already transitioning from a campus funding model focused solely on enrollment changes to a model that considers campus performance on key measures related to student success and academic and operational efficiencies. We believe this funding model sets the right direction for our University and our state.
The University’s value to North Carolina should not be measured by jobs filled alone. Our three-part mission of teaching, research, and public service requires that we prepare students with the talent and abilities to succeed in the workforce, because talent will be the key to economic growth. We must also continue to serve the state through our agricultural and industrial extension programs, our Small Business and Technology Development Centers, our Area Health Education Centers, and through the many other ways our faculty and students are engaged in our communities. Higher education plays a key role in ensuring a higher quality of life for all North Carolinians….
Governor McCrory: Stop your effort to dismantle UNC system liberal arts programs. UNC includes top-tier institutions attended by students from all over the world, in part because of its diverse and rigorous coursework. Give UNC the respect it deserves and keep your politics out of it.
Governor Pat McCrory has only been in office for two weeks, and already he wants to dismantle some of the most highly-regarded education programs in the nation. In an interview January 29, he took aim at UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s flagship university and one of the best in the country. Specifically, he said, “I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we are offering courses that have no chance of getting people jobs,” referring to liberal arts courses. If someone wants to take a course such as “gender studies,” he said, “go to a private school and take it.”I was an English major, one of the so-called “educational elite” majors to which McCrory is referring. I became a teacher and helped kids in North Carolina go to college themselves. Our so-called “subsidized” Gender Studies program McCrory wants to nix has staffed students in rape crisis centers, research centers, NGO work, businesses, and law offices, among other places.Liberal arts courses don’t *train* students, they *educate* them, preparing them to think critically, adapt to new situations, communicate effectively, and innovate–all skills the next generation needs in this ever-changing economy. McCrory himself has a liberal arts degree, which apparently enabled him to become Governor! We need to stand up this hypocrisy now and protect the valuable institution we have at UNC, before we become an assembly line rather than a school.