The Repubs have had control over The UNC System for 4-5 years now. Two “classes” of Brd of Governors and assorted campuses’ Brds of Trustees have been appointed under the reputed “iron fist” of The General Assembly and one year’s worth of Governor McCrory.
The Repubs “being in charge” of The UNC System was supposed to “shake up that spiders’ nest of Liberal nutjobs…..”. Can anyone report any evidence of said “shake ups” yet?
UNC-CH is as nutty as ever even without The Great Unpleasantness and UNC-W has given new meaning to “inmate running an academic asylum”. Begs the question….. how screwed up might The UNC system be today WITHOUT Repubs on their boards?
Reminder: The 32 members of The UNC Brd of Governors are all appointed by The NC General Assembly in overlapping “classes”. Terms overlap to insure there are “veteran members” on the board at all times. See our earlier columns on the realities of the UNC Brd of Governors.
The individual Trustees for each campus are appointed by The Governor and by the Brd of Governors. There are still a few of Dumplin’ goofy buddies on a few BOTs. It will take a few years to flush them all out. Chancellors report to The President of the UNC System, not to his/her BOTs. BOTs are an advisory board with little/no policy-mandating powers.
Chancellors are NOT obligated to follow the advice of their Trustees. Holden Thorp chose not to at several key junctures of the Butch & Marvin Mess. Wanna guess which junctures those were?
As to legitimate questions of “what difference have Conservative Trustees made, if any, on various campuses”, we might ask the same about security systems or owning a guard dog. Has the mere presences of “right-leaning” Trustees been a deterrent to even more left-wing lunacy on those campuses most likely to fall prey to radical left-wing extremists such as The Flagship and UNC-W and several of the HBCs?
How much further “to the Left” might The Flagship, for instance, be today if there were not at least a handful of reasonably sane voices (presumably) imploring otherwise? Yes, that IS a scary thought.
A more appropriate question is: What impact CAN any advisory board have versus an army of rabid academaniacs in their element? University administrative staffs are like state government wee-bees. A new Trustee comes in all jazzed up to “straighten this mess out” and the admins run a flim flam on’em and get’em so confused they quickly calm down and don’t make waves. That happens A LOT.
Univ admins can pick out “troublemakers” pretty quickly. They know how to deal with them.
Remember….. “get rid of everyone who doesn’t think a certain way” is what THEY (the rabid libs) want to do…. and pretty much have done in many cases. If Trustees used a reverse political litmus test to hire / fire key faculty / staff is that any different than what the current admins do and have done for decades. Is “being like them” the only way to stop them? Yes is an acceptable answer.
A key reality in all this is that many Trustees are NOT appointed to actually “make a difference” but rather as political patronage / payback. Go in there and jerk a knot in those nitwits is not their charge. In many cases, an appointment is no more than a polite thank you for donations / services rendered. Getting ones hands dirty in the bloody guts of yucky problems is the last thing many Trustees ever intend to do.
Resume Enhancing and Obituary Embellishment are traditionally popular reasons for accepting offers to be a Trustee. THAT is a reality on any Trustee board any where you go.
Are there serious solid folks who become Trustees at UNC schools? Absolutely. I’ve known several Outstanding UNC Trustees. The ones I admire, know it.
There are also more than a few who “do it” for the less esoteric reasons of preferred sports seating as well as the afore-mentioned obituary embellishments. Picking out the wheat from the chaff in appointments is not easy.
NOTE: Neither Trustees nor Brd of Governors “get paid” other than a very modest per diem for travel expenses. No one “does it for the money”.
Many UNC campuses are Augean Stables as far as cleaning them out. Even Hercules would find it daunting. Just go in and fire all the raging lunatics is fun to think about but quite illegal. Besides a liberal arts campus without a certain number of raging lunatics would be like a circus without clowns. Who wants that?
And, of course, not all Republicans are Conservatives. DUH! The recent primary got that issue aboiling again. There are some registered Repubs who become UNC System Trustees and are just so darn thrilled to be serving their dear ol’ alma mater that they spend their whole term with a goofy grin on their faces….. hoping to meet a famous coach and maybe get a player autograph.
There’s the pompous windbag factor too. The “love the sound of their own voice” Trustee that pontificates but never says anything. This species think their alma mater is still the same incredibly idyllic place where they got drunk and/or other rites of passage 40 years ago. This is NOT uncommon among Trustee at all.
A Board of Trustees is like a zoo. There are various odd species of folks appointed for all sorts of reasons.
If you expected more visible results by now, as an NC citizen, you should say something. Trustee eaddresses are available on every campus’ website. You can inquire and admonish but still be polite…. or not.
The ones who don’t respond to your polite query are the “chaff”.