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Greed Rules at UNC

February 12, 2004

    This is Perry Deane Young. The board of governors for the University of North Carolina have wisely postponed a decision to raise tuition at all 16 branches of the University. The ostensible reason for these outrageous increases is to hire and hold better teachers. However, I say if the teachers are only here for the money, we are better off without them. The great teachers of the past worked for a pittance compared to the very comfortable wages paid to teachers in the university system nowadays. Their dedication to education—not their salary-- was what made this a great university with an international reputation. More and more, the university is being run like a greedy modern corporation. The administrators are hired from other states the same way Enron and Imclone and those other American businesses hired their CEOS. This is not to condemn people merely because they were not born here. But the fact remains that the greatest administrators of the university were native citizens who understood the problems in our past and the urgent needs for our future. Some of these new people hired to run the university appear to be profoundly ignorant of our state and its tradition of free public education. The constitution of the state of North Carolina, under which the university is chartered, could not be more clear on this subject. In Article 9, Section 9, it says: “The General Assembly shall provide that the benefits of the University of North Carolina and other public institutions of higher education, as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.” I repeat, “free of expense.” Now, that is the law. Let’s hope the members of the UNC board of governors have the good sense to adhere to that law. This is Perry Deane Young.