Civitas Review

Ignore the Doomsayers about UNC's Spellings

By | Posted in Education |

By Jenna A. Robinson

In late October, the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina announced that Margaret Spellings, Secretary of the Department of Education under President George W. Bush, would become its next president in early 2016. In the days and weeks that followed that announcement, faculty groups, student protestors, and talking heads sounded the alarm. Margaret Spellings, they said, would surely be the end of UNC as we know it. Jay Schalin cataloged a few of the complaints here:

“To listen to some of the complaints, she will usher in a right-wing agenda that stops just short of a Spenserian 'survival of the fittest' contest—rigged, of course, to promote a power structure that favors straight white males. Or perhaps, the 'people’s university' will be converted into a tool of corporate interests.”

But a look at her credentials and those of her predecessors reveals that most of the complaints are without merit.

In fact, Schalin shows that Spellings is just one in a long line of UNC presidents with political experience—but this time it’s on the right (or wrong) side of the aisle, depending on how one sees it.

Schalin goes on to show that the worst attacks on Spellings—coming from the left, at least—are specious, disingenuous, or untrue. He points out that in many ways, critics on the right have more to complain about. Read the whole article here.

Jenna A. Robinson is president of the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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