posted on April 28, 2014 15:09
This is a story guaranteed to go on a reporter’s wall – and to set teeth gnashing again in Chapel Hill.
The New York Times reported on the long-running battle between UNC-Chapel Hill and The News & Observer – and, specifically, investigative reporter Dan Kane. Kane comes off best, as in this passage:
“…Kane is a polarizing figure, even outside the bloviating world of online outrage, as much as it is possible for someone as seemingly mild mannered as he is to rouse strong opinions. Some Chapel Hill alumni, faculty members and readers say that his paper, known locally as the N&O (and sometimes as the Nuisance and Disturber), has done a great public service in forcing the university to investigate and confront its past mistakes….
“Others more or less wish Kane would just go away. This category includes Tar Heels fans and alumni outraged at what they say are his wrongheaded efforts to link the academic scandal to the sports program; North Carolina administrators who, he says, no longer take his calls; and faculty members who believe Kane is looking for Watergate-style sports-related conspiracies that simply do not exist.”
But the last three paragraphs of the story illustrate both UNC’s problem – and the possible solution:
“’We admire the News & Observer’s long tradition of fair-minded journalism; we just wish they would practice it more often,’ the university’s newly appointed vice chancellor for communications, Joel Curran, said in a statement. ‘In our case, the paper seems more content to rehash old news rather than report new solutions.’
“Not surprisingly, Kane sees it differently.
“’They have done all kinds of things,’ he said. ‘But what’s left unanswered is how this all happened, and what actually happened. That’s where the battle forms. It’s like that old saying about history — if you don’t understand it, you’re doomed to repeat it’.”
UNC’s statement was needlessly antagonistic. Kane’s comment suggests that the university gets credit for what it has done, but it needs to simply come clean about what happened in the first place – who, what, where, when, etc. – and then say what the university did or didn’t do about it.
With all its problems today – a hostile state government, deep budget cuts and the Gene Nichol affair – can’t UNC simply let the facts come out and the chips fall where they may? Nothing can be worse than this constant warfare.
Monday, April 28, 2014 4:46 PM
This was an excellent presentation, Gary. I've tried my best to see if what you're saying and what you're asking for from UNC could in any way help democrats or hurt republicans and for the life of me, I can't find it if it's there. Looks to be non-political. Of course, I'm not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, so there might be something hidden in all of this I don't see.
In all cases like these, the truth should come out and the chips should fall where they may.
Monday, April 28, 2014 4:52 PM
The University got put between a rock and a hard place by the NCAA. The governing body known as NCAA told all division one schools that they could take in student athletes who did not meet the 900 on the SAT as well as some high school grade requirements. In exchange for this the schools had to graduate more than 50% of all their scholarship athletes. Remember seeing all the TV ads about college athletes who graduate and go on to other jobs not related to their sports. This set up the problem for division one schools. To be competitive in their revenue sports, mens Football and mens basketball, they had to bring in kids who were not potiential college students. Yes they are not all equal. I know that is hard to believe. They are not even at an IQ level to teach college studies to. Now what do we do. Do we, a liberal institution who thinks every child can be a medical doctor, attempt to get these not ready for college kids and have 51% of them graduate. The schools saw what would happen if they went to class like the other kids who were prepared for college and did have the background for advanced study, and it wasn't going to graduate 51%. So what do we do ? You do what all good liberals do when faced with reality and not just good intentions, you lie and cheat. It seems UNC did just that. When President Obama says $10.10 per hour minimum wage increase will help several million people, it's just a lie, he knows not the first thing about free market economics. The real shame of the matter with UNC is that there must be almost 100 other division one universities doing the same thing, but the stink is on UNC.