January 12, 2016

Among the farm animals in George Orwell’s Animal Farm novel, the saying went that in the socialist paradise of the barn yard, where all animals were supposedly equal, some animals were more equal than others. The same can be said about private funding in the eyes of the left at UNC.

The News and Observer has published an article written by two university faculty members attacking UNC President Margaret Spellings for hiring a management consulting firm to evaluate the efficiency of the UNC bureaucracy. While most of us might think paying for this study with privately donated funds instead of taxpayers money is a good thing, the university profs claim Spellings’ action is “unaccountable.”

The News and Observer claims these professors represent a group called Faculty Forward. But that’s not the real name of the group. In reality, it’s SEIU Faculty Forward. SEIU as in the the Service Employees International Union, a $300 million public sector labor union.

SEIU Faculty Forward demands higher pay according to their website.

You can bet your bottom dollar that they don’t care one bit about efficiency at UNC and it’s deceptive for the News and Observer to tout this group without using its real name.

Here’s something else that casts doubt on the News and Observer’s objectivity. Just a few months ago, they were extolling the use of private fund raising by Professor Gene Nichols to keep his Poverty Research going after the UNC Board of Governors closed it.

So it’s “unaccountable” for Spellings to use private funds to study UNC management practices but it’s just fine for a liberal professor to use private funds to sponsor his private research. That’s hypocritical to say the least.

While a privately funded study of UNC management can lead to lower costs and lower tuition, the privately funded Poverty Research sounds like more political ax grinding. The News and Observer reported “The website of the new fund said it would support a publication called “Poverty and Public Policy in North Carolina,” which would explore “the impact of various North Carolina legislative, executive and judicial decisions on the state’s lowest income residents.”

Sounds like political research that ought to be done by a political organization, not a taxpayer funded university.

But in the hypocritical world of the faculty lounge and the newspaper board room, some private funding is indeed more equal than other private funding.