UNC-CH PAC... Charlotte & Other Universities Get Hosed

This is UNBELIEVABLE. Thanks to 49orbust for forwarding the article.

I knew it was bad, but I had no idea it was this bad. This goes to show you that the current system favors one school in particular. EVEN A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SYSTEM IS ON THIS COMMITTEE! Who is this Fred Mills? Notice all these people work and live in CHARLOTTE. Ken Thompson, for crying out loud?

Kudos to this Kenneth Graham, senior from Fayetteville State who is telling it like it is. Also, thanks to Schulken, who for a change, actually seems to be helping our cause. I am eternally grateful for the Charlotte Observer shedding some public light on this issue

So, this government institution in particular has a PAC aimed at another government institution who approves its funding.

This is probably the most important, telling thing I have ever read about UNC Charlotte, UNC-CH, and the “system” for higher education budget approval in this “state’s” system (as if it is really to benefit the entire state and all of its institutions).

From Charlotte.com… (Thurs, April 12, 2007)
Link: [URL=http://charlotte.com/294/story/82259.html]http://charlotte.com/294/story/82259.html[/URL]

[B]Hear that? It's youth speaking truth to power[/B]

[B]Students say what adults won’t: PACs aligned with one campus are harmful[/B]

[B]MARY C. SCHULKEN[/B]

It’s not every day bald-faced truth comes spurting out of the mouths of those so young. Listen to Kenneth Graham, a senior at Fayetteville State University and a soldier in the U.S. Army.

“We believe special interest – not public interest – is what the PACs have,” he said. “We – the other institutions – don’t feel as though we are in a position to raise ourselves up and compete in terms of fund raising and donations.”

Graham was talking to a select group: members of the Public Affairs Committee of the University of North Carolina system Board of Governors.
He was also talking [I]about[/I] a select group: Citizens for Higher Education, a political action committee funded by alumni and supporters of UNC Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s flagship.
That group includes beloved North Carolinans such as former Tar Heel basketball coach Dean Smith, influential executives such as Wachovia’s Kenneth Thompson (who earned compensation worth $16.4 million last year) and Charlotte investor Nelson Schwab, who chairs the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees (and who is, by the way, a former business partner of UNC system President Erskine Bowles.) It even includes a member of the Board of Governors, Fred Mills.

The PAC outspent all but one other special interest in North Carolina’s 2006 legislative elections. [I]Candidates got $425,000 from it in the 2005-2006 election cycle.[/I] Only Realtors threw more money at politicians.

[B]Will anybody listen?[/B]
Students such as Graham want the Board of Governors to take a stand against that practice. Their objections? PACs aligned with individual campuses undermine North Carolina’s system of higher education – and work against the interests of the state’s other universities.Graham, along with other students from the state’s historically black campuses, asked the Board of Governors to condemn political action committees associated with individual campuses and ask campus trustees and members of the Board of Governors not to join or give to them.

These kids have spoken the truth. But will anybody listen?

Chapel Hill has a rich, 217-year-plus history. It has more than 300,000 living graduates. With the exception of N.C. State, the largest university (which has its own, much, much more modest PAC that dabbles in politics), other campuses can’t muster the same level of financial support.

Citizens for Higher Education says it’s working lawmakers on behalf of the priorities set by the Board of Governors. [B]But this PAC has already thrown around money (and its weight) to get laws passed at the expense of other campuses.[/B]

[B]Remember the multi-million dollar in-state tuition break the legislature granted in 2005 to out-of-state students on athletic and academic scholarships?[/B]

[B]That measure is bad policy, and it ought to be repealed. Here’s why: It costs taxpayers some $12 million a year. It saves sports boosters and elite foundations a bundle. The state’s largest campuses, Chapel Hill and N.C. State, benefit most. They have the most students and biggest athletic programs.[/B]

[B]Citizens for Higher Education backed it. The Board of Governors opposed it. The Board of Governors lost.[/B]
[B]Why? Follow the money.[/B]

[B]Plenty to go around[/B]
When watchdog group Common Cause analyzed legislative campaign reports for the 2005-2006 election cycle, here is what it found:
• Citizens for Higher Education spread $165,000 among 36 of 46 members of the influential Senate Appropriations Committee.
• It spread $26,000 among 8 of 12 members of the House committee that nominates candidates for the Board of Governors.
• 109 candidates received PAC money. (For a specific list of who got money, see the graphic that accompanies this column.)

These college kids have spoken the truth – one the grown-ups don’t want to acknowledge.

“With regard to the request, we will talk about it,” said Jim Phillips, who chairs the Board of Governors.
President Bowles has said nothing publicly about the practice or the request.

The kids are taking a stand. Why won’t the adults? The Board of Governors can’t single-handedly halt a wealthy group of people determined to boost one campus. Nor can Bowles.

But condemning the practice and saying those who lead the state’s universities can’t be a part of it would go a long way.

Mary C.
Schulken
[I]Mary C. Schulken is an Observer associate editor. Write her at P.O. Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308, or by e-mail at [U][COLOR=#0000ff]mschulken@charlotteobserver.com[/COLOR][/U].[/I]

I knew it was bad, but… unfreaking believable… Looks like Dubois’ unwavering loyalty to the system will not yield any results, especially when the institution he is so excited to be associated with is hurting his own and all others in the state.

[B]Keep in mind, Bowles is a … yes, UNC-CH grad. [/B]I would be SHOCKED if he addresses anything w/regards to this practice.

Actually the Board of Governors opposed the last measure that this UNC-CH PAC initiated (out of state tuition) and lost. Just opposing this was absolutely monumental for them. I will bet that does not happen very often.

$12 million per year we’re all paying to subsidize these bigger schools athletes and athletic programs. Even though my college athletes are from UNC Charlotte.

This system is broken.

So … you’d rather have the boosters/students/alumni pay out-of-state tuition for a chunk of the scholarships in your startup football program rather than in-state, as they would under the current law?

So ... you'd rather have the boosters/students/alumni pay out-of-state tuition for a chunk of the scholarships in your startup football program rather than in-state, as they would under the current law?

In this one example, if it was equitable among all institutions, I wouldn’t mind as much… But, the whole intention of this organization (whether they would deny it or not) is to curry political favor for one institution. A couple of others gain by default simply for being big, and Chapel Hill knows it can’t pass a measure for only its institution, so it throws an unproportional bone to the others. Sure, a couple of other, larger schools may gain a bit, but this is not equitable.

We don’t have a football team, Mike. And, we’re funding these out-of-state athletes. Even when we do have a team, we won’t be signing as many out-of-state talents as these other schools for a long time… that’s inequitable. It’s not apples to apples.

Your paper printed this, Mike. Go argue with Schulken.

I thought we, as a message board, hated Mary Shulken…

http://www.ninernation.net/forum/showthread.php?t=15152

anyway…nice article…talk about a conflict of interest…being in a PAC and on the BOT for the same institution, while being on the BOG for the state system.

And why am I not suprised Mike P is the first to offer the counterpoint in this thread?

I didn’t like Schulken’s views on the possibility of us starting a football team, but I agreed with her on the article above. I don’t feel I have to wholly agree with every opinion someone has… but, I agree with some opinions and not others.

Here’s an article from the News & Observer that also details the group…

(Raleigh) News & Observer Editorial: Published: Nov 08, 2006

[B][QUOTE]
[B]Paying, playing[/B]

A political action committee of UNC-Chapel Hill boosters insults the parent university system by playing big-money politics.

Erskine Bowles, president of the University of North Carolina system, isn’t a fellow one would think of as naive. He was the White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, after all, and played hardball with a Republican Congress. But if Bowles thinks the big-money crowd – behind a UNC-Chapel Hill political action committee that has given out hundreds of thousands of dollars to North Carolina politicians – has no back-door intentions, he’s wrong.

These are the same people, after all, who paid a few hundred grand to get state legislators’ attention in an effort to convince them to grant UNC-CH and N.C. State University independence in setting their tuition rates. (The rates likely would have skyrocketed.) That’s a direct affront to the UNC system’s Board of Governors, which has say-so over all 16 campuses in the system.

The effort failed, but barely, and one can be sure – Bowles can be sure – that the PAC, called Citizens for Higher Education, will give it another go with lawmakers. The group did succeed, sadly, in getting a measure passed that classified out-of-state full scholarship students, including athletes, as in-state for the purposes of tuition rates. That’s going to save well-heeled athletics booster groups a ton of money.

So it’s not exactly comforting news that, as The News & Observer’s Jane Stancill reported, the PAC has been most active in raising and spending money. It has given $425,000 in contributions in the current two-year election cycle, with 17 candidates receiving the maximum $8,000. PAC members have to kick in $2,500 apiece to join, and one can be sure the group won’t be shy come January, when the General Assembly reconvenes.

This really is a disheartening situation: Lawmakers have their hands out, shamelessly so, and here’s a political group representing the state’s flagship public university only too willing to cross palms with silver.

[B]What are the less affluent branches of the UNC system and those served by those branches supposed to think? How about, here’s the Chapel Hill contingent out to get theirs and never mind the rest of us. (The PAC pays lip service to pushing issues of interest to the entire system, but its main interest is numero uno.)[/B]

[B]The truth is, the university system should speak with one voice when it comes to the legislature and [/B]
[B]money, and no branch of the system ought to have a political action committee. For it undermines that central authority, and everyone in the group – even those who are among Bowles’ friends from the business world – knows it.[/B]

The president may believe he can keep things under control because of his connections, but surely he can see there is a move afoot on the part of some UNC-CH supporters who fancy themselves as important and influential to separate “their” university from others in the system. It’s unfortunate that Chancellor James Moeser hasn’t already disavowed this effort.

UNC-Chapel Hill has flourished in the 30-plus years the broader university system has existed. It will continue to do so, provided those amateurs who think they know what’s best for the university quit engaging in selfish pay-to-play politics with legislators who are panting for dollars and in return, are willing to take the first steps to dismantle the UNC system that has served all of North Carolina with distinction.
[/QUOTE][/B]

Ten of your 14 scholarship basketball players last year were out of state. Ten of the Tar Heels’ 14 were out of state. Apples to apples?

I don’t care one way or the other. I’m just saying your proposed football program would benefit from that law, you support said football program, and money might be the reason you don’t get it.

With all that, if you still oppose that law, that’s your right. Does it benefit schools with football more? With larger numbers of athletes? Absolutely. Just like Microsoft stock going up benefits me as a stockholder, but it benefits Bill Gates more. And his congressman probably takes his call …

For the very few of you who have not figured it out, Mike is very much in favor of chapel hill receiving 95% of the tax money and Charlotte receiving 0%.

Yes, this “finger pointing” story appeared in the Observer, but I strongly doubt you will ever find anything quite this “truth revealing” in the sports section.

Ten of your 14 scholarship basketball players last year were out of state. Ten of the Tar Heels' 14 were out of state. Apples to apples?

I don’t care one way or the other. I’m just saying your proposed football program would benefit from that law, you support said football program, and money might be the reason you don’t get it.

With all that, if you still oppose that law, that’s your right. Does it benefit schools with football more? With larger numbers of athletes? Absolutely. Just like Microsoft stock going up benefits me as a stockholder, but it benefits Bill Gates more. And his congressman probably takes his call …

Basketball? The sport where it makes a small difference? Ok, I give you that.
But, let’s look at the ENTIRE basket of apples.
Where are the UNC Charlotte football players that are comparable to Chapel Hill’s? Where are those apples? And, if we do by the grace of God ever get a football team, do you really think we will have as much out of state talent coming here to subsidize as Chapel Hill for a long, long time?

I just want to see some equity for a change… as does Chancellor Dubois apparently because he is always stewing and publicly denouncing the lack of financial equity (as measured per student). What I do not understand is why he is so supportive of a system that treats his institution so differently.

This is just one, small example of what the article was about (the out-of-state athletic scholarships). The point is what other things have been affected by this PAC group? This has been going on for years and years and years… What will be bought next? How much longer will we be treated as second class citizens in our own state and in the district of North Carolina that accounts for the greatest amount of revenue for the state?

The University of North Carolina (the system… ) is supposed to be fair and equal amonst its institutions. That apparently can’t happen because the Board of Governors has less power (because they grease hands through political donations) than this Chapel Hill PAC.

I realize as a UNC-CH grad, Mike, you have a loyalty to that institution. You must realize as a graduate of UNC Charlotte I have just as much loyalty to this institution.

mike…the issue here is that this PAC is a slap in the face to the BOG…and presents a huge conflict of interests…do you agree or disagree?

[QUOTE=casstommy;234895]mike…the issue here is that this PAC is a slap in the face to the BOG…and presents a huge conflict of interests…do you agree or disagree?[/QUOTE]

My money says you never get a direct answer to that question.

[QUOTE=casstommy;234895]mike…the issue here is that this PAC is a slap in the face to the BOG…and presents a huge conflict of interests…do you agree or disagree?[/QUOTE]

clt says you just hit the nail on the head. has anyone sent this to mayor pat yet?

clt says you just hit the nail on the head. has anyone sent this to mayor pat yet?

I doubt Mayor McCrory would call out anyone on this… especially not the wealthy, tax-paying, corporate contingency of the city.

Then again, he did graduate from Catawba, so maybe…

[QUOTE=casstommy;234895]mike…the issue here is that this PAC is a slap in the face to the BOG…and presents a huge conflict of interests…do you agree or disagree?[/QUOTE]

I agree. And I have no problem with making it illegal. And I have no problem with rescinding the rule that says athletes get out-of-state tuition if they’re out of state. I’m just saying it will hurt your football effort to do so.

[QUOTE=Mike_Persinger;234900]I agree. And I have no problem with making it illegal. And I have no problem with rescinding the rule that says athletes get out-of-state tuition if they’re out of state. I’m just saying it will hurt your football effort to do so.[/QUOTE]

wow…Mike and I agree on something!

Does this mean Dax will like me now?

[QUOTE=NinerATL2CHA;234899]I doubt Mayor McCrory would call out anyone on this… especially not the wealthy, tax-paying, corporate contingency of the city.

Then again, he did graduate from Catawba, so maybe…[/QUOTE]

clt says we need jim black back.

[B]I agree.[/B] And I have no problem with making it illegal. And I have no problem with rescinding the rule that says athletes get out-of-state tuition if they're out of state. I'm just saying it will hurt your football effort to do so.

It’s a tough call. But, there are [I]other[/I] issues at stake, not just football. It would make it harder for us to field a team, but I would be in favor of it if it made things fair and equitable in the long term with all issues.

I’m not ever going to be upset about another, larger institution getting more than us. That’s life… there’s always a bigger dog in the neighborhood. Just like Unversity of Michigan is to Chapel Hill. I just want the distribution of state funds for higher education to be distributed [B]proportionally[/B] amongst this state’s peer institutions. I don’t think that is too much to ask… for it to be the way they say it should be.

I doubt Mayor McCrory would call out anyone on this... especially not the wealthy, tax-paying, corporate contingency of the city.

Then again, he did graduate from Catawba, so maybe…

I would think the Mayor would be very interested. Money diversion to Chapel Hill means opportunity loss in Charlotte, whether it be construction jobs, growth of local systems to create home grown educated work force for the corps in the city, etc.

I bet the businesses in Charlotte would be happy to see more equity. Recruiting someone that lives in Charlotte is alot cheaper than recruiting someone that you have to pay moving costs.

But back on subject, is anyone surprised that UNC CH throws so much money into politics? They’ve been trying to screw every public institution in NC since the beginning of the system.

My money says you never get a direct answer to that question.

40, you lost your money! :tongue:

[QUOTE=cakewalk5;234905]I would think the Mayor would be very interested. Money diversion to Chapel Hill means opportunity loss in Charlotte, whether it be construction jobs, growth of local systems to create home grown educated work force for the corps in the city, etc.

I bet the businesses in Charlotte would be happy to see more equity. Recruiting someone that lives in Charlotte is alot cheaper than recruiting someone that you have to pay moving costs.

But back on subject, is anyone surprised that UNC CH throws so much money into politics? They’ve been trying to screw every public institution in NC since the beginning of the system.[/QUOTE]

If the Mayor doesnt know about the inequities in the system…he’s been living under a rock.

If the Mayor doesnt know about the inequities in the system....he's been living under a rock.

yeah… He definitely knows.

As voters and his constituency, we should make sure he knows that we know he knows. (ok, that sounds strange… but, you know what I mean :happy: )

I would also like to compile a list of who in our district(s) (Char-Meck region) received funds from this “Citizens for Higher Education” group.