Monday numbers – A closer look at the Silent Sam settlement and its impact

Monday numbers – A closer look at the Silent Sam settlement and its impact

- in Higher Ed, News, Top Story

The controversial Silent Sam settlement now faces challenges from both a judge reexamining the agreement and a lawsuit claiming the UNC Board of Governors violated the state open meetings law in negotiating and approving it.

As the NC division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans continues to fight to preserve the deal that would give the group the Silent Sam Confederate monument and $2.5 million in a nonprofit trust, we’re taking a by-the-numbers look at the group, its associate Political Action Committee and the effect of the deal on the UNC system.

$2.5 million – The payout, in non-state money from UNC-Chapel Hill, that the UNC Board of Governors agreed to put into a nonprofit trust to be used by the NC Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for housing and preserving the statue.

Students, faculty, alumni and legal experts raised questions about how the money would be used after a letter from Sons of Confederate Veterans leader R. Kevin Stone was made public, in which he told members he planned to use some of the funds to build the group a new headquarters. (Source: Settlement agreement document, UNC System)

The wording of the settlement agreement would seem to make that use possible, explicitly allowing the building or purchase of “a facility for use of the beneficiary at the site of the monument.”

$74,999 – The amount of a separate payout to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, to secure an agreement the group would not display “any Confederate flags, banners, or signs before, after, or in conjunction with any group event, meeting, or ceremony on the campus of or property controlled by the UNC System … for five years.”

That figure is just $1 shy of the $75,000 limit at which Attorney General Josh Stein’s office would have to approve the settlement. (Source: Settlement agreement document, UNC System)

$1.5 million – The value of an educational grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to UNC which was pulled due to the settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The grant was part of “a campus-wide educational reckoning focusing on historical truth-telling and confronting the University’s entanglements with slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and memorialization of the Confederacy.”

“Allocating university funding toward protecting a statue that glorifies the Confederacy, slavery, and white supremacy – whether from public or private sources – runs antithetical to who we are and what we believe as a Foundation,” the foundation said in a statement. (Source: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

114 – The number of grants awarded to UNC by the Mellon Foundation since 1971, according to the foundation’s grant database. (Source: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

$50 million – The value of those 114 grants. (Source: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation)

$84.00 – The approximate amount by which tuition for every student enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill could be lowered were the $2.5 million given in the settlement instead used to directly benefit enrolled students. (Source: UNC System enrollment calculations)

24 – The approximate number of full four-year scholarships for North Carolina residents – including tuition and living expenses – that could be funded by the $2.5 million settlement funds. (Source: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 IPEDS survey response for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,) which put the annual in-state cost for the 2018/2019 academic year at $25,569, including tuition and living expenses.)

12 – The approximate number of full four-year scholarships for non-residents – including tuition and living expenses – that could be funded by the $2.5 million settlement funds. (Source: Price data from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 IPEDS survey response for University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,) which put the annual non-state resident cost for the 2018/2019 academic year at $51,152, including tuition and living expenses.)

$21,500 – The amount the North Carolina Heritage PAC, the political action committee begun by Sons of Confederate Veterans, has donated to Republican candidates for office since it was established in 2016.
(Source: N.C. State Board of Elections)

$2,500 – The amount the North Carolina Heritage PAC has donated to both N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, since 2016. Berger and Moore are the legislative leaders most responsible for appointing members of the UNC Board of Governors. (Source: N.C. State Board of Elections)