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Despite controversy surrounding his biography, Ramsey elected to full term as UNC board chair

Behind the routine elections at the UNC Board of Governors this week there was drama. At the heart of the controversy: questions about Chairman Randy Ramsey’s official Board of Governors biography, which until recently said he earned a degree that he does not hold.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fetzer courts controversy again with new effort to shape ECU Board of Trustees

Tom Fetzer had a problem — again. It involved East Carolina University — again. Fetzer, a member of the UNC Board of Governors, inserted himself into yet another hiring decision about the school. This time it was the question of Van Isley’s appointment to the ECU Board of Trustees.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Pandemic bringing changes to higher education that could be long-lasting

Some say “new normal” at UNC could feature more faculty input, fewer applicants, depleted budgets and an expanded commitment to online instruction This week Eric Muller dialed in to a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty leadership video conference to wrestle ...
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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

College students, professors adjust to COVID-19 life

A disciplined collegiate rower, Lindsay York is used to a structured, yet social life. Last fall, the High Point native moved 1,100 miles away to attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she settled in well. “I have a rowing scholarship and that kept me busy from when I first got there,” York said. “I’m used to waking up at five in the morning, getting a workout done, going to classes, then getting another workout. I had a very tight schedule. But I also developed my own little Des Moines family, my friends and my team atmosphere.”

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC campuses struggling to make do as state budget impasse nears ninth month

As temperatures fell last week, a few inches of snowfall led to school closures and hot chocolate in Raleigh and Chapel Hill. A few hours west, in Cullowhee, the atmosphere was a bit more anxious. Students, staff and faculty at Western Carolina University were trying not to think about the outdated and failing steam plant that provides heat and hot water on campus. It’s one bad winter – perhaps one bad cold snap – from the kind of complete failure that would shut down the campus.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

ECU trustees: Speaker Tim Moore seeking chancellor’s post

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) is seeking the open chancellor’s position at East Carolina University, two members of the ECU Board of Trustees confirmed to Policy Watch this week. “He is interested, he is pursuing it and there’s a lot of conversation about it,” one of the board members said in an interview with Policy Watch.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC judge scraps UNC’s controversial “Silent Sam” settlement

An Orange County Superior Court Judge effectively scrapped the UNC System’s legal settlement with the NC Sons of Confederate Veterans Wednesday, saying the group had no legal standing to sue for ownership of the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument and $2.5 million for its care. Judge Allen Baddour initially signed off on the consent judgement in the case, but when the agreement was challenged by students, faculty and alumni he said he would take another look at the details of the case.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Trustees express concern at being “drafted” by UNC Board of Governors to support GOP state budget

Fear of political retribution drives some campus leaders to play ball, keep mum When the UNC Board of Governors weighed in on the state budget stalemate last month, it didn’t just take a side in a partisan political fight between a Democratic governor and the Republican majority in the legislature. It asked the individual boards of trustees of all 16 UNC universities and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics to follow suit. This week a half-dozen trustees from those schools told Policy Watch they are uncomfortable wading into the partisan fight, but fear Republican legislative leaders will remove or fail to re-appoint them if they don’t follow orders.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Not settled yet: New voices seek to be heard as legal battles over UNC’s ‘Silent Sam’ deal heat up

A barrage of briefs were filed Wednesday in the ongoing case against UNC’s agreement to give the Silent Sam Confederate statue to the NC Division of the Sons of Confederate veterans – along with $2.5 million. A group of 88 prominent UNC-Chapel Hill alumni and donors moved to file an amicus brief in the case.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

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

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...

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

National civil rights group to intervene in Silent Sam lawsuit

A national civil rights group will intervene on behalf of its clients in the lawsuit that led to the controversial settlement in which the UNC System handed over $2.5 million to the Sons of Confederate Veterans – along with the polarizing ”Silent Sam” statue.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law has been talking with potential student and faculty litigants, the group’s executive director said in an interview with Policy Watch Tuesday. They plan to file this week.

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Higher Ed Top Story

After rogue investigation of ECU scandal, UNC Board of Governors mull sanctions against one of their own

Members of the UNC Board of Governors publicly condemned member Tom Fetzer’s secret, independent investigation of East Carolina University's former interim chancellor of ECU Thursday, with some, including the board’s chair, saying consequences for his actions should be discussed.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Members of Congress press DeVos over Duke-UNC Islamic curriculum investigation

Lawmakers criticize probe as "threat to academic freedom" U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Michigan) and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last week outlining concerns and requesting documentation regarding the department’s investigation into the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle Eastern Studies curriculum.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC officials, students push back on Tim Moore rumors

State lawmakers, UNC students and LGBTQ advocates are pushing back on the idea of N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) as the next president of the UNC System. Last week state lawmakers and members of the UNC Board of Governors began speaking openly about persistent rumors Moore will seek the position.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Lawmakers, university officials air out rumors of Tim Moore’s interest in UNC System presidency

Rumors of N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore’s interest in becoming the next President of the UNC System went from whispers in the hallway of the General Assembly to speeches on the House floor Wednesday.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Survey: Half of UNC-Chapel Hill’s female students experience some form of sexual assault

Nearly half of the female students at UNC-Chapel Hill have experienced some form of sexual assault by their fourth year at the school, a new survey of North Carolina’s flagship university says. “I was shocked to see the ...
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