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N.C. State faculty disagree with McCrory

Meanwhile, at N.C. State University, a new poll shows that professors don't see eye to eye with Gov. Pat McCrory regarding his recent comments on higher education in the much-talked about interview with radio talk show host Bill Bennett.

In a student-run survey known as the Pack Poll, 85 percent of faculty disagreed or strongly disagreed with McCrory's comment that gender studies should be housed at private universities and not subsidized by taxpayers.

Regarding the governor's comments that university funding should be based not on butts in seats but on "how many of those butts can get jobs," 82 percent of faculty disagreed.

When asked to rank the most important things a university can provide its students, the top answer of NCSU faculty was "a broad-based education that promotes intellectual growth," followed by "skills and knowledge that will be of general value in the working world," "training for a specific career or profession," and finally "help students improve their future earning potential."

The online poll was conducted Feb. 6-7 and drew 172 faculty responses. The margin of error was plus or minus 6.8 percentage points.

UNC faculty to McCrory: Come on over

UNC-Chapel Hill faculty leaders have issued an invitation to Gov. Pat McCrory for a friendly campus visit and perhaps a good old-fashioned intellectual debate.

In a letter to McCrory from the UNC-CH Faculty Executive Committee and signed by 14 professors, the group stressed the importance of liberal arts and invited the new governor to Chapel Hill for a discussion. The letter followed the recent brouhaha over McCrory's comments in a national radio interview with Bill Bennett, former Reagan education secretary.

In that interview McCrory suggested gender studies should be undertaken only at private universities and not at the taxpayer's expense. He further said that university funding should be based not on how many butts are in campus seats "but how many of those butts can get jobs." The comments touched off an angry reaction from many faculty and others.

The Feb. 7 letter from the professors said they'd like McCrory to get to know them -- and what they do. "We can share with you our strengths and discuss how we can build upon those to ensure that the university fulfills its mission as one of the world's greatest teaching and research institutions," the letter said. "We are confident that you would leave such a visit as proud as we are to be associated with the nation's oldest public university."

No word yet on whether McCrory will accept the invitation.

UNC president responds to McCrory radio remarks

UNC President Tom Ross responded to Gov. Pat McCrory's provocative comments today about the creation of a university funding model based on how many UNC graduates get jobs.

Ross said the quality of a UNC's value to North Carolina "should not be measured by jobs filled alone."

McCrory's comments have drawn a strong reaction from faculty, who said the governor's focus on education as job training is misplaced. The best preparation for a complex and changing world is a liberal arts education, many argued. McCrory's remarks came during a radio interview with Bill Bennett in which he took aim at gender studies, philosophy and African language courses.

McCrory wants to revamp higher ed funding -- takes aim at UNC-Chapel Hill

UPDATED:Gov. Pat McCrory said he would propose legislation to overhaul the way higher education is funded in North Carolina, putting the emphasis on job creation not liberal arts and taking specific aim at the state's flagship university.

"I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we are offering courses that have no chance of getting people jobs," McCrory told conservative talk show host Bill Bennett, the former education secretary for President Ronald Reagan, during an interview Tuesday morning. (Listen to the audio here.

McCrory echoed a crack the radio show host made at gender studies courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, a top tier public university. "That's a subsidized course," McCrory said, picking up the argument. "If you want to take gender studies that's fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don't want to subsidize that if that's not going to get someone a job."

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