Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ken Spaulding Sunday criticized suggestions on the UNC Board of Governors that some of the 16 campuses be consolidated in the face of continuing budget cuts.
"It is very unfortunate that so of Governor Pat McCrory's allies on the UNC Board are contemplating closing (as they call consolidating) some of the six historically minority Universities in our state,'' Spaulding said in a statement. "This type of reckless contemplation is not helpful to the enrollment issues being discussed.''
Spaulding, a former lawmaker from Durham, was referring to remarks made by Harry D. Smith, a UNC board member from Washington, who said at some point there needs to be a conversation about consolidation. Smith noted that students are trying to get into high performing campuses, while other campuses are having a hard time maintaining their enrollment.
Spaulding said the problem has been created by a lack of funding of education by McCrory and the GOP legislative majority.
"Good jobs and a good business climate are totally interdependent upon a well funded educational system,'' Spaulding said. "This insufficiency of state funding must be reversed.''
"Closing down schools of higher education which have a rich history of opportunity and success in this state, should not be the answer to the legislature's flawed decisions and misplaced priorities,'' Spaulding said.