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.