Opinion: Clarion Call

Call. 8: UNC System Selects Another Chancellor in Secret

UNC System Selects Another Chancellor in Secret

N.C. A&T State University should learn who will be its new chancellor on Friday, March 19. As of press time on Thursday, March 18, President Molly Broad’s office had not made public the names of the four candidates for the position, except one name: Harold Martin, vice chancellor for academic affairs at N.C. A&T.

The secrecy surrounding N.C. A&T’s chancellor search is in keeping with the closed-door procedures the UNC system has used of late in selecting top public officials. The selections of UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Michael Hooker, N.C. State University Chancellor Marye Anne Fox and President Broad herself were done without public scrutiny. Secret selections started in 1990, when UNC President C.D. Spangler Jr. selected Larry K. Monteith to be chancellor of N.C. State, even though his name was not on the list of candidates given to him by the search committee.

When Broad was the executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents, the board was sued by two Arizona newspapers over the secrecy used in seeking a president for Arizona State University. The case was settled in 1991 by the Arizona Supreme Court, which ruled that the board could keep the names of the preliminary candidates secret but that it had to reveal the names of the semifinalists, who had agreed to be interviewed by the university.

Broad wrote a letter to The Chronicle of Higher Education praising the decision. “Public policies can be fashioned that will balance the public’s right to know with the interests of securing high-quality leadership in our public university,” Broad wrote. “I believe the Arizona Supreme Court found that balance.”

Judge rules against standardized test score requirement

On March 16, Federal Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter declined to stay his March 8 decision that struck down Proposition 16, the NCAA rule that sets a minimum standardized test score as a requirement for player eligibility. Judge Buckwalter said Proposition 16 discriminated against black athletes. The decision stems from a two-year old lawsuit in which four students-Tai Skwan Cureton, Leatrice Shaw, Andrea Gardner, and Alexander Wesby-claimed they were unfairly barred from competing in college sports.

None of the four students met the 820 SAT score minimum required under Proposition 16. Mr. Cureton and Ms. Shaw were both in the top 10 per cent of their graduating class. Minimum standardized test scores were implemented in 1986 and heightened in 1992 in response to poor grades and graduation rates of student-athletes.

While the proportion of black athletes in NCAA Division 1 sports has declined, graduation rates among student-athletes has increased. Without Proposition 16, prospective college athletes must still graduate high school with a 2.0 grade-point average in 13 core courses.

However, universities must consider factors other than SAT scores when awarding athletic scholarships. Proposition 16’s SAT score requirement is the only standard by which prospective athletes are judged equally when being admitted to colleges and universities.

“Our posture right now is to continue with the (recruiting and eligibility) policy that is on the books,” said Michigan State University athletic director Merritt Norvell. “The only set of guidelines we (have had is Proposition 16).”

The House Judicial Affairs Committee of the Texas State Legislature voted 6-2 on Thursday March 11 in favor of the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act – a bill that would educate law enforcement about hate crimes and increase criminal penalties for hate crimes (full Hate Crimes report in the April issue of Clarion).

“The number of black applicants to the University of Washington Law School has dropped 41 per cent since last years officials announced this week. The figure is the first snapshot of law-school admissions in the state since voters in November approved a measure, known as I-200, that bars public universities from using racial preferences” (The Chronicle of Higher Education, March 17, 1999) “A Getto Childhood Inspired the Research of a Yale Sociologist. Dalton Conley says family assets, not income, explain continuing black-white inequalities (the Chronicle, March 19, 1999)