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Gov. McCrory is a big pooty-head

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

North Carolina’s Pat McCrory gave a radio interview with William Bennett earlier this week. According to the News & Observer (a major paper in the Raleigh/Durham area):

On the show, McCrory said “educational elite” had taken over, offering courses that have no path to jobs. He said he instructed his staff Monday to draft legislation that could alter the state money that universities and community colleges receive “not based on how many butts in seats but how many of those butts can get jobs.”

To which I can only reply: *pffffthtwwwwt*

I could go on great length about how in a democracy public education is not just about getting jobs. Or how saying in this economy that if people want to study issues like gender they can just go to a private university has a definite air of “let them eat cake.” In practice, this says that only the rich should be allowed to make a contribution to conversations about wht kind of life is best – and if there was ever a time when our conversations on gender, race, religion, philosophy, politics, and any number of other non-STEM fields needed to reflect all of human experience, not just of those rich enough to afford Wake Forest tuition it was now.

But I’ll just leave it with three people who benefited from a state-supported degree:

1. His interviewer William Bennett earned a PhD in political philosophy from UT-Austin.
2. His predecessor as governor, Bev Perdue, earned a BA in history at U-Kentucky.
3. I earned an MA in philosophy at Cleveland State, as well as a BA in math at UNC-Greensboro that was definitely enriched by the many humanities courses I had.

Maybe Mr. McCrory, as a graduate of the private NC school Catawba College, doesn’t realize what a difference it makes to have high-quality programs that don’t leave lower- and middle-class students drowning in debt. I do, and I’m seriously peeved at these comments. NC has one of the best public education systems in the south, and UNC-Chapel Hill, which he singled out for insult, can easily go toe to toe with any graduate philosophy program I’ve come across. I was very seriously considering going there until I decided I wanted to live in other parts of the country.

So, let me just repeat my earlier statement: *pffffthtwwwwt*


Jan. 31st, 2013 03:41 am (UTC)
I second your reaction wholeheartedly. Needless to say, as a proud now-registered NC voter, I did not vote for the dude. (And yes, though I go to A Certain Institution in Durham, I freely admit that UNC is excellent.)

It really makes me angry when people de-value the humanities like that. The Chaucer, Milton and Shakespeare that I studied as an English BA don't generally come up in my current job interviews, but I loved them, and the critical thinking, writing skills, and sense of history and beauty I got from them (and other masters) serve me well to this day as I crunch numbers, and especially when I write about politics and policy.
Jan. 31st, 2013 12:38 pm (UTC)
I almost went to NC State and helped organize some of their math dept's events, so I think this is a case of the enemy of my enemy being my friend. :-) In all seriousness, though, my beef isn't with the Blue Devils or any other private uni. It's the idea that art, literature, anything that doesn't translate directly into a job is only for those who can afford Duke tuition. Somehow we've taken the best bits of human culture and turned it into a commodity.

And yeah, you can imagine how i feel about that. Glad to know I'm not the only one who's a bit outraged over this.



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