Letter: Peeples’ column was a personal attack

TO THE EDITOR: 

At first glance, I would have expected Alexander Peeples’ column (Environmental policy at UNC isn’t for sale, Aug. 24, 2016) to be a thoughtful discussion about the need to ensure that scientific research at Carolina follows appropriate academic rigor. After all, we agree. That is the case now and always will be.

Unfortunately, the column turned into a personal attack on the integrity of Associate Vice Chancellor Brad Ives and an exercise in expressing opinions without facts.

Ives has a long and distinguished track record working with sustainable environmental projects, and we believe the Collaboratory will be no exception. He has a strong reputation based on decades of experience — just ask the leaders of major environmental organizations across the state. 

While it’s not clear exactly what the Student Stores has to do with environmental research, it is clear that many facts about the Collaboratory were ignored.

Facts like the checks and balances provided by the University’s conflict of interest policy. Or that the chief academic officer, Provost Jim Dean, has academic oversight of Carolina research. Or that Ives, as Carolina’s chief sustainability officer, developed one of the country’s leading campus sustainability programs.

Opinions are fine. Let’s just base them on facts. 

Matthew Fajack

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Thanks for reading.

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