The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday March 25th

Council Supports Qatari School

The resolution passed 44 to 25, with nine votes being undecided.

The council met Friday afternoon to review information about Qatar, ask questions and allow faculty members to advocate their position on the issue.

The meeting began with a video about a two-day trip to Qatar that the chancellor, several administrators, 40 UNC faculty members, two members of the Board of Governors and three UNC trustees recently made.

After the short film, Chancellor James Moeser opened the meeting by recognizing the faculty who went on the trip and mentioning his stance on the proposed campus.

"This is a very complex issue and my mind is still in discussion mode," he said. "I have not yet made up my mind."

Moeser said he will have to make a decision within the next few weeks. He also announced the formation of a seminar of selected students created to study the issues surrounding the Qatari campus. Moeser said the seminar was the result of meetings with Student Body President Justin Young and Student Body Vice President Rudy Kleysteuber.

Moeser also commented on the results of a survey of faculty opinion on Qatar, which he said showed that faculty members didn't feel they had enough information to make a decision.

Moeser said that even those who have been closely involved with the decision are still struggling with what to do. "It's been very difficult for us who have been deeply engaged in this project to decide what the right thing is," he said.

Faculty Council Chairwoman Sue Estroff then opened the floor up to comments and questions.

Most faculty members used their time to advocate for their position and a few expressed concerns or questions. Among those that spoke, those who traveled to Qatar were overwhelmingly in favor of forming the campus.

Bob Adler, a business school professor who went on the trip, said Qatar's resources are one thing that make it an excellent location for a satellite campus.

"It's the best opportunity because they've got the resources to support what we put there," Adler said. "Money enables us to do this. It doesn't drive us to do this."

"If it's a mission, then I support it. Go Qatar Heels," Adler said.

Faculty who attended the trip repeatedly said they felt safe in the small Middle Eastern nation and believe the country is making strides toward a more democratic government.

But some still expressed concern about the stability of the Qatari government, the rights of Qatari citizens and the safety of Americans in Qatar. Others' reservations came from the mission and purpose behind the deal.

"We saw no valid reason, other than financial, that Carolina should invest its most precious resource, our faculty, in something that is so far from our mission," said Philip Bromberg, professor in the School of Medicine. "Have the Qatari students come to Chapel Hill and get their UNC education."

But Moeser said the Qatari people have a vision of fostering first-class universities, and they will accomplish it with or without UNC.

"It's not our vision," Moeser said. "It is a light on the hill. There are no hills in Qatar, but there is the possibility of light, and we may be a part of that light."

The University Editor can be reached at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.


The Daily Tar Heel's 2023 Black History Month Edition

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive