Real thanks to Rachel Hockfield for her column in last Friday's DTH: She was all too right that our current administration seems eager to auction off parts of the University to the highest bidders -- Wachovia, Nike, IBM and others. Qatar is only the latest example, though it's the biggest and worst. I really hope that both students and faculty will let their feelings about this be heard clearly by the folks in South Building. The rush to open a UNC campus in Qatar and give UNC bachelor's degrees there is said to be the outcome of one, the Qataris' eagerness to earn UNC degrees in business administration, and two, our university's need to expand into the international realm.
But is UNC-Q the way to meet those two needs? (Let's assume them for the moment to be needs.) I may be missing something here, but it does seem that these needs would be met far more naturally by one, the Qataris who want our degrees applying for admission and then coming over here to earn them (money seems not to be a problem for them), and two, our founding a new UNC campus in some place where we might really do some good. Why not South Africa? or India? or China? or Argentina? The choice of Qatar is obviously based not on their need but on their money. I should say "the money of the emir and his family," since the people of Qatar have no part in these decisions.
Chancellor James Moeser should remember that our University belongs to the people of North Carolina. He should not be marketing a piece of it to the second wife of the emir of Qatar.
Peter M. Smith