The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday April 1st

Column: Welp: Sam Howell, chancellor?

 




I knew that UNC was down a chancellor, but imagine my surprise when I come back from a year off of school and all I hear about is this Sam Howell guy. I’m no expert when it comes to administrators of institutions of higher education, but what’s not to like about Chancellor Sam True First-Year Quarterback Howell? 

Belying his mouthful of a name, Chancellor Howell is a quiet administrator, so far adeptly avoiding scandal. In the same vein, I haven’t gotten any long emails from the Chancellor that say a lot ⁠— and yet nothing at ⁠— all about diversity, discrimination, inclusion or inclement weather, so my inbox is happy with his tenure so far.

For one, he is supportive of UNC athletic teams, once tweeting "Man I love this team‼️ #GoHeels." If that isn’t a clear policy goal, I’m not sure what is. 



Granted, Chancellor Howell, you may want to be a little more wishy-washy on your stances — having actual opinions may hurt you long-term, so maybe in the future think of saying, "Man/woman/non-identifying/other, I love/hate/meh/it’s complicated this team/the women’s field hockey team/ the quidditch team we allegedly have/non-sport players/everyone‼" You will find this sends a smoother message.

Chancellor Howell has already made his administration’s commitment to transparency clear, boldly sharing what other chancellors have pitifully refused to. Take, for instance, his weight (225), his height (6-1) and his passing yards against Miami (274). When was the last time the weight of our chancellor was common knowledge? And we call ourselves a democracy …

With a decisively better throwing arm than former Chancellor Carol Folt, Chancellor Howell (tacitly) vows to toss Carolina far into the future — like, many yards, into the future. But like any good leader, he proudly references our collective past, invoking Luke Maye’s cro-magnon mane with his sizable tufts of black facial hair. 

The make it or break it of Chancellor Howell’s tenure, it is clear, will be his ability to get Carolina to a bowl game. An unfair standard, maybe, because he is less than a year into being a legal adult, but it is the only standard by which to measure any academic administration. Howell has made it clear that his administration will not be given preferential status just because he has not graduated from college.

Regretfully, though, Chancellor Howell has not taken a stance on Silent Sam. We can only expect he will make his take clear on the field, so keep an eye out for any double-meaning celebrations, all ye political pundits. 

opinion@dailytarheel.com

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