As the UNC System searches for its next president, one particular name has emerged as a potential candidate: N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore.
At a recent meeting of the UNC System Presidential Search Committee, former UNC Board of Governors chairperson Harry Smith said the committee’s goal is to select a president who can serve for 5 to 10 years. But a decade with Tim Moore at the helm of public higher education across North Carolina could have disastrous consequences. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine anything worse.
The next UNC System president must be virtuous, with a reputation of reaching across the aisle and building credibility with political opponents. Moore has shown countless times, however, that compromise and integrity are not his strong suits.
Moore is certainly not unfamiliar with the UNC System — he graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1992, and became the youngest person to be appointed to the Board of Governors in 1997.
During his time at UNC, Moore served as speaker of Student Congress, and his tenure was nothing short of controversial.
Moore attempted to defund the Carolina Gay and Lesbian Association at a rather convenient time — during Student Summer Congress, when many members were absent. Furthermore, the resolution was carried primarily by members appointed by Moore unilaterally. Sounds familiar, right?
As speaker of Student Congress, Moore appointed 11 representatives to Summer Student Congress without the full body’s approval, a move that appeared to violate the Student Code. Members of Student Congress filed a lawsuit against Moore, and the case was heard before the Student Supreme Court, who ultimately decided not to rule in favor of either side.
Moore could be the perfect choice for UNC System president — if you’re looking to uphold the status quo of political turmoil and moral turpitude that have plagued the UNC system since its inception.
One of the biggest problems with the UNC System is the uncomfortably close relationship that its leadership enjoys with the Republican-controlled General Assembly. Granted, Moore may not be the reason the system is broken, but he most certainly benefits from its corruption. In fact, many BOG members have made significant financial contributions to Moore’s campaign.
And, as N.C. House Speaker, he is at least partially responsible for the many failures of UNC System leadership in recent years, considering BOG members are elected by the General Assembly itself. In North Carolina, there’s a clear revolving door between higher education and the state legislature — and conflicts of interest abound.
Our goal as a system should be to move forward — morally, academically and financially. But progress will be impossible if we appoint a president who has nothing to offer except controversy and a broken moral compass. It would only take us backward.
Being president of the entire UNC System is an incredibly important job. We can, and must, do better than an openly partisan, morally corrupt career politician.
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