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Saturday April 1st

View from the Hill

If You're Reading This It's Too Late: Drake as UNC chancellor

Sorry Carol Folt, but making you the chancellor at UNC was a mistake — it should have been Drake.

Drake? Aubrey “Drake” Graham? Wheelchair Jimmy?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Buried within 214,000 pages of documents released Friday related to the Wainstein investigation was a to-do list that Jan Boxill, the former UNC faculty chair, ethics professor and key player in the scandal, sent to herself that may have included the names of finalists for the chancellor position.

Most of the names are easy to track down:

  • Folt, Carol: then the interim president at Dartmouth College
  • Roper, William: dean of the UNC School of Medicine
  • Herbst, Susan: president of the University of Connecticut
  • Shill, Michael: then the dean of University of Chicago Law School, now the president of the University of Oregon.

That only leaves Drake.

Circumstantial evidence points in favor of Michael Drake, who at the time was chancellor of University of California, Irvine. He became president of Ohio State University in June 2014, which would fit the timeline, as Folt officially accepted the position in October 2013.

These are all highly qualified leaders in prestigious institutions of higher education — making them the perfect cover for a game-changing outsider like Drizzy.

Think about it:

He dropped out of high school in order to (in a twist of irony) play high school student Jimmy Brooks on Canada TV show “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

He released his second album, “Take Care” on Nov. 15, 2011, which would go on to win a Grammy for Best Rap Album. On “Crew Love” he raps that “I guess we'll never know what Harvard gets us/But seeing my family have it all/Took the place of that desire for diplomas on the wall.”

But soon after the accolades and the money begin to hail down, Drake reconsiders the value of education and works with a private tutor to finish his high school diploma.

In late October 2012, “October’s Very Own” gave a commencement speech after receiving his diploma at Toronto’s Jarvis Collegiate Institute.

"I reached a point in my life where I realized that there aren’t material things that can give me the excitement that I’m looking for. There’s a void, there's a gap in my life that I need to fill and I needed to sit and think long and hard what that was. And it was the fact that I had left a gaping hole in my story of following through. So for five months, we talked back and forth on emails, we worked, we wrote papers, I studied for an exam, we figured out how I didn't close my chapter of following through…Sometimes it’s about going there, not getting there. Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. And sometimes when you get there, you’ll look back and you’ll realize that you wish you could go there again because all of the experiences you went through are the reason that you are who you are today.”

In many ways, Drake would have been an ideal candidate: His success and self-made image would have appealed to the conservative side who support candidates who come outside of academia, his music background demonstrates a commitment to the liberal arts and creative expression and his numerous hits songs show a clear appeal to students.

It may seem strange that a rapper who’s most affiliated with Toronto and Houston would consider the University of North Carolina, but in retrospect it is clear.

He is a huge sports fan, basketball in particular. UNC’s most famous alum is Michael Jordan, and Drake collaborated with Nike’s Jordan Brand on limited edition sneakers. He recently released a song with Atlanta rapper Future called “Jumpman” a.k.a. the signature logo of one Michael Jeffrey Jordan.

These recent shout outs to UNC’s most famous graduate can even be seen as an expression of longing for the missed opportunity to steer a top-tier university going through some tough times, much like he is almost single-handedly bucking sales trends in the music industry.

"If You're Reading This, It's Too Late"? Dig at UNC for scorning his candidacy after they express regret over not choosing him.

Take Care, Carol. Nothing Was The Same. Thank Me Later.

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