North Carolina State University is the land-grant university of North Carolina and is home to just under 35,000 students. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is home to under 30,000 students and represents the more liberal fields of study in academics. The latter was established as a means to educate the social elite and well-to-do. The former was established to aid the people of North Carolina by further developing the state’s economy and educating the masses in the agricultural and scientific arts. NC State has long since been producing patent after patent and study after study aimed at supporting the populous and regional economy while UNC has focused on their more abstract curriculum.
And then, of course, there is the matter of academic integrity, all of which UNC has lost due to the recently acknowledgement by the mass media of Carolina’s sub-standard classroom governance. Maybe citizens in North Carolina can argue about which university is their favorite to root for on gameday, but when it comes to which institution stands, studies, and fights for them, there should be no doubt.
THE CAROLINA WAY
When Carolina broke news about ‘potential irregularities’ in their African-American Studies department, many in Wolfpack World already knew what was going. AfAm Studies had become the proverbial ‘Bachelors in Athletics’ degree from Carolina for many star players. It was doom for the athletics department and their academic reputation.
What is deplorable is what Carolina openly confessed to not catching sooner…
That report, spanning summer school 2007 through summer school 2011, found evidence of serious and fraudulent irregularities in more than 50 classes.
Problems included poor oversight, unauthorized graded changes and possible forgery of professors’ signatures on grade rolls.
In high school, I can recall football players being caught ineligible for failing a single class or having sub-standard marks on their tests resulting in teams having to forfeit a game. Bear in mind those are high schools catching a single athlete missing satisfactory grades from a single class. What Carolina did was shove a massive number of athletes through an entire fucking academic program and not catch it for upwards of 4 years.
How does this happen? It happens when you have a university that has completely lost touch of their fundamental purpose of existence as a public university and develops their own sense of purpose and contrives their own moral and ethical code for administrative conduct. Turning a blind-eye to unethical programs is acceptable as long as it’s all in the name of the “greater good” of protecting The Flagship.
That’s The Carolina Way, my friends.
GREAT DISGRACE LEADS TO A MASSIVE REBRANDING EFFORT
When I graduated and initially began applying for jobs at career fairs, I remember recruiters seeing the block ‘S’ on my shirt and asking if I went to Stanford. Others, when they heard I came from North Carolina, asked if I attended UNC. Like it or not, State fans, UNC represents higher education in North Carolina to the uneducated masses. You say “College” and “North Carolina” and they think “oh, you mean that powder-blue school”. UNC is branded with North Carolina.
This is why NC State’s billboard effort is something I welcomed when I first noticed an advertisement off I-95 as I traveled from DC back to North Carolina. Yes, it was a nice stab at UNC as our athletic rivals, but it also emphasized that public perception of higher education in North Carolina needs to acknowledge that NC State University is, indeed, that state’s true flagship. It produces numerous patents each year, attracts industry and innovation into a troubled economy, introduces technologies and break-throughs that increase industry profitability within the state, and gives North Carolinians a team to root for that allows you to wear masculine colors that won’t get you beat-up in grade school (seriously, Tar Heels, at least we changed our “girly colors” a hundred years ago… what’s your excuse?).
The state of North Carolina needs this branding effort. They need to understand that the cesspool of corruption that exists over-the-hill is “just another university” in the UNC School System. If this state is going to be proud of their higher education, they can’t continue to latch onto an institution that plays by their own rules and gives it a cute little name like “The Carolina Way”.
This is OUR [NC] STATE and I’m proud to be from it.