Bowles has taken a wait-and-see approach to Wesleyan College’s effort to join the UNC system. Read about it here.
That is good news for the rational.
While there are several issues to consider within this proposal, this is the most important:
N.C. Wesleyan has had a history of financial problems. While school leaders say things are fine now, UNC would want to verify that and decide whether financial problems will always be with that campus or whether those problems would abate with UNC management.
It seems that everyone is in agreement that Wesleyan should not join the system if it is not financially viable. However, there is something that has been missed here. If Wesleyan is free of financial problems, it still shouldn’t be allowed to join the system. Why grow the size of government and make taxpayers pay for something that could operate without tax dollars. Private colleges give a state the same economic and social benefits (of course the benefits of universities in general are often exaggerated) as public colleges, and they are kinder to taxpayers.
So, regardless of Wesleyan’s financial situation, they should not join the UNC system.
5 thoughts on “UNC at Rocky Mount: a bad idea”
i disagree. education is one of those things i don’t think government can ever spend enough on. oh yes, it’s that important.
While I strongly disagree that government can never spend enough on education, that is not the point I was trying to make. The point was that there doesn’t seem to be much advantage in making this college public. The UNC system only wants the college to join the system if it is not a financial liability. Well, if it’s not a financial liability (meaning it can operate without being part of the system) what is the point of making it a public school? It seems that the only “advantage” of that would be to expand state control of another part of North Carolina.
To put it into economic terms, there is such a thing as the law of diminishing returns. Education is no different then anything else in our economic system, in that there definately is a point where the amount of money government spends does in fact cease to effect the quality of education in any measurable degree.Now whether the UNC system has surpassed the point of equilibrium where the law of diminishing returns becomes a major factor (I for one believe that the country has long since reached that point) is up for question. I will note though that I am not quite sure how 10 thousand dollar bookshelves in the undergrad library, a multi-million dollar student union, a multi-million dollar jumbo tron, etc., etc., etc. really does anything towards benefiting true education.I would like to challenge people who say that “we can never spend to much on education” to really look at the total amount of private and public dollars spent on “education” in this country (one estimate I saw several years ago was approx. 500 billion/year) and inform the rest of us as to how all this money has in fact improved education. From my own observations, despite all this money, the populace is by and large as ignorant and closed minded as they have ever been.
I am a North Carolina transplant originally from Georgia. As such, I tend to look at the area and its needs from an outsiders perspective. I ride around Rocky Mount and shake my head at the number of empty andor severly under utilized manufacturing facilities as well as the fields left to fallow each year. Being at a central crossroads in terms of being located with very viable shipping lanes with regards to 64 and I95 it makes even less sense why this area can not be economically booming in this state. While ECU and UNC in Raleigh are within reasonable range for opportunites they also represent a drain for the area in terms of drawing people away from the area. UNC at Rocky Mount would help to centralize and promote growth and prosperity in the area. It would also help to alleviate growing pains at both the ECU and Raleigh campuses. I fail to see how the financial viability of Wesleyan as a private institution has any relevance whatsoever in the consideration for making the facility a public institution beyond the fact that it is clear that its continued existence amidst the economic downturn in this area demonstrates its continued need in this area and by becoming more available could only hope to grow. It is regretfully not as centrally located as would be preferable for the 11 counties most in need its central location in terms of major roads and the immediate availability in terms of a well developed $80 million dollar facility can only be seen as a boon for the UNC system and tax payer dollars. As someone who has worked for a state sponsored educational institution (albeit in another state) and currently living in the area, I can honestly not see the downside to making this facility public in terms of funding and the promotion of this area in general to make it a viable and integral part of the economic prosperity of NC. I for one will remain a staunch supporter of the idea until someone can demonstrate a very real reason why the economic success of this region should not be a priority for the state as a whole. Cheers.
I agree with Brian – I do not see the advantage to the Rocky Mount area by the UNC system absorbing NC Wesleyan. The educational needs of the area are well-met by ECU 40 miles to the east, NSCU 40 miles to the west, and TWO community colleges in the immediate area (Nash and Edgecombe). Furthermore, Rocky Mount would be LOSING an institution of Christian learning with its own unique and important perspectives. The real solution is for NC Wesleyan to get its own financial house in order, to build its endowment and to pursue other sources of funding to provide improved student subsidization.