Wednesday, April 22, 2015

UNC Charlotte and Taxpayers

This letter to the editor was in today's Charlotte Observer:

Sixty million of Gov. Pat McCrory’s bond package will go toward replacing an “aging” building at UNC Charlotte. 
Would he explain where all the money from exorbitant tuition and fees goes, if not toward maintaining the campus? 
Seems like bond money should be used for the good of the majority of citizens, rather than a relatively small group of science students at a school that receives millions in taxes and donations. 

Read more here:

Wow. Myths simply abound here. Who knows where "exorbitant" comes from, as we're quite cheap, and with limits to state funding we're barely keeping up with where we need to be. I have no idea how donations are relevant to anything, and it's important to note they are very often earmarked for something specific. And aging should not be in quotes. At 30 years old Burson is aging--there are problems, for example HVAC, that limit what Chemistry can do.

Worse, though, is the idea that having updated science facilities somehow is not good for taxpayers. Unlike other campuses in the UNC system, we're continuing to grow by leaps and bounds. Since I started in 2000, the student body has increased by roughly 12,000 students and that keeps going up. We can't afford to bring in more and more students who are unable to do the experiments they need. It is good for both Charlotte and North Carolina more broadly to have the best educated students we possibly can. It hurts all taxpayers for us to generate substandard students simply because we won't invest in badly needed science upgrades.

This writer clearly believes we're swimming in money, which is sad, especially when you start thinking about how many other North Carolinians have the same mistaken idea. The UNC system is the backbone of the state's economy, and it hurts all taxpayers to undermine it.


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