Monday, January 28, 2013

"Bad Moon Rising"

Mark Binker recently pointed out that over 100 of the 170 men and women about to take their seats in the new North Carolina General Assembly were not in office three years ago. They are more ideologically homogeneous, too, and considerably more conservative.

Kirk Ross speculates on what this is likely to mean for the University of North Carolina system (and he didn't even mention the likely role of McCrory's chief budget officer, Art Pope): is hard to see how the new legislature, more ideologically driven and less experienced than any in recent memory, will be able to resist a test or two of the boundaries of intellectual freedom in state-funded academia. 
You may recall last year’s notorious sea-level rise bill, which essentially put a moratorium on the use of climate-change science in public policy. An early version of the bill imposed restrictions on the use of scientific research that would have applied to all state agencies and institutions including its universities. 
While ultimately UNC’s lobbyists were able to get that language stripped from the bill, it likely won’t be the last time the university will see rules on research rewritten, budgets shifted or programs zeroed out for ideological reasons.

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