Phi Beta Cons

Molly Broad to Head Up American Council on Education

Molly C. Broad, former president of the University of North Carolina system has been chosen to head up ACE, IHE reports.
My view of Molly Broad is that she’s good at cheerleading for higher ed — that is, squeezing as much money out of taxpayers as possible for it — but not much interested in changes that would make it a better societal value. In 2000, she pushed hard for a large bond package in North Carolina that initially was loaded with some really dubious things more in the nature of political moola than educational necessities. Most of them were eventually taken out under pressure in the General Assembly.
Broad put together a high-powered coalition to push for the bond proposal and she pulled out all the stops, even though there was no organized opposition. (I was among the few people who publicly expressed any doubt as to the need for the large expansion of the UNC system.) Here is an anecdote from the campaign.
In October, the famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma was scheduled to play a recital in Chapel Hill. I bought two tickets and took my older son, then 10. At 8:00, when we were expecting to see Yo-Yo Ma, instead Molly Broad and some other UNC bigwig walked out on stage. They spent 15 minutes or so giving a perky talk about how crucial it was that the bond package be passed. The audience, which included a lot of kids, wanted music, not a campaign talk. Very tacky.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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