Much mirth mixed with contempt on the occasion of a public university suddenly discovering a well-publicized gift with a well-known ideological component comes with -- altogether now -- strings attached.
The University of North Carolina-Charlotte was -- way back in 2005 -- one of many schools to accept a business college endowment from the BB&T Charitable Foundation. BB&T Chairman John Allison is a big fan of Ayn Rand. Not suprisingly, Allison has been using the foundation to fund courses and programs on the moral defense of capitalism. In the case of UNCC, this was to include an Ayn Rand Reading Room at the business school. Again, this was widely known years ago.
Now -- all of a sudden -- the UNCC faculty has noticed the program and is freaking out. Chancellor Phil Dubois -- in the proud tradition of edu-crats -- is waffling and attempting to plead ignorance of the whole thing. That "teaching" Rand and specifically Atlas Shrugged was not to be part of the course offering as he understood it. Whatever.
Better still is the claim from a religion professor that UNCC will look like a "rinky-dink university" for accepting the Allison gift with the Rand element intact. No, UNCC already looked rinky-dink last year when UNCC officials, including Dubois, were caught red handed whoring out the university's transportation studies department.
UNCC cooked-up a "study" ghosted by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the local transit authority with the aim of deflating a drive to repeal a local transit tax that would fund light rail construction. Among the future destinations for the trains -- Dubois' UNCC campus.
Maybe an Ellsworth Toohey reading room would be more reflective of UNCC's values and interests.