Excerpt From: Liberty Headlines. Written By: Paul Chesser.
With the introduction of legislation in the North Carolina House of Representatives that would intensify scrutiny upon the chancellors at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University with regard to their involvement in sports leagues, the head of an open government advocacy group says nothing prevents those universities’ leaders from disclosing the nature of their activities.
UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson – both well-compensated by state taxpayers – refused to tell the public how they voted as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents, when the league decided in September to remove sports championships from North Carolina because of House Bill 2 (the “transgender bathroom bill”). Both leaders are adhering to what an NC State official said was a promise of vote confidentiality with the other council members, even though Duke University President Richard Brodhead told the media he voted in favor of the ACC decision.
But the executive director of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition — which counts nearly every NC media company and both conservative and liberal organizations among its membership – said both Folt and Woodson should act in the interest of public disclosure.
“Even if they are not obligated to disclose how they voted, it doesn’t mean they can’t,” said Jonathan Jones, an Elon University communications professor who leads the Coalition. “I would encourage both chancellors to make their decisions public.
“A transparent government is a good government,” Jones added, “and letting citizens know what stance they took on an important matter of statewide discussion will help citizens form an opinion about whether the chancellors are doing their jobs in a way that is consistent with the public’s expectations.”
The ACC Council of Presidents – including Folt and Woodson – met again in New York last week, but whether the fate of future sports championships in North Carolina was discussed was not announced. ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in January that the Council would decide on next year’s games and tournaments some time this spring.