On the surface, at least, it’s back to business as usual for colleges and universities across North Carolina as the spring semester gets underway.
The UNC system’s governing board will hire the next UNC president in a different political era for North Carolina and a rapidly changing landscape for higher education.
On Friday, the UNC Board of Governors took action to put an early end to the tenure of UNC President Tom Ross, even while praising his leadership, integrity and work ethic. The board chairman, John Fennebresque, said the board determined it was time for a presidential transition, but there was no event or problem that prompted the decision.
Three hundred well-wishers joined more than 100 Muslims at Duke University on Friday to hear the traditional call to prayer – issuing not from someone high above the campus in the Duke Chapel bell tower, as had been planned earlier this week, but from an anonymous wireless speaker down below, on the chapel steps.
For decades, national sorority organizations have banned alcohol in their houses. But as debate intensifies over how to address sexual assaults on college campuses, many of them occurring at fraternity house parties, some female students are questioning that rule, asserting that allowing alcohol would give women — not just sorority members — the option to attend Greek house parties that women control, from setting off-limits areas to deciding the content of the punch. The move would by no means eliminate sexual violence on campus, they said, but perhaps provide a benefit.