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Letter to the Daily Tar Heel Editor

NOTE: This letter was published in the Daily Tar Heel on Feb. 19, 2004.

February 18, 2004

I am writing in response to a Feb. 17 article headlined "Easley stance mildly praised." In the article, North Carolina Sen. Tony Rand was referenced as saying that many public universities across the country are cutting back on professors and becoming more privatized, citing Washington State University and the University of Virginia as examples.

Sen. Rand's statement regarding faculty numbers at U.Va. is incorrect. In 1991, we had 1,653 full-time instructional and research faculty. By 2002, that number had reached 2,004 full-time instructional and research faculty. Sen. Rand also incorrectly cites U.Va. as an institution that is becoming more privatized. While it is true that U.Va., along with Virginia Tech and William & Mary, have proposed a new relationship with the Commonwealth of Virginia, we have been and always will be a public institution of higher education.

Although the proposal seeks increased flexibility in the areas of procurement, personnel, and capital outlay, each university would remain a public institution with boards appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the General Assembly, and accountable to the state's citizens -- just as they are now.

Carol Wood

Interim Assistant Vice President for University Relations
University of Virginia

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