My sincere thanks to Jim Jenkins for defending Gene Nichol and free speech (“ Trials of a righteous man,” Apr 17 column).
Professor Nichol may not speak for UNC, but he definitely speaks for me, again and again. His prophetic utterances repeat affirmations of truth we, as a state and society, must never ignore. When people are getting their toes stepped on – a consequence Nichol will find it impossible to avoid, given his rhetorical topics – it should serve as notice they ought to pull their feet out of the aisle.
It’s an uncomfortable warning Pat McCrory, Thom Tillis, Phil Berger and a host of others in our state House would do well to heed.
As a former staff member at UNC in the 1990s and currently at N.C. State, I have found it is the truths and knowledge heralded in the classroom that inspire my devotion to the mission of higher education, and it’s personally embarrassing whenever my employers fail to apply in practice what they teach.
Sadly, the conduct of UNC’s leadership, in many respects, continues to reinforce the wisdom of my decision to leave its heart’s hollowed halls so many years ago. It is to their shame that I cannot say otherwise.