Regarding Professor Michael C. Behrent’s April 7 Point of View “What UNC professors do”: Behrent’s compelling arguments in opposition to SB 593 are on target. Sen. Tom McInnis appears to have no understanding as to how a research university operates. Unfortunately, this is so typical of many who aspire to govern with ignorance on matters they know so little about.
A world-class public university employs a host of professors who perform three main functions – teaching, scholarship and research – and service in varying degrees of emphasis. If all professors were required to teach a minimum of eight courses each year, then those in the UNC system whose principal responsibility is research would have little time to produce knowledge, a significant and vital element of a great university.
It takes a great deal of time and effort to produce a vaccine or a device that can save or improve lives or an evidence-based methodology to prevent concussions or expand minds in all fields of study. These are the types of endeavors researchers produce. UNC-Chapel Hill and other research universities would be significantly hampered by such restrictive measures of having to teach eight courses per year.
David N. Camaione
Professor emeritus, University of Connecticut