Letters to the Editor

Gene Nichol: Legal excuses

Regarding the Nov. 1 news article “ UNC faculty want to renew trust”: I was not surprised to read that UNC-CH provost, Jim Dean, when pressed to apologize for attacking and trying to bully Mary Willingham, said he “could not talk about her because she had filed suit” against him.

I’ve been around lawyers and university administrators for many decades. It’s sadly common to hear officials say: “I’d like to behave with honor, but my lawyer won’t let me.”

But can we imagine Bill Aycock or Bill Friday or Dick Richardson or Dean Smith uttering such demeaning sentiments? Of course, I’ll concede it’s impossible to imagine them having played the bully in the first place.

Gene Nichol

Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor of Law, UNC-Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill

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