Letters to the Editor

3/22 Letters: Investigate whether UNC’s Smith misused his office for personal gain

Probe ECU conflict

According to “ECU Chancellor asked to step down” (March 10), UNC Board of Governors chairman Harry Smith has a massive conflict of interest regarding ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton.

It is alleged that Smith was turned down for a dubious real estate deal involving the construction of a dorm miles from the ECU campus that students would be required to live in. Smith has apparently been seeking Staton’s departure ever since.

These allegations must be investigated by N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein to determine whether Smith has misused his office for personal gain.

If there is any truth to them, Smith must go.

Stanley W. Black, Chapel Hill

UNC admissions

I write in response to Gene Nichol’s column about the role that being a legacy – the child or step-child of an alumnus or alumna – can play in admissions decisions at UNC-Chapel Hill. (“End the legacy preference in college admissions,” March 18)

The University’s admissions policy provides no legacy preference for N.C. applicants, who under UNC System policy must make up at least 82 percent of the entering first-year class.

Out-of-state applicants whose parents or step-parents are alumni must still compete in the highly competitive non-resident pool, and their legacy status may be one factor among many the admissions office considers.

In 2018, out-of-state children of alumni accounted for approximately 3 percent of the entering first-year class. These 131 out-of-state students were well credentialed academically, earning almost all A’s in an average of 7.4 college-level courses in high school and averaging 1460 on the SAT or equivalent on the ACT.

These students earned their places at UNC, just as all our students earned their places.

Steve Farmer, Chapel Hill

Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions

Teacher pay gap

Regarding “NC’s teacher pay ranking: Why it’s a hollow victory” (March 14 Editorial):

Becoming a fully licensed teacher requires a four-year degree (a minimum cost of $80,000 at UNC System schools), completion of a pre-service practicum, passing scores on two or more qualifying exams, and three years of mentor-led on-the-job training. Teachers must also earn continuing education credits throughout their careers to maintain their licenses.

There’s nothing wrong with these requirements. They ensure the practitioners have met minimum conditions and maintain requisite knowledge.

But when a teacher’s salary scale is compared to the other professions with similar entry requirements, the salary is much lower than those other professions. It’s a phenomenon known as the teacher pay gap, and it is at record highs.

Each year our state budgets an increase in teacher pay based on how much money there is to spend. That’s smart budgeting, but it’s not smart salary policy.

State leadership should establish a commission to examine the state’s teacher pay gap and develop a plan to close it over several years to truly pay teachers what they are worth.

Tim Lavallee, Raleigh

WakeEd Partnership, vice president of policy and research

Trump’s Twitter rant

Renewed Twitter attacks upon a deceased, decorated war hero, John McCain, by the president should be deplorable to all Americans regardless of their party affiliation.

How low can our gutless president go when he dodged serving our country with his alleged bone spurs?

Trump will never come close to being the man McCain was – one who cared more about his country than his party or himself. Rest in peace Sen. McCain.

Don Haines, Fuquay-Varina

NC lost a fine man

Jim Lindley died on Sunday, March 17. He was born and grew up in Greensboro and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1953.

He worked for 12 years at Manufacturer Hanover Trust in New York City where his job was dealing with banks in the Southeast.

C.D. Spangler purchased the Bank of North Carolina, moved it to Raleigh and made Lindley the CEO. Lindley created a much better bank.

In 1986 we were able to get Jim to become a member of the board of The News & Observer and he was involved as we went from being a C corporation to an S corporation and then some years later back to being a C corporation until The News & Observer was acquired by McClatchy.

Jim married my sister, Patsy Daniels, in 2014. Jim’s funeral will be Saturday in Savannah, Ga.

Frank Daniels Jr., Raleigh

Retired N&O publisher