To add some additional perspective, we are adding some links that can help our readers learn more about the Pope Foundation, its history, and its relationship with UNC-CH and UNC-CH athletics. They have been generous donors to UNC-CH for both educational purposes and athletics. This addtional information explains the reasons the donations to advance Western Studies weren’t made. That choice was entirely independent of the eventual decision to donate to UNC athletics. However, the fact that the foundation donated aproximately $5 million to UNC athletics with a portion of that specifically for the football program may still seem relevant to some people when considering today’s column in the N&O.
Here are some links on the Pope Foundation:
John Montgomery, executive director of the Educational Foundation Inc., UNC’s fund-raising arm for athletics, said the Pope family had been extremely generous to the university and the Tar Heel football program.
“The Pope Foundation believes in Coach John Bunting and wants to help grow the endowment to build and maintain a first-class program,” he said.
The Educational Foundation and the athletics department have emphasized building individual endowments to bolster each sport’s operating budget. Dick Baddour, director of athletics, and Bunting will use the new endowment to recruit and retain outstanding assistant football coaches.
“The Pope family’s generosity will help Coach Bunting have the necessary resources to better compete nationally and within the Atlantic Coast Conference,” Baddour said.
Said Art Pope, foundation president, “Student-athletes greatly benefit from excellent coaching. It’s no surprise that when you look around the country, the top programs have consistently strong staffs that stay together for many years. John Bunting has worked hard to cultivate and develop his current staff. He should have the resources available to reward a job well done and retain a key assistant coach who may be courted by other programs.
Apparently, there was some controversy surrounding the Pope Foundation’s support of Western Studies with the liberal faculty on UNC’s campus:
Just a few years ago, the university declined a multi-million dollar grant from the family foundation of controversial Republican magnate Art Pope to expand the universityâ€™s offerings in Western studies. Faculty feared Pope could use the grant to extend his own political agenda, or those of the conservative policy groups he has helped launch, to UNCâ€™s classrooms.
Pope appears to have found more neutral territory in funding Tar Heel sports teams. On Tuesday, UNC announced it would accept $3 million from the John W. Pope Foundation, named for Art Popeâ€™s father, to expand UNCâ€™s academic center for student athletes. The existing center will triple in size to 29,000 square feet and serve nearly 800 students with classrooms for teaching and tutoring, computer and writing labs, reading rooms and offices.
This background information was necessary considering today’s article that spurred the entry that was written below. Enjoy.
Jay Schalin wrote a column today stating the entire UNC system should be investigated.
Itâ€™s time for the system to seek out potential problems proactively rather than avoiding them until they accidentally make headlines. AFAMâ€™s problems came to light only because a single tweet by a football player started an investigation that wound a slow, sordid path to the departmentâ€™s door. No tweet, or nobody noticing the inappropriate behavior described in the tweet, and Nyangâ€™oro would still be the department chair, giving out good grades for almost no work.
Somebody â€“ the Board of Governors, an independent commission, the SBI or the state auditorâ€™s department â€“should investigate the academic integrity of the entire system.It need not be a massive effort with a large team of researchers taking several years to produce a report that can pass peer review. It simply requires, at least initially, that a few simple facts are cross-checked with each other by a single researcher whoâ€™s handy with a computer.
The facts that need to be cross-checked are the distribution of grades for each course in the entire system, the distribution of students in each course according to their year of study (freshman, sophomore, etc.), the course title and the professor. And certainly any course or degree program with an inordinate number of athletes enrolled should raise a red flag.
Like anyone didn’t see this coming? You know the theory that just because your neighbor gets caught selling drugs out of his home, therefore everyone in the neighborhood might also be selling drugs so all homes should then be searched because of the guilt of your neighbor. Makes perfect sense right?
After all Mr. Schalin is clearly a true scholar and independent of UNC-CH as noted in the N&O:
Jay Schalin is the Pope Center for Higher Education Policyâ€™s director for state policy analysis.
Here is more on Mr. Schalin:
Jay Schalin joined the Pope Center in August 2007. He researches and writes about higher education issues, primarily in North Carolina, and oversees the centerâ€™s Web site.
A Philadelphia native, Schalin began working as a freelance journalist for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey in 1994 and has also written for several other papers in New Jersey and Delaware. In 1998, he returned to school to complete his education, graduating from Richard Stockton College in New Jersey with a B.S. in computer science in 2001. After graduation, he was employed as a software engineer for Computer Sciences Corporation. Schalin received an M.A. in economics from the University of Delaware in 2008.
He is independent enough, right?
So who are the Pope’s that have both a foundation and this “center” that Schalin is a part of:
In 2005, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill asked the John William Pope Foundation for a $4.8 million grant to enhance its curriculum in Western civilization. In 2006, after wrangling between the university administration and some faculty and students who opposed the proposal, the Pope Foundation declined to fund the proposal. Instead, the Pope Foundation donated $100,000 a year for a visiting scholars program and student fellowships for the study of western civilization, as well as $2 million for an endowment for salary enhancements for assistant football coaches. In 2011, the Pope Foundation gave the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill $3 Million for its Student-Athlete Academic Support Center.
So according to the Wikipedia entry, the Pope Foundation chose not to donate $4.8 million to enhance an academic program(due to UNC disagreement with UNC faculty), but did choose to donate $2 million total toward an endowment for assistant football coaches and then $3 million towards the new Kenan Stadium expansion that included the academic support center.
Anyone remember when Butch Davis was hired? 11/13/2006.
When I read this column, I instantly guessed that there would some sort of connection back to the “Flagship”. Little did I know that the connection might be to an organization that made a donation specifically toÂ fund UNC’s football program and other student-athletes the same year Butch Davis was hired (again according to Wikipedia).
Credit to the sleuths on Packpride for helping gather this data. Without being a professional journalist or working for a foundation that may have helped to fund UNC’s football staff, it is hard to find time to be able to do this type of research.
Also, the N&O has done a lot of great work, but how could they not also include the information about the Pope Foundation and its connections to UNC-CH and specifically to UNC-CH’s football program?