People are talking
Everywhere I go, people ask me what’s happening in North Carolina. People outside the state – at least a lot of the people with whom I talk – are startled that this state – always progressive in public health, a national leader – seems to be looking backward rather than forward. The Gillings School has a deep, historic commitment to improving the health of people who are vulnerable, lack health-care access and cannot advocate for themselves. I am concerned even more now about the plight of those who are vulnerable, and also about how others’ perceptions can affect reputations. UNC-Chapel Hill is one of the greatest universities in the world. Every day, I am doing everything I can to keep it that way. So are members of our faculty and staff – and our students. They’re all over the state, making a difference, strengthening North Carolina. We are one of the top schools of public health and one of the best values. I hope that we will have the opportunity to demonstrate our value to Governor McCrory so he understands that we create jobs; we train the next generation of public health leaders, improve health and health care, and start successful businesses. Given that many of our nonresident students tend to stay in North Carolina after they graduate, dramatically raising their tuition isn’t a sound investment; the best graduates will go elsewhere – a loss to North Carolina’s future. Our public health school is an asset – a gem, in fact – but like the rest of the University and UNC system, we aren’t guaranteed that standing without investment and nurturance.
Meanwhile, here’s what the New York Times had to say about North Carolina on Aug. 13.