(Raleigh News Observer) Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday he wants to change the way higher education is funded in North Carolina, focusing more on careers for graduates and away from academic pursuits “that have no chance of getting people jobs.”
The remarks came in a national radio interview with conservative talk show host Bill Bennett, former President Reagan’s education secretary. The breezy, 10-minute interview, in which the Republican governor touched on hot-button issues, elicited a swift, angry response Tuesday from faculty and others.
McCrory declined to be interviewed about the detaill. By day’s end, his staffers were trying to temper his remarks.
“This was not meant to be a personal attack on UNC,” said spokeswoman Crystal Feldman. “Gov. McCrory did not mean to tarnish UNC’s reputation.”
On the show, McCrory said “educational elite” had taken over, offering courses that have no path to jobs. He said he instructed his staff Monday to draft legislation that could alter the state money that universities and community colleges receive “not based on how many butts in seats but how many of those butts can get jobs.” (Listen to the audio here.)
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