Faculty Attack Squad


Faculty Attack Squad
By Jay Schalin

April 18, 2013

“Fascists,” “bums,” and “killing machines.”

That’s how conservatives and Republicans were described at the initial meeting of a new organization of faculty members in North Carolina. The group, named “Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina,” was formed in response to what organizers described as “the destructive course pursued by the state legislature.”

The event raised some troubling questions. An email invitation to the gathering sent on March 18 by East Carolina University geology professor Catherine Rigsby is of ethical concern. The email was forwarded throughout the system’s faculty “listserv” service, with Rigsby also using her title of “Chair of the UNC Faculty Assembly.”

Should she have used the authority of her office and the taxpayer-provided UNC email system to recruit and organize for Scholars for a Progressive North Carolina? … did she cross ethical lines by telling the system’s faculty members that the event was to be focused on higher education policy rather than on partisan politics?

… this event was purely partisan; there was no discussion of specific higher education policies, nor was there a single word by any panelist or crowd member that deviated from opinions common to the left wing of the Democratic Party. …

Another ethical concern is raised by the Scholars’ coordination with the N.C. Justice Center and its sister organization, N.C. Policy Watch. These two organizations are key members of Blueprint N.C., a non-profit political and fundraising network that was recently at the center of a controversy over its uncivil tactics. …

Blueprint’s leadership sent a memo earlier this year to member organizations that called for “crippling” and “eviscerating” leading Republican politicians “to weaken their ability to govern,” and using aggressive techniques such as hiring a “staff of video trackers” to “follow the targets’ every move,” pressuring Governor Pat McCrory “at every public event,” and hiring “private investigators” to dig up dirt on prominent Republicans.

The chances of anything being done about the misuse of state resources for partisan purposes and other ethical lapses are slightly higher than of my being appointed VP of Engineering or Manufacturing at my current employer. Just keep in mind that this is the kind of thing many academics do and/or defend.


These groups are the very type that breed the mindless drivel coming from so-called ‘authors’ who write about “white privledge.”

I don’t know that their actions are specifically illegal, but calling themselves “scholars” should be.

(Yes, I understand that the only legal ramifications those opposed to this organization have is to use the “misuse of tax-payer funds”, but like you say Pete, it’s not going to go anywhere.
I do hope they’re exposed for what they are, though.

P.S. Having 'puter probs. Will try to get to article later.)


The libs in NC are beside themselves since McCrory and the Repubs took power.
Of course…the repubs have not exactly covered themselves with glory…wasting time to try to pass a bill declaring a STATE religion.
Hopefully they will now get down to business and help turn the state economy ON!! This is what it will take to keep the state RED and turn out Kay Hagan next year. (Plus we need a GOOD candidate there!)


The “State Religion” thing was merely a Tenth Amendment exercize.


Correct. Maryland, at one time, had a state religion. If you were not Catholic, you were not invited.


Yup…but since incorporation…only the fringers still contend it is a state right rather than an individual right. Let the next Rep. Senate candidate assert that a state religion is Constitutional…and he/she will quickly become the next Todd Akin.


Yup, only “fringers” care about the Consitution.


It’s an ethics violation worthy of suspension at least. That would presuppose someone in the State has any ethics.


Maybe CA is unique or extreme in this respect, but here public school teachers, teacher’s unions, adminicrats and educrats lobbying for/against candidates and ballot initiatives using classroom time, school materials and school resources - almost always (or simply always) without consequences - happens multiple times every election. It’s just ubiquitous here. Firing a teacher - other than one modeling orange jumpsuits in the GreyBar Hotel or a Christian or conservative who spoke their ideas - is almost beyond practical possibility in CA, and if the ethical lapse is something in which the adminicrats participated …