August 15, 2002
Carolina in the News
Current National Coverage
Here is a sampling of links and notes about Carolina
people and programs cited recently in the national media:
Learning About Islam (Editorial)
Christian Science Monitor
The University of North Carolina aptly chose a book about Islam as summer reading
for incoming freshmen this fall. Few subjects are hotter in post-9/11 America. But the
university probably didn't anticipate just how much heat it would take for its decision.
Off the bookshelf, into college debate
The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, embroiled in a lawsuit over its summer
reading assignment, is moving forward with plans to hold small group discussions with
new students Monday on the book in question, Approaching the Qur'an: The Early
Revelations... ''It's taken on a life of its own,'' says Carl Ernst, a UNC professor
of religious studies who is training 180 volunteers to lead Monday's discussions.
Fear not ideas - they aren't bogymen (Commentary)
Fort Worth Star Telegram
One word to parents who may be sending their youngsters off to college: ideas... But
it apparently scares some folks so silly that they'll sue to prevent a school from doing it.
Thus comes James Yacovelli, et al. vs. James Moeser, et al., in which lawyers from the
American Family Association Center for Law & Policy claim that the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill is "indoctrinating students in the religion of Islam" by
assigning incoming freshmen to read, write about and discuss a book on the Qur'an.
(Note: A related national Associated Press that originated in the Raleigh Bureau was
featured on the Web sites of several major national newspapers including The Boston
Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and was picked up by the Canadian Press.)
Silencing study of Islamic world (Editorial)
The Advocate (Lafayette, La.)
The University of North Carolina has a long and honorable tradition of liberal arts
education, even during the dark days in the South when it was criticized because of fair
and open discussion about subjects such as race relations and communism. The
university is today targeted unfairly once again, this time by Christian zealots who object
to a book about Islam on the reading list for entering freshmen.
Reading assignment could aid understanding (Letter to the Editor)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Regarding the Aug. 9 article "Qur'an reading assignment stirs passions for and against," I
was a bit disturbed to find out that students from the University of North Carolina were
so upset with their assignment to read a book about the Qur'an.
(Note: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured three other letters to the editor about
UNC's summer reading program. To view all letters, click on the above url and scroll
down the web page. Other newspapers featuring readers' opinions about the summer
reading program include The Philadelphia Inquirer
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/3860735.htm, the Asheville Citizen Times
http://cgi.citizen-times.com/cgi-bin/letters, the News and Observer,
A Battle Brews in North Carolina
The Washington Post
The battle to succeed conservative icon Jesse Helms is one of the more compelling
Senate contests in the country this year, with big-name candidates, party squabbling and
plenty of rhetorical fireworks... Ferrel Guillory, director of the program in southern
politics at the University of North Carolina, predicts a Bowles victory in the primary
and cautions against reading too much into general election polls showing Dole
far ahead at this point.
Notification would 'impede' birth control
The Washington Times
Most underage girls would stop seeking birth-control products from Planned
Parenthood clinics if there was a law requiring that their parents be notified, says a study
released yesterday... Confidentiality has long played a role in teen health care, Dr.
Carol A. Ford of the University of North Carolina and Abigail English of the
Center for Adolescent Health & the Law in Chapel Hill, N.C., said in an editorial
in the journal.
Computer Graphics World
Just emerging from the labs, augmented reality (AR) blends computer graphics and the
world around us for a variety of uses... In New York, a virtual restaurant guide displays
reviews that float beside the actual eateries near the Columbia University campus; at the
University of North Carolina, breast biopsies are guided with sonogram images
superimposed on patients... At the Chapel Hill campus of UNC, patients undergoing
routine breast biopsies are being randomly assigned to the first clinical medical tests
National News Notes
Carl Ernst, professor of religious studies, is scheduled to appear on the second hour
of National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" about the growing interest in Islamic
studies. "Talk of the Nation" is locally broadcasted on WUNC-FM at 2 - 4 p.m.
The audio for this program will be available online after 6 p.m. at
Catherine Lutz, professor of anthropology was on the National Public Radio program,
"Morning Edition," on Aug. 14 in a discussion about the debate in the anthropology
profession over working for the military war effort by helping troops understand cultural
differences of enemy populations. To listen to this segment, go to
and scroll down to the "Anthropologists" segment.
State and Local Coverage
Let governors gather (Editorial)
Whether it's in the bylaws or not, the Board of Governors of the University of North
Carolina system would be well advised to find a way to convene a special meeting for
the sole purpose of affirming its support for academic freedom.
UNC board quavers on free-inquiry issue (Editorial)
Greensboro News & Record
Spineless. As harsh as it sounds, how else to describe the UNC Board of Governors'
timid refusal last week to stand up for academic freedom?
Oh, they are for freedom (Commentary)
Wait, wait, wait. I've got some good news! This whole Quran/academic freedom thing
with the University of North Carolina system has been blown completely out of
101: Introduction to political pork (Editorial)
Wilmington Morning Star
The UNC Board of Governors may find academic freedom too controversial to fight
for, but it doesn’t feel that way about its own prerogatives. Nor should it.
Judge To Rule On UNC's Quran Reading Debate
A federal judge is hearing arguments involving a controversial required reading assignment
at UNC-Chapel Hill. Some say the school has no right come up with a requirement that
forces students to read excerpts from the book of Islam, while others say it comes down to
a matter of choice.
Required reading is not advocacy (Letter to the Editor)
In the past few weeks there has been heated discussion about the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill's summer reading choice for freshmen ("Approaching the Qur'an").
Thus far, it's the only issue that has succeeded in eclipsing the hysteria surrounding a state
(Note: Hannah Dawson Gage is a member of the UNC Board of Governors. This
letter also appears in today's Wilmington Morning Star.)
Morehead Award foundation seeks self-nominations
Effective this fall, seniors at North Carolina high schools who do not receive their schools’
nominations for the Morehead Award will have the opportunity to nominate themselves.
"It’s the right thing to do," said Charles E. Lovelace Jr., executive director of the John
Motley Morehead Foundation, which grants the full, four-year merit-based scholarship to top
student leaders to attend UNC Chapel Hill.
(Note: This is a UNC News Services release.)
Conference to tackle civil rights issues
National Public Radio senior correspondent Juan Williams -- author of the nonfiction
best-seller "Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965" -- will serve
as the guest luncheon speaker for an Aug. 30 conference involving national experts in
civil rights and education policy.
(Note: This is a UNC News Services release.)
Study gauges breast cancer risk from exposure to hydrocarbons
Exposure to air-polluting polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the environment
appears to elevate women’s risk of breast cancer by a modest 50 percent in Suffolk
and Nassau counties, N.Y., a new much-anticipated study indicates... "Starting with
more than 3,000 women in this federally mandated research, we looked at blood samples
taken from hundreds of new breast cancer patients and comparable women without
breast cancer who served as controls," said principal investigator Marilie D. Gammon.
Gammon is associate professor of epidemiology at the UNC at Chapel Hill
School of Public Health.
(Note: This is a UNC News Services release.)
Biology made me do it? (Question and Answer)
Joseph Lowman is a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill who studies whether our behavior is biologically predisposed.
The case against ‘one size fits all’ education
Wilmington Morning Star
Figaro the donkey doesn’t know Mel Levine is a best-selling author and an acclaimed
pediatrician whose work is influencing how schools teach children. All Figaro knows
is that it’s supper time and her master has a bag on his shoulder...
http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?Site=WM&Date=20020810&Category=NEWS&ArtNo=208100447&Ref=AR&Profile=1010&SectionCat=State(Note: Dr. Mel Levine is a professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine and the
director of the University’s Clinical Center for the study of development and learning.)
It's been enough to shake even the most exuberant faith in the American dream...
"Selfishness is an inherent drive that's hard-wired in all of us," said Bob Adler, a lawyer
and business ethics professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
N.C. man takes helm of law group
With a ceremonial "passing of the gavel," Raleigh lawyer A.P. Carlton Jr. on Monday took
over the presidency of the American Bar Association, pledging to remake the image of a
venerable organization that has been branded by its critics as too liberal.
(Note: Carlton is a graduate of the Bachelor of science in business administration
program at the Kenan-Flager Business School.)
Women With Uterine Fibroids Have Alternative To Surgery
There is a relatively new and very effective treatment for fibroid tumors that does not
require major surgery; however, most women will not hear about it from their doctors...
"When the tissue doesn't have enough blood supply it starts shrinking," said Dr.
Matthew Mauro, a radiologist at UNC Hospitals.
Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina
The College Lecture, Long Derided, May Be Fading
The New York Times
One day in 1931, Hamilton Holt, president of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., startled
his colleagues at an academic conference when he declared that Yale and Columbia, which
he had attended in his youth, "taught me virtually nothing." The reason, Mr. Holt explained,
was that the lectures delivered by his teachers, as with those delivered by professors almost
everywhere, were examples of "probably the worst scheme ever devised for imparting
(Note: The New York Times requires free registration to access articles.)
Budget talks are next step
At first glance, the spending plans produced by the state Senate and House appear similar --
at least on the bottom line, which adds up to $14 billion-plus... House members also added
an amendment aimed at rolling back a decision by UNC-Chapel Hill officials to require
incoming freshmen to read a book on the Quran. The measure would bar public spending
on that reading program "unless all other known religions are offered in an equal or
Group to give biotech a boost
The nonprofit Golden LEAF Foundation unveiled a $70.4 million economic stimulus package
Wednesday aimed at boosting the state's biotechnology industry -- one of the few bright
spot on the economic horizon.
(Note: A related story appears in today's Winston-Salem Journal.)
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