July 12, 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:
Harvard angers peers with threatened admission change
Brown Daily Herald (Rhode Island)
Harvard University may amend its admission policy to allow students to matriculate
despite having been accepted to another school under a binding early decision program
at that other institution... The University of North Carolina in May became the first major
school to drop its early decision program, claiming early decision put pressure on high
school students to make ill-informed decisions. The school also cited an internal review
that found that early decision applicants were predominately white compared to students
in the regular pool.
Impact: Interview With Robert Kirkpatrick
Fox News: The O'Reilly Factor
Robert Kirkpatrick, associate professor of English, was interviewed Wednesday
on the Fox News television program, "The O'Reilly Factor," about the university's summer
reading program. He chaired the committee of students, faculty and staff that selected
O'REILLY: In the "Impact" segment tonight, an unbelievable situation at the University
of North Carolina. Each incoming freshman this fall will be required to read a book
that explains portions of the Koran. Joining us now from Raleigh, North Carolina, is
Dr. Robert Kirkpatrick, who selected the reading. "The Early, Approaching the Koran,
The Early Revelations," is the book, I guess, professor.... Well, is it an indoctrination
into the religion, though? That's the problem here, is it not?
KIRKPATRICK: No, it has nothing to do with that. It's a text that studies the poetic
structure of the Koran and seeks to explain why it has such an effect on 2 billion people
in the world...
A partial transcript is online at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,57501,00.html
(Note: The full transcript of Wednesday's program appears at the end of this email
National News Notes
Kathleen McTigue, Robert Wood Johnson clinical scholar at the School of Medicine,
was featured in a recent issue of RT Image, a national weekly newsmagazine for
administrators, educators and radiologic science professionals, regarding her research with
ethnicity and obesity. The magazine published a UNC news release verbatim.
State and Local Coverage
Group hopes to sue UNC over Quran
A Christian advocacy group hopes to sue UNC on the grounds the book on Islam the
university chose for its required summer reading program is a religious text and is therefore
unconstitutional. The book is "Approaching The Qur’an," a collection of 35 translated
passages from the holy work along with written commentaries on each.... "We offer
classes in all kinds of topics. We have a whole department of religious studies," Provost
Robert Shelton said. "We’re not promoting any religions. It’s part and parcel of being a
well-rounded person with an understanding of the world’s religions."
Business school tuition may be scaled back
The UNC system’s Board of Governors will likely approve a request today to scale
back tuition increases at Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. The move comes
at the request of the school’s dean, Robert Sullivan, who told a board committee last
month that large recent tuition increases proposed for all state universities have pushed
his school’s tuition to its upper limits, hurting its ability to compete with peer institutions
for the best students.
GAYS AT UNC: Campus needs a resource center (Editorial)
For many years, the dominant image of the UNC campus has been that of a progressive,
welcoming place. In a state not always known for its tolerance and embrace of diversity,
here was a liberal, open-minded enclave. But it hasn’t always been that way for everyone.
For gay students, sometimes, it has been a cruel, harsh place. From time to time, they
have been harassed verbally, occasionally physically. They have suffered from
discrimination, mostly subtle, occasionally overt.
UNC student gets insider's view of music business
Many students dream of working in the music industry but few get the opportunity
Charlotte native David Krusch received. The 2001 Myers Park High School graduate
and rising sophomore at UNC Chapel Hill was one of 50 selected to get an insider's look
at the music industry.
N.C. aims to choke off corporate scandals
State lawmakers, trying to put North Carolina ahead of the corporate scandals rocking
the stock market, are proposing legislation that would clamp down on companies and give
investors more power to sue crooked corporations... "It's an election year, so everybody
would like to look as if they're doing something," said James Smith, a finance professor at
UNC Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School.
UNC hospitals face more delays
Construction problems have further delayed the new UNC Women's and Children's
Hospitals, a project that is already two years late and at least $28 million over budget.
Hospital officials acknowledged Thursday in a news release that workers will have to
remove a large concrete slab and underground utilities that were not included in plans,
throwing the project off by two more months, until February 2003, and adding about
$500,000 to the cost of the $166 million hospitals. "In these older buildings, when you
dig down, you sometimes find surprises," said Eric Munson, president and CEO of
Issues and Trends Affecting Carolina
Barriers Students Faced Count In University Admission Process
The Wall Street Journal
Stanley Park felt as if the University of California, Los Angeles, had revamped its
admissions criteria just for him. UCLA was looking for students who had overcome "life
challenges," such as family illness, being raised by a single parent or being the first in the
family to go to college.
(Note: The Wall Street Journal requires subscription to access articles.)
'Collegiality' as a Tenure Battleground
The New York Times
For generations, professors seeking tenure at colleges and universities have been
evaluated on three factors: teaching, research and service to the institution. But a number
of young professors, especially women, have recently contended that their bids for
lifetime academic appointments were derailed by a more slippery fourth factor: collegiality.
(Note: The New York Times requires free registration to access articles.)
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Impact: Interview With Robert Kirkpatrick
Fox News: The O'Reilly Factor
July 10, 2002
O'REILLY: In the "Impact" segment tonight, an unbelievable situation at the University of
North Carolina. Each incoming freshman this fall will be required to read a book that explains
portions of the Koran. Joining us now from Raleigh, North Carolina, is Dr. Robert Kirkpatrick,
who selected the reading. "The Early, Approaching the Koran, The Early Revelations," is the
book, I guess, professor. Boy, you're causing all kinds of trouble down there. This is pretty
controversial, is it? Why'd you choose it?
ROBERT KIRKPATRICK, PH.D., ENGLISH PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH
CAROLINA-CHAPEL HILL: Yes, it is. Well, I think it's the kind of book that after 9/11,
we need to know more about...
O'REILLY: In what way?
KIRKPATRICK: ... simply (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
O'REILLY: I mean, you know, we know what the basic tenets of Islam are. I mean, why,
what's this going to do for any freshman coming to UNC?
KIRKPATRICK: I'm not sure we do know what the basic tenets of Islam are. I certainly
didn't before I started reading this book.
O'REILLY: Well, is it an indoctrination into the religion, though? That's the problem here,
is it not?
KIRKPATRICK: No, it has nothing to do with that. It's a text that studies the poetic structure
of the Koran and seeks to explain why it has such an effect on 2 billion people in the world.
O'REILLY: But by doing that, you are looking at the verses of Allah, and you are basically.
Because there isn't anything else to the Koran, doctor, and correct me if I'm wrong, anything
other than theology. What else is there?
KIRKPATRICK: Well, it's like the Bible, there's some history, there's some laws, there's
some discussions of culture. These early revelations are the earliest portion of the Koran that
were written. And it's the portion that all school children memorize.
O'REILLY: All right, but, but you, the UNC never gave the incoming freshmen a book on the
Bible or the Gospels to read, did they?
KIRKPATRICK: We assume that most people coming to the University of North Carolina
are already familiar with both the Old and the New Testaments.
O'REILLY: But if you did do that, and you're -- maybe you're right, but if you did do that,
there'd be outcry all over the country. How can you indoctrinate people with this religion, this
Judeo-Christian tradition? But my problem is this with there. I don't look. I'm for academic
freedom. I want all the students in universities and colleges across the country to be as well
versed as possible. But I don't know what this serves to take a look at our enemy's religion.
See? I mean, I wouldn't give people a book during World War II on the emperor is God
in Japan, would you?
KIRKPATRICK: Sure, why not? Wouldn't that explain, wouldn't that have explained kamikaze
O'REILLY: No. It would have just -- I don't think it would have. I mean, I would say the
culture of Japan, fine, but not the religion. The religion aspect of this bothers me.
Now, you're going to let kids not read it if they want, correct?
KIRKPATRICK: Of course, yes.
O'REILLY: And they have, but they have to write a 300-word essay telling you why they don't
KIRKPATRICK: Well, I think that's part of the whole incoming first year student project is to
get them to recognize that as a member of an academic community, they have to learn to think
and to read and to write and to defend their opinions. And defending the right not to read the
book is something that will be very interesting to read.
O'REILLY: Absolutely. I wouldn't read the book. And I'll tell you why I wouldn't have read
"Mein Kampf" either. If I were going to UNC in 1941, and you, professor, said, Read "Mein
Kampf," I would have said, Hey, professor, with all due respect, shove it. I ain't reading it.
KIRKPATRICK: Why? Well, is that because you think you would have been converted to --
if you read it?
O'REILLY: No. It's because it's tripe.
KIRKPATRICK: How do you know if you haven't read it?
O'REILLY: Because I know I would have read a summary about it and be conversant enough
to argue and debate with you, as I am now. I've looked at the Koran. All right? And I have
nothing against the Koran, by the way. I mean, there are some things in the Koran that are
good, and there are some things that aren't good. Same thing in the Old Testament, some things
that are good, some things that aren't good. But I'm telling you, these are our enemies now. I
mean, the Islamic fundamentalism is our enemy. And I would have preferred you to have an
overall global look at the Islamic world rather than the Koran. See? I think it would have been
more instructive. Would I be wrong there?
KIRKPATRICK: Well, I think you would have a number of books to choose from, and each
one of those books would have had its own slant.
O'REILLY: Yes, but you don't have them.
KIRKPATRICK: And we were trying to -- we were trying to pick a book that did not have a
O'REILLY: You don't think you made a mistake here? It does have a slant, though. It has a
slant! It's a re -- it's based on Islamic code, it has a slant.
KIRKPATRICK: It's a scholarly text showing any reader how these particular surahs are
structured and how the poetry plays a part in making them clear to us.
O'REILLY: All right. Would you have read "Mein Kampf" in 1941 if you were a student then
and they ordered you to do it?
KIRKPATRICK: I hope I would have, yes.
O'REILLY: All right.
KIRKPATRICK: I mean, knowledge is power. What -- if we don't understand other people,
then we are putting ourselves in jeopardy.
O'REILLY: OK. Appreciate your point of view, thanks very much. Very provocative.