Tar Heel Roundup
Beginning with this article, I am initiating a new series to be known as Tar Heel Roundup. The purpose of this series is to write about happenings and issues of interest that do not warrant a entire article. Oftentimes, I don't know enough about the subject matter to write a regular article but the item is of sufficient import for me to pass it along. I would appreciate responses to this idea because, at times, it gets kind of lonely wondering if I am writing primarily for myself. The counter doesn't tell the whole story.
Richmond Alumni Meeting
On Tuesday November 12th, I attended a meeting of UNC alumni and friends at the Jefferson Hotel here in Richmond. I and others were invited by the Carolina First Committee to hear a presentation by Prof. Jonathan Howes on the UNC Campus Master Plan. It was an enjoyable evening and I feel like I have a better understanding of what is going to transpire in the next few years even thought have tried to keep up with the subject as best as I can.
The campus has changed much since I left in '58 but if I think there has been a great deal of change since then, I had best get ready for what's coming down the pike.
Practically every building on the UNC campus will undergo some kind of renovation during this period plus many new buildings will be added to what seems to old timers to be a complex campus at the present. I'm ashamed to say that I thought Carolina was too big when I was there and there were only 7,000 students then. We looking at 28,000 students in the foreseeable future and we already have in excess of 23,000 now.
I may write later about the details of the Master Plan but one situation occurred that you might enjoy hearing about.
I arrived at the Jefferson Hotel early for the meeting and was very pleased to find that Prof. Howes, Special Assistant to the Chancellor and Matt Kupec, Vice Chancellor for Development were already there. We engaged in conversation for a while and then Matt and I went to the temporary bar which was set up in the lobby of the hotel. Matt and I couldn't figure out if we were getting special treatment or if they ran out of space to accommodate the bar.
We were sipping on our beverages ( mine was just ginger ale due to my blood sugar situation ) alone in the lobby when this attractive young lady came up to us and asked us very nicely if we would relocate because a private party was scheduled for the area we were in for 6:00. I was somewhat taken back because of a situation that occurred in the UNC Student Union Building prior to the UNC-Texas game which I will relate later. Matt very nicely acknowledged that he was aware that a private party was scheduled and that we were with the private party. He did it so smoothly that it wasn't even embarrassing for either the young lady or Matt and me. She apologized and said something about she thought we were with the Phillip Morris group who apparently were also having a meeting in the Jefferson. Soon we were joined by other Tar Heels and no measurable damage was done to our egos.
Now for the Student Union incident. Immediately prior to the Texas game, I had gone into the Student Union to use the facilities and as I left the area I had utilized, I came upon a row of computers that are for the use of the students. There was one other gentleman at one of the computers and I struck up a conversation with him. We were engaged in normal everyday conversation and we were standing near each other so there was nothing unusual about the volume level of our voices.
In a few minutes a young male college age person came up to us and informed us that he and some others were making a movie on the second floor and that they could hear every word my new friend and I were saying to each other. I was speechless for a few seconds because I could not believe what I was hearing. I asked for a rerun on what he had said and he repeated it. I responded by saying that I couldn't believe that our conversation was carrying to the second floor and, for a second, I thought maybe it was a fraternity initiation prank and the student would laugh and explain this most unusual situation. He didn't, so I decided not to let him off the hook so easily because I simply could not believe that our conversation was carrying to the second floor and besides, the percussion group of the Marching Tar Heels was warming up right outside the door to the Student Union. We couldn't possibly be making as much noise as they were.
I asked him what he wanted us to do knowing that he was going to struggle finding a satisfactory answer to my question. He avoided the question at first but finally when I asked him a second time, he asked if we could whisper. I was irritated by this time but controlled myself and simply turned and walked into the eating area of the Student Union. My new friend followed and we had fun trying to comprehend what had just happened. The biggest game of the season and the Student Union was being treated as if it were the Wilson Library.
I'm over it now and I can laugh about it but I wasn't laughing then. It was hardly the kind of thing that makes an old alum feel welcome when returning to the campus. I thought about writing the Director of the Student Union just to be sure he knew of the incident but decided not to. I worked in college administration long enough to know that it wouldn't do any good. They would apologize and no one would be found at fault. The campus is no different from society as a whole and we all know how something like this is handled in the real world.
My first installment in the new series has been a failure in that I have taken up my space and haven't even mentioned several other items that I had planned to include. I'll do better in the next one.
After failing miserably on my first effort with Carolina Roundup, I am going to make another effort at writing about several items that, alone, are not enough for a complete article.
Police Chief Moose
Chief Moose was in attendance at the UNC-Maryland game. I had heard that he might be attending and I e-mailed the UNC Department of Athletics and informed them. I got a prompt response which said they understood that he would NOT be in attendance but if he was, he would be publicly recognized. The Thursday before the game, there was an article in the Greensboro newspaper which appeared to confirm he would be in attendance. I called this to the attention of the AD but never heard back from them. Chief Moose was not publicly recognized at the game so I thought maybe he was not there. You can imagine my surprise when I saw an article in the Daily Tar Heel on the Monday following the game reporting that he was at the game and had spent considerable time showing his son around the campus. One of two things happened. Either UNC dropped the ball or Chief Moose did not wish to be recognized at the game. I honesty don't know which it is but I will in the near future.
Senator Paul Wellstone
For those not in attendance at the UNC-Maryland game, a moment of silence was afforded Senator Paul Wellstone. A very somber moment.
Mary Ann Coleman
For those of you who are familiar with the mess at the University of Michigan revolving around their basketball program, you might be interested in knowing that their current president, Mary Ann Coleman, is a UNC alum and former employee at UNC. She was the Assoc. Provost at UNC from '91-'92 and left to become the Provost at New Mexico. She left New Mexico to become president of the University of Iowa and this past fall became the president of the University of Michigan. I won't list the actions she has taken against their basketball program here but believe me, they are severe and it required a great deal of courage for her to take them, particularly in her first year. Some think the actions were taken to avoid the "death penalty" by the NCAA. We'll have to wait and see what the NCAA does. The offenses were very serious.
Another former UNC Administration employee has received a promotion. Elson Floyd, former member of the UNC administration, has been selected as president of the University of Missouri system which consists of 4
campuses. Mr. Floyd was a candidate for the UNC Chancellor's position
when Chancellor Moeser was selected. Good thing for Mr. Floyd financially he didn't get the UNC job since the Missouri job pays $350,000 annually while the UNC Chancellor's position pays $255,000. Money is not everything but it's something. Best I can compute, we will be in the market for a new Chancellor when our current Chancellor reaches the age of 70 which should be in about 7 years. The presidents of private universities, at our level, earn in excess of $500,000 annually. I'm not lobbying for a salary raise for Chancellor Moeser but we need to know the rules of the game in which we are playing.
Most Beautiful Landscaped Sites
At our Carolina First meeting in Richmond, Prof. Jonathan Howes told us that a professional organization that deals in this sort of thing has ranked the UNC campus as one of the 10 most beautiful landscaped sites in the country. According to Prof. Howes, UNC was the only college campus in the top 10. Bet that went over real big with our neighbors in Durham who have always taken a great deal of pride in their "gardens."
UNC Marching Tar Heels
Lately, there has been some criticism of the UNC Marching Tar Heels by those who feel that our band is not as loud as some of the bands of schools we play in football. Some think it is the acoustics in Kenan Stadium while others think the female majority at UNC causes the band to get more woodwinds and less brass. There is not much you can do about it when you give a call for the band and the players who show up play woodwinds and not brass. Just for fun, I decided to count the number of bass horns in the Clemson band and compare it to the number in the Marching Tar Heel Band. Clemson had 17 compared to our 10. No wonder they have more "oomph" in their sound than we do in ours.
I'm not going to kick the football team when they are down. It's too easy to complain about any and everything. When I was employed at the University of Virginia, they broke the NCAA record for consecutive losses. It was pure hell going to the luncheons on Mondays to hear the coaches try and field the questions from the loyal few who continued to attend. One day, a questioner asked the coaches if they couldn't get football pants that fitted the players. It was that day that I decided this question would be the ultimate measure of fan morale. We're not there yet but I would like to know why some members of our special team (kickoffs) do not block ANYONE on a kickoff. If you think I am kidding, watch the blockers on the next kickoff. Of course, the season will probably be over by the time you read this so you might have to wait until next year. If we're lucky, maybe this condition won't exist then.
I didn't finish my list but I think I did better this time. Maybe I will have a chance soon to write a few words about the basketball team. I saw them live twice before the pre-season NIT and I have seen both games in the tournament on TV I like what I see and it sure is nice to see my Tar Heel friends smile again.