Patrick McCrory, the Republic governor of North Carolina. Inside Higher Ed gives us a taste of what he is up to:
The Republican governor also called into question [on the Bill Bennett radio program] the value of
publicly supporting liberal arts majors after the host made a joke about
gender studies courses at UNC-Chapel Hill. "If you want to take gender
studies that's fine, go to a private school and take it,” McCrory told
the radio host. “But I don't want to subsidize that if that's not going
to get someone a job."
The two criticized philosophy Ph.D.s in a similar manner later in the
program. "How many Ph.D.s in philosophy do I need to subsidize?"
Bennett asked, to which McCrory replied, "You and I agree." (Bennett
earned a Ph.D., from a public flagship university, the University of
Texas at Austin, in philosophy.)
McCrory’s comments on higher education echo statements made by a
number of Republican governors – including those in Texas, Florida and
Wisconsin – who have questioned the value of liberal arts instruction
and humanities degrees at public colleges and universities. Those
criticisms have started to coalesce into a potential Republican agenda on higher education,
emphasizing reduced state funding, low tuition prices, vocational
training, performance funding for faculty members, state funding tied to
job placement in “high demand” fields and taking on flagship
McCrory graduated from Catawba College, a liberal arts college in Salisbury, NC.
Ferrel Guillory of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill responded to McCrory's statements:
"The shift is from seeing a robust public university as an economic
and civic catalyst to wondering whether the university is so big that a
lot of its inefficiencies need to be wrung out of it,” said Ferrel
Guillory, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and expert on southern politics.
That belief tends to ignore the argument that a college education
serves purposes other than preparing students for employment, including
economic and civic returns that benefit individuals and society as a