New blood: Erskine Bowles' departure a chance for university system to bounce back
He probably will not be charged with any wrongdoing -- although, lately, you never know. And it looks like much of what the University of North Carolina System president did that made people in his state uncomfortable was nothing more than politics as usual.
But the announcement that Erskine Bowles will retire at the end of this year should be welcomed by all -- as a chance to honor a man who has done much good for this state, but who has had some questions raised about his decisions lately, and to recognize that it is his time to go.
Bowles' connection to former Gov. Mike Easley -- and to the decision to hire Mary Easley at a ridiculous salary and with a sweetheart contract -- prompted many to question just exactly what was going on in the North Carolina university system, especially after system employees were asked to take cuts and to abide by other cost-saving measures.
It looked a whole lot like a politician offering a favor to a former ally -- at taxpayers' expense.
With Bowles gone, the UNC system can think about a new leader and a new direction. And those who serve on its board can get their priorities right again -- or they should think about leaving too.
There has been too much back-scratching in North Carolina government lately.
Now it is time to start thinking about what leaders are supposed to be thinking about -- serving the people.
This is a chance to get one major state organization back on that track.
Published in Editorials on February 12, 2010 11:23 AM