Perdue defines education
Governor visits campus to discuss budget cuts with those affected
Published: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 09:04
A large crowd of mostly administrators and faculty listened to Governor Bev Perdue speak at N.C. Central University in the Mary Townes Science Building April 4. Perdue centered her remarks on the need for investment in the public education system.
Perdue called the cuts in state funds at the university level unnecessary. She said public schools are fundamental to the state.
“The brand of North Carolina is education. ... Central is a precious part of North Carolina economic history,” said Perdue.
Perdue said she won’t be running for another term as governor because she wants to speak about education from a non-partisan platform.“ This is not about partisan politics,” she said. “Education is not about politics.”
NCCU’s public relations department notified students via e-mail a little less than three hours prior to her visit that Perdue would be on campus.
“It’s not that we don’t want students and faculty to come,” said Ayana Hernandez, director of public relations.
Hernandez said that Perdue’s administration designed the event at the outset to be small. She said her department was notified late in March that Perdue would be coming.
A spokesman for the governor confirmed that the event was designed to be brief. The spokesman, Ben Niolet, said Perdue only had one hour to be on campus, but wanted to hear from those affected most by the budget constraints.
“The governor wants to hear from the ground, from the folks who are affected,” said Niolet.
Political science junior Matrice Henderson said the event was informative. Henderson found the time to get to the event but wasn’t surprised that many other students could not attend.
“The timeframe wasn’t appropriate for students to attend,” he said. “If they knew the governor was coming they’re supposed to send 24 hours advance notice anyway.”
Environmental science junior Sierra Gilliam said she had class during the governor’s visit. She looked into the room and noticed that the audience was mostly faculty.
“We could have voiced our opinion about Pell Grants and federal aid,” said Gilliam. “For us not to know is not fair.”
One of the few students in attendance, SGA President Reggie McCrimmon also addressed the crowd.
He noted that while cultural events play a huge part in student life, the Alfonso-Elder Student Union is 40 years old and was designed to serve a much smaller student body.
In March NCCU’s administration decided to allocate potential state funds to a new School of Business rather than a new Student Union.
Perdue said she will submit her budget to the N.C. General Assembly in the next few weeks.
“Universities are going to be very happy with this budget,” said Perdue.
Perdue has been visiting public schools across the state and holding similar listening sessions.