My latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Thursday. It was an attempt to answer a question that I had seen posed around the ‘net as well as to me personally on Twitter: why is the UVA story news and why should we care?
I didn’t even mention the issue of transparency, which I think is probably the biggest of all. But even though I didn’t attend UVA – my nephew did, one of my oldest and dearest friends did – there is a sense of pride in living in the place where such a prestigious university is located – and a public university to boot.
The U.S. News and World Report rankings of universities provided some interesting information on how the institutions of higher learning stack up. That UVA is in the top 25 – and one of only three public institutions there – is striking. Nearly all of the private schools educate far fewer students. Founder Thomas Jefferson wanted education for the common man – no, women weren’t included – and I think would be proud to see what his university has become in the intervening years.
Regardless of the outcome of this Tuesday’s board meeting, what has transpired over the past two weeks has vaunted UVA into the national spotlight – and not in a good way. I hope there is a way to use this national spotlight to highlight what is good about the university – and to teach those who think they can operate under cover of darkness that such behavior is unacceptable.
My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot on Wednesdays (unless something comes up, in which case it’s Thursdays). You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.Follow @vpaige