It didn’t take long for Governor Pat McCrory’s comments on higher education on Bill Bennett’s radio show to start a firestorm of criticism, especially when Bennett, former Education Secretary under Ronald Reagan, brought up gender studies, a favorite target of his.

The governor took the bait.


In response to a dig that Bennett took at gender studies courses, McCrory expanded on his theme.

“You’re right though,” McCrory said. “That’s a subsidized course. And frankly, if you want to take gender studies, that’s fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job … It’s the tech jobs that we need right now.”

The key word in the sentence is “subsidize.” Have a look at the #ncgov twitter feed if you want to see some angry tweets and a lot of successful liberal arts folks taking umbrage.

The N&O published a piece about the interview this morning.

Gov. Pat McCrory said he would propose legislation to overhaul the way higher education is funded in North Carolina, putting the emphasis on job creation not liberal arts and taking specific aim at the state’s flagship university.

“I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we are offering courses that have no chance of getting people jobs,” McCrory told conservative talk show host Bill Bennett, the former education secretary for President Ronald Reagan, during an interview Tuesday morning.

N&O — McCrory wants to revamp higher ed funding — takes aim at UNC-Chapel Hill

The Daily Tar Heel had something to say about it, too. Today’s editorial closes with:

Some of his ideas for education have merit — but I’m afraid we no longer have an education governor to protect UNC.

No, probably not.

Daily Tar Heel — NC in need of education governor

WRAL — McCrory: Fund higher education based on results