When Ricardo Nazario-Colon first stepped onto Western Carolina University’s campus to interview for the new chief diversity officer position, one thing stuck out to him above all else.
It was a sunny Constitution Day at Western Carolina University, and the colors shone brightly on the giant beach ball — dubbed the “free speech ball” — that the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty rolled from spot to spot.
Western Carolina University’s faculty has wrestled through months of both tedium and spirited debate in devising how best to manage a controversial gift from a politically charged foundation, and in doing so has apparently succeeded in doing a better job than any university in this country in protecting academic freedoms and its own integrity.
It’s a lofty achievement, one that deserves praise (and emulation from other institutions) and one that should make its faculty and this region proud.
A year in the making, Western Carolina University has sealed a deal with the Charles Koch Foundation for a $1.8 million gift to set up an economic research center on campus with a focus on economic development and free market ideas.
Few if any universities have made the Charles Koch Foundation jump quite so many hurdles before opening its wallet as Western Carolina University has.
Western Carolina University faculty tasked with overseeing a $2 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation had their work cut out for them when they collectively rolled up their sleeves last February.
A firestorm over a $2 million gift from political operative Charles Koch ignited the campus of Western Carolina University last fall in a rare but heated clash between faculty and university leadership.
The RPMs hovered around 4,000, the truck huffing and puffing up the steep hillside.
Approaching Sam’s Gap (elevation 3,760 feet) on Interstate 26, I wondered if my old GMC Sonoma (aka: “Grace”) would be able to reach the crest before stalling out and rolling back down into rural Madison County. With Asheville and greater Western North Carolina fading into the rearview mirror, the blazing Friday afternoon sun began to fall behind the Bald Mountains nearing the Tennessee state line.
Celebrating Southern Appalachian culture through concerts, living-history demonstrations, competitions and awards programs, Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, on the campus in Cullowhee.
Can you find redemption within your own consequences?
In The Risen, the latest work from famed Southern Appalachian writer Ron Rash, the plot focuses on two Jackson County teenage brothers, an out-of-town femme fatale, and a decades-old question of what really happened to her — and also them — in the process.