NC Policy Watch remembers Dr. Bill Friday

Flags have been lowered to half-staff. Tributes are pouring in from all over the political and academic worlds. North Carolina lost a giant with the passing of long-time UNC president Bill Friday at the age of 92 this week.

From NC Policy Watch
by Chris Fizsimon

This doesn’t really seem like a day for the usual Follies. North Carolina has lost one of its most respected and beloved leaders with the death of former UNC President Bill Friday at age 92.

We interviewed President Friday last Tuesday for the NC Policy Watch radio show News & Views. You can hear the interview here. The interview was by phone and Friday’s voice was weak, but his mind was sharp and his spirit was strong. His spirit was always strong.

Friday weighed in on a variety of topics including the current debate about university tuition, saying he was a “low tuition man.”

“I am really concerned that we are making price and the ability to pay the first standard that must be met by young people who want to go to college. That’s not what built this state. That attitude did not make North Carolina great.”

Friday knew what he was talking about. He led the university system for 30 years until he retired in 1986. Retired officially that is. He never really retired, never stopped speaking out, never stopped leading state and national commissions, and never stopped saying what so desperately needed to be said.


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