Shaw: McCrory stated ‘an uncomfortable truth’ on higher education

February 5, 2013

Gov. Pat McCrory found himself in a firestorm of controversy a week ago when he said on a radio talk show that North Carolina should put greater emphasis on college majors that have a higher chance of leading to jobs. Some saw it as an attack on the liberal arts. But writing in The Wall Street Journal, Jane Shaw, president of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, argues that Gov. McCrory "stated an uncomfortable truth" about higher education: The truth is: Elite universities, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, are doing a disservice when they lead students into majors with few, if any, job prospects. Stating such truths doesn't mean you're antagonistic to the liberal arts. Yet some, always eager for a fight, misconstrued the governor's comments as a call for abolishing liberal-arts education in favor of vocational training. UNC-Chapel Hill geography professor Altha Cravey said the governor "was not elected to decide what has...

Heroes of American public policy philanthropy

January 24, 2013

Who are the greatest philanthropists in American history? The latest issue of Philanthropy (the quarterly publication of Philanthropy Roundtable) takes a look at that question. One of the more enlightening sections focuses on public policy philanthropy. The magazine highlights three individuals: Madam C.J. Walker, John M. Olin, and William Volker. The middle of these, Mr. Olin, should be of particular interest to readers of this website: In philanthropy as in business, Olin’s particular genius was his brilliant strategic vision—a genius that paid spectacular dividends in his efforts to shape 20th-century public policy. Olin’s philanthropy was dedicated to the long-term (but not perpetual) challenge of building the intellectual capacity of modern conservatism. Recognizing that achieving his goals was a generational project, he clearly defined a mission, strategically established a time-frame, and carefully selected dedicated partners who shared his vision. By the time...

Pope Foundation marks 20 years of giving in 2006

September 7, 2012

The John William Pope Foundation marked its 20th year anniversary in 2006. Triangle Business Journal wrote this story on the Foundation’s 20-year milestone, emphasizing the increased funds devoted to humanitarian and public policy causes: Formed in 1986 and funded mainly with donations from the Pope family and Variety Wholesalers, the discount retailer Pope's grandfather founded in the 1930s, the foundation helped launch and has been the biggest supporter of the John Locke Foundation, an influential conservative policy, research and advocacy group formed in 1990.  The Pope Foundation also has been a steady supporter of other state and national policy groups, higher education, and a broad range of local charitable and religious groups.  The Pope family and Variety Wholesalers donated $3.8 million to the foundation in the fiscal year ended last June 30.  With assets worth nearly $53.6 million in fair market value last June 30, according to the Form 990 it filed with the...

none

Pope Foundation a standout in backing conservatism

Categories: Public Policy

The Pope Foundation is unique among philanthropies in the Tar Heel State: Rather than fund liberal social causes, the foundation supports conservative ideas and institutions. Triangle Business Journal picks up on that theme in this article: When he walks into a room full of North Carolina foundation officials, says David Riggs, vice president of operations and programs for the John William Pope Foundation, he feels out of place. While many foundations in the state with comparable or greater assets often invest in liberal social agendas, the $140 million-asset Pope Foundation aggressively promotes conservative causes. “We believe that market processes and the free-enterprise system allow people to help themselves, to grow and prosper how they best think and feel they can,” says Riggs, an economist. Chaired by Art Pope, a businessman and political powerbroker whose father founded Variety Wholesalers, the discount retailer that is the source of its philanthropic assets, the...