Frank Turek

WFAE 90.7 FM will host a public conversation and forum tonight on Amendment One. Entitled “Defining Marriage,” the radio station says it hopes to host a “very meaningful dialogue” on the proposed constitutional amendment that would strip marriage rights from same-sex couples and prohibit civil unions and domestic partnerships for both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

That “meaningful dialogue,” bit? Likely not possible, especially since they’ve invited extremist and anti-gay bully Frank Turek to represent the anti-gay side of the debate.

Turek is associated with radicals like Charlotte street preacher and convicted stalker Flip Benham and Dr. Michael Brown, whose use of violent and militant religious rhetoric I’ve well-documented. In fact, my first introduction to Turek was during a forum sponsored by Brown back in 2007 (there’s an in-depth review and commentary of that event, as well).

Turek and Brown recently debated North Carolina philanthropist and activist Mitchell Gold on Brown’s radio show. I commented on the debate and documented some of the conversation, which left me with the distinct impression that Turek is more bully than academic.

It’s quite disappointing that WFAE would bring in such a radical voice to represent the opposing viewpoint. Couldn’t they find a more appropriate and respectful voice? In reality, perhaps not. How “appropriate” and “respectful” can pro-amendment voices be when each seem to be connected to people like Brown, genocide-enabling radicals like Lou Engle and hate group leaders and white supremacists like Tony Perkins?

UNC System President Tom Ross spoke to Charlotte’s WFAE in a story posted online today. In it, Ross (pictured right) says elimination of duplicated programs might be key to saving system funds in the face of the state’s $3.7 billion budget shortfall:

But what we want to look for is unnecessary duplication; that is places where there is there’s a duplication of programs, and perhaps that may lead to the elimination of some programs, or it may also lead to better collaboration among programs that could end up being more efficient and more effective. And so we hope that we’ll be able to save some dollars, and I should point out that looking for unnecessary duplication is not a short-term fix for our current budget crisis. This is really more of a long-term analysis that will help us plan for the universities’ futures

I agree. There’s tons of duplication. The system could save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars by centralizing and consolidating their information technology systems. Why on earth does each separate campus operate on entirely different IT systems for holding student records like health and immunization forms, transcripts and high school records. Consolidating systems like these and eliminating staff at each of the 16 university institutions overseeing these disparate systems seems a no-brainer.

A consolidation of record-keeping systems would also speed up transfer processes for students seeking to shuffle from one campus to another, a process that should never have been as painstakingly difficult and long as it is now.

And, we shouldn’t forget: Stop spending money on ridiculous, unnecessary things like “clickers.”