Editorial: HBCUs need new advocates on UNC board

Editorial: HBCUs need new advocates on UNC board
February 19
00:00 2015

State-supported historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are under attack.

They are graduating thousands of students who are productive and outstanding citizens. They are employing hundreds of people. They are pouring millions, perhaps billions, of dollars into their local communities.

Yet Republican lawmakers in North Carolina and South Carolina have targeted these stalwarts of the black communities for closure.

Republican lawmakers in both states have introduced bills to close state-supported universities in their respective states. Just last week a bill was introduced to close South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. A measure in the North Carolina Senate to close Elizabeth City State University was taken out of a final bill last year.

These lawmakers say that they are moving to close the universities because of money issues. They say the people running the universities are not using the money wisely.

How many other state divisions are not financially sound? Have the lawmakers moved to close them?

Money seems to be the issue with the HBCUs. However, the entire UNC system has a bulls-eye on it. Just last month the UNC Board of Governors announced the resignation of UNC system President Tom Ross, who has said he does not want to leave his job. Ross, who is from Winston-Salem, has been a friend to the state-supported HBCUs. Who will be there to speak up for them if when he leaves?

In an interesting development, the N.C. Senate announced Thursday, Feb. 12, that it is accepting nominations for eight seats up for election on the UNC Board of Governors.  Ross answers to this board. The nomination process closes Monday, Feb. 23 at 5 p.m.

The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body legally charged with governance of all affairs of the 17 institutions making up the University of North Carolina system, including Winston-Salem State University.

The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the General Assembly for four-year terms.

Citizens interested in being nominated should contact their state senator. In Winston-Salem, one of those would be newly elected state Sen. Paul Lowe Jr. of District 32, who on Saturday, Feb. 14, met in Raleigh with a delegation of about  25 students from  HBCUs, including Winston-Salem State University, to talk about issues.

Winston-Salem State University is part of the University of North Carolina system.

The topics Lowe and the students discussed  included sustainability, financial management, alumni engagement, state support and HBCU appeal. Lowe noted the significant contributions of many alumni graduating from HBCUs and the urgent need for financial support from private, state and federal sources for sustainability.

Who will apply to serve on the UNC Board of Governors? We hope it will be people who will speak up for the HBCUs and work to stop the move to end a valuable part of Black History.

A list of senators, along with the counties they represent, may be found at

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors