Let us hope UNC Board changes tune

Let us hope UNC Board changes tune
March 26
00:00 2015

The votes are in. The results are out. The General Assembly has named the 16 members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors who will replace the 16 whose terms are expiring. Eight were chosen by the Senate and eight by the House. They start their terms on July 1.

Current Chairman John Fennebresque and Vice Chairman Louis Bissette were chosen by the Senate to return. Board member Harry Smith Jr.’s term won’t be up until 2017.

Smith will have Fennebresque to help lead the charge to “right-size” the 17-campus UNC system. Will any of the new members have the courage to vote against such a move?

The Senate chose four incumbents and four newcomers. The House chose three incumbents and five newcomers. Among the 16 people are a few former law enforcement officers, some present and former lawmakers, attorneys, an accountant and a former business executive.

The current Board is top-heavy with people in occupations related to business as an owner, a retired owner or top official of a business.

The next occupations that people on the Board have are attorneys and people in the financial arena. There are only two people connected to government and two connected to community volunteer work. There is one doctor. There are no educators or former educators.

Fennebresque and Bissette are attorneys. Smith is a businessman.

These are the people who govern the 17-campus UNC system, an education system. How can a policy-making body make decisions about education when there are no educators or former educators on the Board?

While the Board of Governors entertains talk of closing schools, maybe they should get educated in finance.

According to a February report on the collective economic value of the UNC System,  during the fiscal year 2012-13 analysis year, shows that payroll and operations spending of UNC universities and the UNC Medical Center, together with the spending of their students, visitors, alumni and start-up companies, created $27.9 billion in added state income to the North Carolina economy.

So, who wants to cut any of that money out of the state economy? And who wants to close schools that are educating students and giving them education that helps them find jobs and make good money?

That’s what Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood Robinson calls “nonsense.” WSSU has statistics to show that officials, faculty and staff are doing what colleges and universities are supposed to do: educate students to achieve success.

Let’s hope the new members on the UNC Board of Governors will bring common sense to the board and no more “nonsense.”

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