UNC system president checks out WSSU

UNC system president checks out WSSU
April 28
05:40 2016
WSSU photo
(L-R) Winston-Salem State University Provost Brenda Allen and Chancellor Elwood Robinson share a moment with University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings during her visit to WSSU on Tuesday, April 26 as part of a 100-day listening tour.



Margaret Spellings’ tour of the all the institutions in the University of North Carolina (UNC) system stopped on the campus of Winston-Salem State University earlier this week.

Spellings visit was part of a 100-day listening tour where the newly appointed president intends to visit all 16 public universities, the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the NC Research Campus in Annapolis and UNC Health Care.

WSSU was the fifteenth stop on Spellings’ list of public universities. She is scheduled to return to Winston-Salem on Friday, April 29, to visit the N.C. School of the Arts.

Prior to joining the state’s university system, Spellings served as the U.S. Secretary of Education and White House domestic policy advisor. During that time she helped launch No Child Left Behind, which has since been replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which was signed by President Barack Obama last year.

Spellings has also served as the president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Education Advisory Board.

During her nine-hour tour of WSSU on Tuesday, April 26, complete with performances by the marching band, Spellings sat down with a number of students to discuss the future of the UNC system. She mentioned most students are concerned about the affordability of education.

On a number of stops on the tour, students have made it clear that they are not happy with the UNC Board of Governors’ decision to appoint Spellings president because of her involvement with Apollo Group, a company that collects student loan debts. Apollo Group also oversees the University of Phoenix, a for-profit institution.

When asked how she plans to address the students’ concerns, Spellings said, “I plan to take these issues to the N.C. Legislature and push for more resources here and at every other institution in the system.

“That’s my job. To be their advocate,” she said.  While on her listening tour, Spellings also met with Chancellor Elwood Robinson and the WSSU Board of Trustees. Robinson said Spellings was very attentive during her many discussions throughout the day.

“Everyone she met with today, she gave her full attention,” he said. “We want to thank her for spending that time with us today.”

When asked what she has learned from her tour of the institutions in the UNC System, Spellings said, “I have learned how different each university in this system is.

“Each one has a unique character, leader and even community,” she continued. “That’s the strength of this system.”

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Wali Pitt

Wali Pitt

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