Cooper announces initiative to reform UNC System’s governance structure | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is David Larson.

    On Tuesday, Nov. 1, North Carolina's Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper held a press conference at the Executive Mansion announcing the creation of a new commission tasked with reforming the University of North Carolina System's governance. Tom Ross and Margaret Spellings, both recent former presidents of the UNC System, were present while Cooper signed the executive order and were announced as the new commission's two co-chairs.

    Cooper praised the UNC System as a prized possession of the state, but said that recent controversies have shown that changes need to be made. Journalist Jeff Tiberii, who was on the scene, reported that Cooper said "Republicans have too much power of the process." Tiberii also reported that Cooper peppered his speech with references to diversity. The commission will be tasked with making recommendations for increasing diversity on UNC boards.

    But Jenna Robinson, director of the Martin Center for Higher Education, pushed back on this focus on diversity in comments to the Carolina Journal.

    "Just as the US Supreme Court is poised to end the divisive practice of using racial preferences in college admissions, Governor Cooper wants to bring it back," Robinson said. "This is a step in the wrong direction."

    Robinson added: "Governor Cooper's Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina seems designed to undermine the authority of the UNC Board of Governors, the various Boards of Trustees, and the General Assembly. Although reform is still needed, these entities have served students well by keeping tuition low and shepherding our schools through the pandemic."

    Cooper's office released a press statement afterwards detailing the executive order that was signed.

    In that release, Ross is quoted as saying, "The University of North Carolina System is an unparalleled asset for our state and a comprehensive review to ensure that our governance structure is designed to enhance these institutions and meet the rapidly changing demands of the future is the right thing to do," said Tom Ross.

    Cooper's statement also said that, despite all of the great history and impact of the UNC System, "Unfortunately, a spate of controversies over the last few years has led to concerns that boards plagued by undue political influence and bureaucratic meddling hinder effective university governance. Instability and political interference can have significant impacts on campus leadership, turnover and academic experience for students, and can threaten the university's reputation and the state's economy and communities."

    Regardless of Cooper's desire to reform the leadership structure of the UNC System, the guidelines for how the boards are constituted are written in statute, so the Republican-led General Assembly would have to agree to give up any power they have over the process, which they are unlikely to agree to do. Neal Inman, chief of staff for Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, tweeted a simple, "It's DOA [dead on arrival]" in response to the news, indicating the General Assembly would not take action on any recommendations emerging from Cooper's reform commission.

    Cooper's executive order directs the commission to provide a report before eight months time that assesses the governing structure and makes recommendations to fix any perceived issues.

    The three issues regarding the governing structure the commission is directed to explore are "1) who should appoint the members of the Board of Governors and the members of each Board of Trustees; 2) how to ensure that the composition of the Board of Governors and each Board of Trustees reflects the regional, ethnic, racial, gender, gender, political, and economic diversity of the state; and 3) a proposed set of principles and responsibilities that should apply to members of the Board of Governors and members of each Board of Trustees."

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( November 28th, 2022 @ 1:01 pm )
What Comrade Cooper really wants is CONTROL of the governmence for himself, and bringing in two hard core far lefties to head his "commission" tells the tale.

What ought to happen is to let the people of North Carolina ELECT the university board of governors. Ditto electing the state school board, instead of it being mostly appointed by Comrade Cooper.

Daily One Stop Totals 11.1.22 Carolina Journal, Statewide, Editorials, Government, Op-Ed & Politics, State and Federal, Bloodless Warfare: Politics Treasurer focuses on eastern NC towns in Tuesday press conference


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