UNC System

Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education under George W. Bush, has been tabbed as the next UNC system president.
LBJ Foundation / Flickr Creative Commons

The controversial hiring of Margaret Spellings as the new UNC system president has received national attention for its political implications.

Some professors say her background as Secretary of Education under the George W. Bush administration is a signal of more divestment in higher education.

But some of Spellings' former colleagues say she is just what the UNC system needs to connect with a Republican legislature.

Margaret Spellings
Dave DeWitt

Margaret Spellings has spent her professional life in the eye of the political storm. She served President George W. Bush as Education Secretary and political advisor. And now that she’s the choice of the UNC Board of Governors to be the new UNC system president, it’s not going to get any less windy.

First, let’s start with those who believe they have hired a quote “game-changer.”

UNC Board of Governors
Dave DeWitt

The UNC Board of Governors is deeply divided over how to elect a new leader.

Some board members have called for the resignation of chair John Fennebresque after he called an emergency closed-door meeting to interview a candidate.

Emails reveal several board members accused Fennebresque of botching the hiring process which started after President Tom Ross was forced to resign earlier this year. 

The division represents a split within the Republican members of the board.

Protesters disrupt UNC board debate about poverty center.
https://twitter.com/adv_project

Over the protests of students, the UNC Board of Governors moved forward with tuition and fee increases, as well as the controversial decision to close three academic centers in UNC system.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with WUNC reporter Dave Dewitt about the decisions and the outcries from faculty and students about the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at UNC Chapel Hill; the Center for Biodiversity at East Carolina; and the Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at North Carolina Central.

Tom Ross
https://www.northcarolina.edu/?q=office-president/president

University of North Carolina System President Tom Ross will retire from his position, effective January 2016.  Ross has led the 17-school university system since 2011. 

In a joint statement with Ross, the Board of Governors said it "decided to begin the process of leadership transition."  

Debra Saunders-White
NCCU

Debra Saunders-White was officially installed Friday as the 11th chancellor at North Carolina Central University.  She has been serving as the school's leader since last June.  She is the university's first female chancellor and only the second woman to lead one of the five historically black colleges in the UNC System.

Saunders-White encouraged NCCU students to be fearless in choosing their career paths..and promised the school's best efforts to help them reach their goals.

The 'Old Well' UNC-Chapel HIll
Caroline Culler / Wikipedia

Individuals are enrolling in health care through the federal online marketplace, but thousands of North Carolinians might find themselves with employer-sponsored health plans next year.   

In January, the Affordable Care Act will require businesses to offer health insurance to full-time employees working 30 hours a week or more. This would now include graduate teaching assistants and visiting faculty at the University of North Carolina.

UNC System

The UNC System, made up of 17 educational institutions, has seen a reduction in funding over the last several years. Some universities are eliminating positions to try to make up the difference. And tuition hikes place a greater burden on students.  UNC System President Tom Ross  addressed the budget problems in North Carolina in a conversation with host Frank Stasio on WUNC's The State of Things.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory says he has instructed his staff to write legislation that would revamp how state universities are funded. McCrory told the Bill Bennett radio show Morning in America that universities should be funded not by how many students they enroll, but how many students get jobs after college.

"I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we're offering courses that have no chance at getting people jobs," McCrory said. 

Bill Friday
UNC Chapel Hill

More than a thousand people gathered today in Memorial Hall on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill to remember Bill Friday. The longtime UNC system president and TV show host died last week at the age of 92.

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