Former UNC BOG Members Accuse Sitting Board of Bad Governance

Aug 9, 2018

File photo of UNC Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith and UNC system President Margaret Spellings responding to questions about the aborted Western Carolina University chancellor search at a July 27, 2018 press conference.
Credit Lisa Philip / WUNC

Ten former members of the UNC Board of Governors have accused the sitting board of practicing bad governance.

The bipartisan group of former members signed onto an opinion piece published on the nonprofit Higher Education Works website. In it, they criticize the board for a lack of political independence. The current members are almost all Republican but have had several internal conflicts.

Related: Questions Raised About Search For New Western Carolina University Chancellor

The past members accused their successors of mishandling the search for a new chancellor to lead Western Carolina University.

Sitting member Tom Fetzer unilaterally hired an outside firm to run a background check on President Margaret Spelling's candidate pick. That candidate later dropped out.

In their letter, the former board members wrote that "micromanagement has no place in good governance" and the state and its students "deserve better."