Governor Roy Cooper signs order establishing commission to assess the governance of public universities

Governor Roy Cooper signs order establishing commission to assess the governance of public universities
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 11:28 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - On Tuesday, Nov. 1, Governor Roy Cooper signed an executive order that establishes a new commission to advise the governor’s office and the rest of the state about the governance of public universities.

“The Commission will assess the current appointment system of public university governance in North Carolina and make recommendations to the Governor on how it can be reformed and strengthened,” said Cooper’s office in a release.

The newly established Commission on the Future of Public Universities aims to address some of the controversies surrounding public universities in NC. Governor Cooper’s office states that there are “concerns that boards plagued by undue political influence and bureaucratic meddling hinder effective university governance.”

Within eight months of the signing of the order, the commission will need to deliver a report which assesses the governance structure of public universities and provides recommendations on certain issues as requested by the governor.

The commission will be co-chaired by former UNC System presidents Tom Ross (2011-2016) and Margaret Spellings (2016-2019). Ross once worked as a superior court judge and the president of Davidson College, and Spellings was the U.S. Secretary of Education under former President George W. Bush. The co-chairs, a vice chair and 12 other governor-appointed people will comprise the commission.