University of North Carolina

Prior to 1971 the University of  North Carolina consisted of  three  all-white post secondary institutions,  UNC at Chapel Hill, NC State University, and UNC at Greensboro (women college).  Title VI and its implementing regulations provide that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin under any program or activity that receives Federal financial assistance.  In  1969 the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) began investigating the desegregation progress of ten states, including North Carolina, that had historically segregated systems of public higher education. In February 1970 the University of North Carolina (System) received notice of its non-compliance with Title VI from HEW's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The university was found to be maintaining a racially identifiable system of public higher education.  The Supreme in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education (1971) held that busing was an appropriate remedy for the problem of racial imbalance in schools; that year NC legislature in the Higher Education Reorganization Act of 1971, which placed  16 institutions under one governing board, asserted the basic objectives and purposes for the University of North Carolina: to foster the development of a well-planned and coordinated system of higher education, to improve the quality of education, to extend its benefits, and to encourage an economical use of the state’s resources.  The board of trustees of the University of North Carolina was hereby re-designated, effective  July 1, 1972, as the ‘Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina.   The 32-member unelected political donors known as the University of North Carolina  determine the  system  President  who in turn receives nominations from university Board of Trustees to make a recommendation to Governors for institution Chancellor.   The Board of Governors and state Governor appoint members of constituent institution’s Board of Trustees.
"Governance in the Public Interest : A Case Study of the University of North Carolina System"  reported:
  • Observation of the committee and full Board meetings suggests that only a few Board members are fully prepared for the meetings.
  • Most of the Board’s detailed work occurs at the committee level, making the committees de facto mini-boards and the full Board meetings mostly perfunctory.
  • Discussion related to the committee materials is limited.
  • The full Board acts as a ratification body for committee work
  • The Board too often uses the consent agenda for issues deserving more debate such as program approval, property acquisition, and mission review.
  • The purpose of the consent agenda is to expedite routine matters of the Board that are typically non-controversial and are related to staff’s application of Board policies and guidelines on particular institutional requests. For example, the Board issues policies and guidelines for program approvals. The staff utilizes these guidelines in its review of new programs. If the programs meet the requirements set out in the Board’s guidelines, these approvals are put on the consent agenda.
  • The long-range strategic plan is staff-driven, not Board-driven
  • By its own acknowledgment, the Board does not concentrate on cost control as much as it should.
  • The long-range strategic plan is staff-driven, not Board-driven.
Governance in the Public Interest: A Case Study of the University of North Carolina System. Written and researched by Phyllis Palmiero for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Commissioned by the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy (
In the 2009-10 North Carolina General Assembly 3 Billion dollars in appropriations to the UNC- system was  680%  that for State government - 444 million.  It elects the president, who administers the University. The 32 voting members of the Board of Governors are elected by the General Assembly for four-year terms.  Each of the UNC campuses is headed by a chancellor who is chosen by the Board of Governors on the president's nomination and is responsible to the president.  Each university has a board of trustees consisting of eight members elected by the Board of Governors, four appointed by the governor, and the president of the student body, who serves ex officio." Dr. Thomas Ross, former Chairman UNCG Board of Trustees, is current UNC-GA president and Erskine Bowles- inaugurated at UNCG and the self declared Greensboro Boy”- is the former UNC-GA president.

  President Erskine Bowles recommended UNCG Chancellor Dr. Linda Brady and Dr. Harold Martin, Sr. first as Vice President of Academic affairs at UNC-GA and again as Chancellor at NCA&T – his Alma Matta- to be hired by the UNC-BOG.

In 2006-2007, with self declared" Greensboro Boy" Erskine Bowles, who held his inauguration at UNCG, President of University of North Carolina, Greensboro Attorney Jim W. Phillips, Jr. Chairman of the Board of Governors, and Bowles appointed Interim Chancellor Hacker at the helm at A&T, the NC A&T/UNC-G Joint Millennium Campus Greensboro Center for Innovative Development was Jacked by the Board of Governors and renamed Gateway Research Park Inc.. "Gateway University Research Park, a joint millennial campus created by the Board of Governors (SB 1925).  Then BOG Chairman Jim Phillips, a political donor  to Bowles unsuccessful 2004 US Senate campaign and current UNC-BOG Chairwomen Hannah Gage are former and current Board members cited in Controversy Surrounds UNC Board of Governors Selections, Violations of state law occur in House, Senate nomination process ,  “The system of legislative selection we now have seems likely to fill the BOG with political supporters of the legislative leaders”. [12]  

At the  Sept 2006 BOG board meeting Chairman Jim Phillips suggested  delegation to the President (Bowles) certain tasks what he termed as operation issues within the University, that historically were acted on in the committee setting. Phillips would say “in fact, during this past session of the General Assembly, this board was specifically authorized to delegate such things, as we deemed appropriate.”   The 2005 UNC-BOG State Non-Budget Legislative Initiatives requested to “allow the Board of Governors’ to delegate statutory duties to the President.” On Nov. 13, 2006 UNC-BOG authorized authority previously held by UNC-BOG to the President (Bowles):  with the additional authority may have transformed the President into an Emperor with an iron grip on the university with the:

·         Authority to appoint and set the salaries of Senior Academic and Administrative and other employees exempt from the State Personnel Act serving with the UNC General Administration.

·         Authority to set salary ranges for Senior Academic and Administrative officers of the constituent institution of university.

·         Authority to approve conferrals of tenure and to ser salaries of faculty, Senior Academic and Administrative officers, except the chancellors, and other employees exempt from the State Personnel Act at campuses etc....

The additional authority may have transformed  President (Bowles) into an Emperor with an iron grip on the university personnel,  especially  among minorities where last hired and first fired is generally the mindset.

Governance in the Public Interest: A Case Study of the University of North Carolina System

Recommended the Board Delegate greater operating oversight and responsibility to the individual campus boards of trustees.  Citing “under the current system, the campus boards of trustees have relatively little authority over their institutions and virtually no input into the hiring, firing, and compensation of senior staff. [13]  

  • The long-range strategic plan is staff-driven, not Board-driven.

Phyllis Palmiero, June 2005, for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni Commissioned by the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

In 2003 Dr. Harold Martin, Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University, presented the role of the chancellor, at the Board of Governors mandatory board of trustee orientation.[P20] He was later be tapped for the VP for Academic Affairs at UNC-GA in contrast to  his counter parts at other HBCUs in North Carolina who  got gone when Bowles became President.  

Was One Killed to Scare Everybody

Former Fayetteville State Chancellor Dr. Thelma J. Bryan sued The University of North Carolina (Thelma J. Bryan vs. The University of North Carolina) alleging Race and Gender discrimination containing  numerous allegations pertaining to  President Bowles.  Dr. T.J. Bryan, "alleged Bowles told her that if she did not agree to resign then she would never work in higher education again."[P22]  and  she “spoke to Mr. Harold Martin Vice-President of Academic Affairs. "He told Dr. Bryan to sign the letter right of resignation "now" or the deal to continue her employment as a part-time employee was off the table." [P27] The suit alleged Dr. Bryan, suffered, and continues to suffer, mental, emotional, and physical trauma because of the gender and racial discrimination committed by the Defendant.[P48}. [14]


[12] Shannon Blosser, July 21, 2005 The Pope Center for Higher Education  P63 
[13]  Phyllis Palmiero,2005, Governance in the Public Interest A Case Study of the University of North Carolina System, The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, Commissioned by the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy                                                  
 *[14] Thelma J. Bryan versus The University of North Carolina09CVS1160