Bill opens search for new UNC president to public

Posted September 28, 2015

— The UNC Board of Governors would have to vet three finalists for the University of North Carolina president job in an open meeting under a bill the state House gave tentative approval to on Monday night.

As originally drafted, Senate Bill 670 limited members of the Board of Governors to serving three terms. That provision is still in the bill, although it has been clarified to allow current members of the board who were potentially affected to finish their current terms.

Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate say they have been troubled by reports that the search committee looking for a successor to UNC President Tom Ross had been too secretive. Under current law, the Board of Governors could keep the new president's name under wraps until his or her appointment was announced.

"My amendment addresses that concern," said Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake.

Under the Martin amendment, at least three finalists will have to be submitted to the full Board of Governors. Those names will have to be public, along with their resumes, and the board will have to have at least one meeting open to the public during which those three finalists are discussed.

The amendment passed 97-11 and is now part of the full bill. However, the changes Martin put forward change the bill's title, a technical consideration that will require the House to vote on the measure Tuesday in order to send it to the Senate for approval.


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