Education

Spellings makes good first impression on UNC chancellors

Posted March 3

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— University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings has impressed several chancellors of the 17-campus university system during initial meetings.

Spellings, whose first day on the job was Tuesday, spent Thursday meeting with UNC Board of Governors committees at Fayetteville State University.

"I'm learning a lot. I'm listening a lot," she said between meeting. "It's a great third day on the job."

Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Thomas Conway said he is glad to see Spellings is aware of the needs of the smaller campuses in the UNC system.

"She has been extremely supportive. She has done her homework. she already knows the kinds of things that we're going to need down there, and she's been sensitive to our request so far."

Spellings said she wants to get input from universities on how the UNC system can improve.

"I think the board needs to be very strategic in the policy issues that are before us that are so critical, but we need to honor the roles that the chancellors play as sophisticated managers of sophisticated enterprises," she said.

Thursday's meetings weren't marred by the protests that have disrupted recent Board of Governors meetings – and Spellings first day in Chapel Hill – but Fayetteville State officials have added security in advance of Friday's full board meeting.

Fayetteville State Chancellor James Anderson said protesters have the right to express their opinions on campus, but he suggested they get past their concerns over how Spellings was selected, her record as a former U.S. education secretary and previous statements on gays and lesbians.

"Issues that were past issues, you need to let go, and let's start from day one and give her a fair shake and see exactly how she actually performs," Anderson said.

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