WASHINGTON, DC—The American Council of Trustees and Alumni released a statement in opposition to a proposal by North Carolina legislators to strip Governor-elect Roy Cooper of his ability to make board appointments at state colleges and universities. Even under the current law, the state legislature-appointed UNC Board of Governors already nominates the vast majority of trustees at schools in the UNC system, with the Governor nominating only four trustees per institution.
“Accountability is key to good governance, and when a governor appoints higher education trustees, responsibility for the common good of taxpayers and citizens clearly and appropriately goes straight back to the governor’s office,” said Dr. Michael B. Poliakoff, President of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. “Gubernatorial appointment is overall the best way to ensure transparency for effective and accountable service to public higher education.”
Over a decade ago, ACTA’s report, Governance in the Public Interest, called for North Carolina to join the majority of states that entrust the governor with the responsibility to appoint public university trustees. In 2014, ACTA convened a bipartisan group of 22 national higher education leaders that signed a statement noting that, “informed and thoughtful appointment by the governor is essential to ensure leadership and accountability for the state’s public higher education system.”
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