UNC system leadership meets on speech, funding

Committee members during a meeting of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors (Eamon Queeney / North State Journal)

CHAPEL HILL — Members of the UNC Board of Governors are meeting this week to lay the groundwork for key policy decisions slated to face the group in 2018. Subcommittees are gathering to talk about everything from tenure and budgets to public discourse on campus. The gatherings are leading up to an all-day Board of Governors meeting on Friday.

The subcommitees’ agendas include a vote to increase the salaries of UNC President Margaret Spellings and the 17 chancellors by 3.46 percent. Currently Spellings earns $775,000, $150,000 more than her predecessor, Tom Ross.

Subcommittees will also vote on whether to advance capital improvement projects at nine universities: Appalachian State, East Carolina, NC Central, NC State, UNC Asheville, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Charlotte, UNC Greensboro and Winston-Salem State. Theresa Artis Neal, a media attorney and graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, will also face a board vote to seat her in a partial term, ending in June, on the UNC-TV public television board.

While not up for a vote, board members are also scheduled to hear a presentation from Robby George, founder of the James Madison Program on American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, George’s group, founded in 2000, leans to the conservative side, bringing programs to Princeton’s campus on judicial activism, religious freedom and constitutional law in Western political thought.

The presentation is reportedly part of an effort to bring a diversity of thought onto the UNC system campuses, and any effort to establish a similar program would go through the established channels.