State Senate makes UNC Board of Governor appointments

Mar. 20, 2013 @ 07:41 PM

The state Senate of Wednesday named eight new members to the UNC Board of Governors.

None of the eligible current members of the 32-member governing board of the 17-campus UNC system were reappointed by the Republican-led Senate.

The state House is also expected to appoint eight members this week, but those selections were not available by publication time.

Last month, some state leaders expressed concerned about a potential lack of diversity on the board because the terms of all four African Americans currently on the board are set to expire this year.

Board member Dudley Flood is ineligible for reappointment because he has served three consecutive terms and Laura Buffaloe was not expected to seek reappointment due to health reasons.

The two other blacks on the board – Walter Davenport and Franklin McCain – have expressed interest in being reappointed.

In an interview Wednesday, McCain said he is disappointed that the Senate did not reappoint any of the current board members, but not surprised that the Republicans senators decided to stack the board with like-minded people.

“I kind of suspected this,” McCain said. “I’m disappointed that politics has such gravity and such a large role in something like education.”

McCain said he also feels strongly that the board needs African Americans to speak, in particularly, on behalf of the state’s Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCUs).

“I would like to have people around that table who have experience and relationships with HBCUs,” McCain said. “I don’t doubt that some of the people selected have an interest in those schools, but I suspect they do not have the insight that someone who has attended an HBCU might have.”
The eight members appointed by the Senate are:

- William M. Kotis III of Summerfield, a commercial real estate investor and restaurateur with Kotis Properties, Inc.

- Scott Lampe of Davidson, vice president and chief financial officer for Hendrick Motorsports.

- Steven B. Long of Raleigh, a tax attorney and partner with Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein, LLP.

- Joan G. MacNeill of Webster, a retired entrepreneur and nurse.

- Therence O. Pickett of Greensboro, vice president, general counsel and secretary at Volvo Group North America, LLC and Mack Trucks, Inc.

- Robert Sterling Rippy of Wilmington, the owner and president of Jungle Rapids.

- Harry Leo Smith, Jr. of Greenville, chief executive officer of Flanders Corporation.

- John Craig Souza of Raleigh, president and chief executive officer of the N.C. Health Care Facilities Association.

“We thank each of these individuals for their willingness to serve and their commitment to ensuring our system continues to promote academic excellence,” said Sen. President Pro-Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), in a news release announcing the appointments.