The summary below highlights selected actions taken by the UNC Board of Governors during the May meeting.

For a full account of board proceedings and meeting materials, please check the board meeting archive.

Read President Spellings’ May Report to the Board of Governors.

University Award

UNC President Emeritus Thomas W. Ross is the 2016 recipient of the University Award, the highest honor given by the Board of Governors of the 17-campus University of North Carolina. Board Chairman Lou Bissette of Asheville presented the award, which recognizes illustrious service to higher education in North Carolina, during a banquet held Thursday evening (May 26) on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
Learn more

O. Max Gardner Award

The UNC Board of Governors has conferred the O. Max Gardner Award, its highest faculty honor, on two distinguished professors, one from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the other from Western Carolina University.  Recent Nobel Prize winner Dr. Aziz Sancar, the Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the UNC- Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and David A. Shapiro, the Robert Lee Madison Distinguished Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at WCU, are the 2016 recipients of the award.
Learn more

New Officers

Asheville attorney W. Louis Bissette, Jr., a partner and former president of the McGuire, Wood & Bissette law firm, will serve another two years as chair of the UNC Board of Governors, the policy-making body of the 17-campus University of North Carolina. The current slate of Board officers was re-elected by acclamation today during the Board’s regular May meeting.
Learn more

Public Comment Session

Following the Board meeting, the UNC Board of Governors held its first public comment session. Limited to 15 speakers, the sessions invite comments on topics related to the University system, and were designed to give board members an opportunity to hear public input and to increase transparency efforts. Eight people attended the May Public Comment Session.
Learn more

Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy

Andrew P. Kelly, a resident scholar in education policy studies and director of the Center on Higher Education Reform at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), has been named to the newly created post of senior vice president for strategy and policy of the 17-campus University of North Carolina.
Learn more

Student Member Named

Madeline Finnegan, UNC-ASG president, was sworn in as the ex-officio student, to the UNC Board of Governors. Finnegan replaces outgoing UNC-ASG president Zack King. Madeline Finnegan is a rising junior at North Carolina State University from Apex majoring in economics. 

Strategic Priorities Discussion

Board members, Chancellors, staff, and others heard from presenters Jay Pucket, Boston Consulting Group; Andrew Kelly, American Enterprise Institute; and James Johnson, Kenan Flagler Business School. The purpose of the policy discussion was to “set the stage” for the development of the University’s strategic plan. Video archive of the presentations and PowerPoint slides are available.

Video Archive

Watch on YouTube

Discussion Materials
President’s Report
Board of Governors and Strategic Planning Process
National Trends in Higher Education
Demographic Changes Impacting North Carolina

Degree Programs

The Board approved the establishment of the following programs:

  • Western Carolina University, BSEE in Electrical Engineering
  • UNC Charlotte, PhD in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation.
  • East Carolina University, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance Performance

The Board approved the discontinuation of the following programs:

  • East Carolina University, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance Edu Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance.
  • UNC-Chapel Hill, MA in Comparative Literature and PhD in Comparative Literature
  • UNC Charlotte and Western Carolina University, Joint BSEE in Electrical Engineering

Learn more


Watch the May board meeting

Watch on YouTube.



The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body charged with “the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance” of the University of North Carolina. Its 32 voting members are elected by the NC General Assembly for four-year terms.  The Board of Governors has a dual role—maintaining the overall strength of the UNC system, while also addressing individual campus needs.


Accessibility options

Adjust the interface to make it easier to use for different conditions.
This renders the document in high contrast mode.
This renders the document as white on black
This can help those with trouble processing rapid screen movements.
This loads a font easier to read for people with dyslexia.