“I know professional economic developers on the BOG, and I hoped I could do something to ensure the linkage,” he said.
“I think I have a pretty good understanding of the disparities between rural and urban areas.”
Hayes’ House sponsor, Rep. Lucy Allen, D-Franklin, said his occupation was one of the things that made him an asset to the board.
“Our community colleges and universities are our greatest tools in the business world,” Allen said. “I think he understands that.”
Fred Mills, secretary and treasurer of Mills Construction Co. Inc., said his age and experience could aid him in his position on the board.
“I’ve been around for 62 years,” Mills said. “I know a lot of things not to do, and I know a lot of things to do.”
Mills also said his experience working at previous schools, including Shelby City Schools, gives him knowledge of educational institutions.
“I care about what happens to our education system and I always have,” he said.
Roseman served as an adjunct professor in the UNC School of Dentistry and was a director of UNC Hospitals for three years — roles that gave him some knowledge of university workings, he said.
Roseman also said that in addition to finding a new system president, tuition autonomy and public safety are issues he cares about.
“This is probably a very critical time to come on the board,” he said.
But some legislators have opposed the appointments, questioning their legality.
Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford, filed a formal protest that claims the election ignored rules set forth in a statute determining Board of Governors elections.
He said that only eight individuals were placed on the ballot — half of the minimum 16 qualified candidates required — and that the elections weren’t held 30 days after the appointments were made.
“It makes it essentially a Speaker’s appointment bill instead of a legislators’ election,” he said. “This is like they do it in Red China or anywhere else that’s not democratic.
“This is how we did it in Iran.”
But Allen said the process was the same one utilized before in her two terms in the legislature.
“An up or down vote is something I could live with,” she said, “But this is the process we have at the moment.”
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