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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC-system Board of Governors work for internal changes

But they are given these materials only days in advance, prompting concern about how prepared they are to make decisions that directly affect the UNC system.

“That’s kind of the challenge — providing proper oversight if we don’t have enough time to provide the materials,” said board member Marty Kotis. “It’s hard to get a good discussion (going) — it’s asking people to do a book review when they haven’t read the book.”

Kotis said he’s voiced these concerns at previous meetings, but this month, board members were slapped with about 600 pages of materials on Friday afternoon, giving them only three business days to read before today’s committee meetings.

“We can’t get the material in advance and ask questions, we can’t provide proper oversight,” he said.

Kotis said he sent an email to other board members sharing his concerns. Ten or so responded in agreement, he said. Just one member who responded to Kotis said he found he had sufficient time to review materials.

Board Chairman Peter Hans acknowledged members’ concerns but said changes are in the works.

The board didn’t meet in March, he said, and the material piled up.

“This has been a two-month period in between meetings — a lot of material to review. And to perform the board’s oversight, we need more time with the notebook,” he said.

UNC-system Association of Student Governments President Robert Nunnery, who sits on the board as a non-voting member, said it can be difficult to balance preparation for meetings with other responsibilities.

“We get so much material sometimes — it’s a little overwhelming,” he said.

Still, he said he doesn’t think this keeps the board from having a quality discussion and asking questions.

UNC-system President Tom Ross will likely address the board today with ways to ensure members receive the information in an appropriate amount of time in the future, Hans said.

One major change that will ease the board’s workload is the shift to a 6-week meeting cycle that will start next year, he said.

And recently, an internal website was set up for the board to review uploaded materials, which are also made available to the public.

Hans said in the future, materials could potentially be posted as they’re completed. Some materials are time-sensitive and have to be posted close to the meeting dates so they’re newly-updated, but other, more extensive reports could be posted weeks in advance.

“It’ll be an improvement and a better working process going forward,” he said.

The board will meet in committees today and gather as a full board on Friday. This will be the board’s last meeting of the school year. The next meeting is in June.

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