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Following a week of big announcements, the UNC-system Board of Governors met in committee sessions Thursday.

Former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings was elected Oct. 23, as the next system president and board Chairperson John Fennebresque resigned Monday — leaving the board’s leadership in a state of transition until Spellings assumes the presidency in March.

Thursday’s committee meetings included discussions on budget allocations, tenured faculty and the recent bond referendum.

The full board will meet today for the first regularly scheduled meeting since September.

Committee approves operating budget

With the exception of board member Marty Kotis, the Committee on Budget and Finance voted unanimously to approve the operating budget allocations for the UNC-system for fiscal year 2015-2016.

  • $9 million was set aside to provide in-state tuition for veterans.
  • The board also voted to allocate $2 million for the UNC System SMART initiative, which aims to increase system-wide efficiency, transparency and accountability in hiring processes, financial processes and legal services, among other programs.
  • $50 million will go to the general fund for capital improvement projects across UNC-system campuses.
  • Board member Champion Mitchell said he wanted to see the general fund allocated more evenly across campuses, since the large schools tend to receive disproportionate amounts of money.  

  • Tenure and salary increases reviewed

    The Committee on Personnel and Tenure discussed the results of a ten-year review of tenured faculty members across the UNC-system, which concluded this year. Of the 715 faculty members reviewed in 2014-2015, only 2.2 percent were found unsatisfactory, according to institutional criteria.

    They also debated pre-approval salary increases.

  • From 2005-2015, of the 8,157 faculty reviewed, only 2.8 percent were found unsatisfactory — those of which will participate in “development plans.”
  • The Committee on Personnel and Tenure discussed pre-approval of proposed salary increases in closed session.
  • The board discussed a temporary resolution that would give the committee more time to review the pre-approval salary increases — currently set at a 10 percent increase. 
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    BOG hopes public will pass bond referendum 

    The Committee on Public Affairs discussed campaigning for the new bond referendum — called Connect NC — which will allocate $2 billion to improving infrastructure in the state.

    It was passed by both the House and the Senate, and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. The public will vote on the referendum in the spring.

  • $980 million of the bond will be allocated to the UNC system.
  • Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union, engineered the bond bill. He spoke to the committee about getting it passed by voters.
  • He said taxes will not be raised to support the bill, and since 1965, interest rates on government bonds have never been lower. “Now is a great time to utilize these conditions,” he said.
  • Arp believes the biggest concern voters will have is how borrowing this sum of money will affect the state’s debt.