“Even when you have unified party government, in this case Republicans in the legislature, governor and BOG, you’re not always going to have unity,” said Michael Bitzer, a political science professor at Catawba College.
“Strengths and personalities and the perception of power is oftentimes an internal dynamic within these boards and within the legislature,” Bitzer said.
The board’s search was criticized by high-ranking Republicans, including House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, and Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, for not following the spirit of a transparency bill the General Assembly passed. Gov. Pat McCrory had not signed the bill when the board announced Margaret Spellings, former President George W. Bush’s secretary of education, would replace current UNC-System President Tom Ross.
“There has been a tension between the legislature and the governor. Even though they are in the same party, they often seem to be of two minds,” Bitzer said.