The motion to accept the budget carried, though board member Thom Goolsby also voted against it.
The board also approved a second item. As part of the 2015-16 capital improvement allocations, the general assembly gave $45 million for the three campuses in the UNC-system that had not received a specific project in the bond proposal: UNC-Asheville, UNC School of the Arts and Elizabeth City State University.
Zack King, president of the UNC-system’s Association of Student Governments and the only student member on the board, gave an address about his main concern for this school year: mental health.
“Mental health is deeply intertwined in the fabric of our campuses,” he said.
Mental health services in the state have been on the chopping block; the legislature cut more than $100 million from North Carolina's eight mental health agencies from the 2015-16 fiscal year.
Public service awards
Sylvia Flack of Winston-Salem State University and Carmen Russoniello of East Carolina University were awarded this year's James E. Holshouser, Jr. Awards for Excellence in Public Service. Flack is the executive director of Winston-Salem State's Center of Excellence for the Elimination of Health Disparities, and Russoniello is the founding director of ECU's Center for Applied Psychophysiology.
“My belief about service is best summarized by the idea that the more we share, the more we have,” Russoniello said in a press release. “I am honored to receive an award in the name of a man who practiced this philosophy and did so much to help our communities and state grow.”
The meeting concluded with a motion from board member Alex Mitchell to adopt a resolution formally thanking former chair John Fennebresque for his service to the board and for leading the university through a “period of transformation in higher education.”
Fennebresque announced his resignation Oct. 26.
“We all consider John a great friend of ours,” vice-chairperson Louis Bissette said. “He did have a very tumultuous period in this office, but he had a number of accomplishments that he can be proud of and I think this board can be proud of.”
The motion carried unanimously.