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Campus Y calls for Margaret Spellings' dismissal

One of UNC’s largest student groups is challenging Margaret Spellings’ appointment as UNC-system president. The Campus Y released a cabinet statement on Facebook this afternoon condemning the former U.S. Secretary of Education’s selection and the recent activities of the UNC-system Board of Governors.

This follows a University town hall on race and inclusion last week where activists also called for the dismissal of Spellings. 

In the statement, Campus Y leadership detailed their grievances with Spellings, who they referred to as a troubling administrator, and the inconsistencies in her selection process.

“She has a pretty well-documented history of LGBTQ discrimination,” Campus Y co-president Vishal Reddy said. “She sat on the corporate board for the parent company of the University of Phoenix, a for-profit institution which has been criticized in the past for preying women, veterans and people of color.”

Since her selection announcement, Spellings has faced criticism for a letter she sent to the president of PBS while she was Secretary of Education, noting that many parents would not want their children exposed to the LGBT lifestyles on one of the network’s shows.

The criticism only grew when asked about the letter at a press conference last month. Spellings declined to comment on “those lifestyles,” but mentioned that her issue was with the fact public funds were being used to produce the show. 

Campus Y’s statement also highlighted inconsistencies they believe were present in her selection process, referencing the board’s emergency, closed-door meeting when Spellings was interviewed. The statement also made note of the convoluted manner in which current President Tom Ross was removed by

“Her selection process was completely obfuscated by the board,” Reddy said. “The selection process was so concerning that the Republican legislature tried to pass a bill to force them to interview at least three candidates.”

Reddy said he would personally like to see Spellings removed before she takes office, but that itself won’t be enough.

“There are also systemic problems with the Board of Governors,” he said. “Their processes are so broken that they’re not making thoughtful decisions about student and faculty.”

Reddy said in the future, he hopes to see a board with student and faculty representatives that have voting power.

“Students need to know more about the Board of Governors,” he said, “and how they relate to the day to day workings of our university.”

Spellings' current place of work, the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, did not return requests for comment. 

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