The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday April 12th

Letter: ​Shrinking the BOG spells out bad news


UNC’s wildly unpopular System President Margaret Spellings was quoted in the Charlotte Observer suggesting that the UNC Board of Governors, campus-level Boards of Trustees, and the UNC General Administration could all stand to be reduced in size.

The Observer article said: “She points to the comparable University of Texas system, which has a nine-member board, all appointed by the governor. ‘I’m not saying it’s better; just different,’ she said.”

Initially it may seem refreshing to hear Superfluous Administrator-in-Chief Spellings acknowledge the problem of “administrative bloat”. But we have to pay attention to her actions so far as illegitimate UNC-system President to understand the significance of the changes she is suggesting.

Her appointees to “senior advisor” positions so far have been profoundly troubling, including Andrew Kelly, notorious proponent of Income-Sharing Agreements (akin to indentured servitude) as a method of student loan repayment, and Meredith Didier, former lawyer for the for-profit education industry and the ethically depraved tobacco giant Phillip Morris.

A small Board of Governors made up of career education privatizers with a sharper set of pro-business structural adjustment tools can almost certainly do more damage to our universities than the existing cast of 32 bumbling conservative bureaucrats.

These highly-trained, vicious gutters of public education are exactly the kind of “senior advisors” Spellings has hired.

Nor should we expect a smaller board to mean cost savings in executive compensation or a reduction in the financial burden of administrative bloat. Both Kelly and Didier were awarded salaries in excess of $200,000. And we can’t ignore that Spellings laid off approximately 20 people from the UNC General Administration (following recommendations from the Boston Consulting Group’s $1 million “strategic review”) in order to finance those hires — that is to say, the replacement of 20 staff members with two or three “senior advisors” was cost-neutral.

Be wary — conduct a #Spellcheck — when Margaret Spellings proposes any kind of structural readjustment of our university system.

Madeleine Scanlon

Class of ’16

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