The UNC Board of Governors met April 22 to discuss returning to normal operations in the fall, increasing out-of-state student enrollment caps for historically Black colleges and universities and UNC System Board of Trustee appointments.
UNC System President Peter Hans opened the meeting with updates on the system’s vaccine response. So far, campus clinics have administered over 77,000 COVID-19 vaccinations and UNC Health has administered over 360,000 vaccinations across the state, according to a report read by Hans.
“With the progress we’ve seen over the last few months, we are optimistic about the start of the fall semester looking much closer to normal,” Hans said. “I’m eager to see students back in the classrooms, back in face-to-face conversations, back to socializing — making real-world connections.”
Hans said these plans include using relief funds from the government to reduce the cost of attendance for students, specifically housing and dining fees.
“We’re going a step further than just restoring the old normal,” Hans said. “... there is no better way to support North Carolina’s recovery and send a message of welcome to our students.”
- The BOG voted to increase the out-of-state student enrollment cap for historically Black colleges and universities from 18 percent to 25 percent.
- The out-of-state student enrollment cap motion comes as North Carolina Central University requested a penalty waiver for exceeding the then-18 percent cap.
- Chairperson of the Educational Planning, Policies and Programs Committee Temple Sloan requested a motion to issue N.C. Central University a warning for exceeding the cap in the fall of 2020.
- Steven Long, secretary of the committee, said he disagrees with the motion on the grounds of policy. Long said this type of penalty waiver request has not been filed since UNC-Chapel Hill was denied one and fined $1 million in 2016.
- “The concern from the Board five years ago and the decision of the Board was that, if you don’t enforce the policy, you really don’t have a policy,” Long said.
- Johnson Akinleye, chancellor of North Carolina Central University, said the university did violate the policy, but has since put a system into place to monitor the rate of out-of-state enrollment. In regards to the impact the violation had on enrollment, Akinleye said no in-state students were hurt because of it.
- “Since I’ve been here, not one North Carolina resident who is qualified to come into NCCU has ever been denied admission,” Akinleye said. “I believe that the 25% is only going to allow us to be able to meet the growing demand for our institution.”
- The BOG held a roll call vote in which NC Central University was formally warned and their motion for a penalty waiver was granted.
- The BOG voted to appoint a slate of nominees for the biennial Board of Trustee elections for multiple universities in the system. The slate vote excluded UNC-Chapel Hill, which was conducted separately to discuss the nomination of Malcolm Turner.
- Art Pope, a BOG member who serves on two BOG committees, filed a friendly amendment motion to discuss Turner’s nomination separately from the other nominees, which the BOG accepted.
- Pope said the state ethics commission noted that Turner’s involvement with DraftKings, a sports betting company, could potentially have a conflict of interest with being a Board Trustee for UNC-Chapel Hill.
- “I think it’s in the best interest, not merely University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, but all our public university sports programs to keep an absolute arm’s length distance between online gambling on college sports and our college sports,” Pope said.
- UNC BOG chairperson Randy Ramsey said he supports Turner as a Board Trustee and believes he will do a great job at UNC-Chapel Hill.
- “The credentials of Mr. Turner are incredible,” Ramsey said. “To the point of statements of economic interest, in the 12 that I have filed, I have always had the exact same sentence Mr. Turner’s had in his. So, if that is something that makes us unfit, my guess is everybody around this table is unfit.”
- The BOG held a roll call vote in which Turner’s appointment was granted.
The next BOG Meeting will be held on May 26-27.
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