Senate chooses 8 for UNC’s governing board, Goolsby and Fennebresque make cut

UNC Board of Governors Chair John Fennebresque at the Feb. 2015 meeting. (Photo taken by Sarah Ovaska)

UNC Board of Governors Chair John Fennebresque. (Photo taken by Sarah Ovaska)

The N.C. Senate made their choices Wednesday for appointments to the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors. The House will vote on their slate of candidates tomorrow.

Several of the 30 candidates vying for the 16 open slots on the UNC Board of Governors have also been significant contributors to political campaigns, with more than $1 million in contributions coming from the nominees and their immediate family members.

The new members will join the board at the start of the next fiscal year, on July 1.

John Fennebresque, the chair of the UNC Board of Governors who was reappointed on Wednesday, has personally written more than $250,000 in checks to state political campaigns since 2007. (Click here to read my report from earlier today about the connection between the UNC Board of Governors and political campaigns.)

Among those selected Wednesday by the N.C. Senate were four existing board members:

  • Fennebresque, a Charlotte attorney and chair of the board
  • Louis Bissette Jr., an Asheville attorney
  • H. Frank Grainger, a Cary businessman
  • Anna Spangler Nelson, a Charlotte businesswoman and daughter of billionaire C.D. Spangler, a former UNC system president.

New selections to the Board of Governors include:

  • Thom Goolsby, a former Republican state Senator and Wilmington attorney
  • Temple Sloan III, who sold his Raleigh-based family company, General Parts, for $2 billion in 2014
  • William Webb, a former federal magistrate judge, currently an adviser at Shanahan Law Group in Raleigh
  • Michael L. Williford, a Fayetteville attorney

Of the Senate nominees, all but Nelson are registered Republicans, according to voter registration records. Nelson is unaffiliated, and also the only woman nominated by Senators to serve on the Board of Governors.

Webb, whose wife Allyson Duncan is a federal justice for the the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, is African-American and the only non-white nominee selected by the Senate.


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