Editorial: UNC board chaos “an outrage and an embarrassment,” Fetzer must go

UNC Board of Governors member Tom Fetzer and attorney Peter Romary.

After you’ve checked out Joe Killian’s latest wrap-up of the ongoing craziness at the UNC Board of Governors over on the main Policy Watch website (“As the UNC Board of Governors turns: Members go silent as concerns about Fetzer mount”), be sure to read this morning’s lead editorial in the Winston-Salem Journal, which relies in part on Joe’s reporting to put the situation at UNC in proper context.

Here are some excerpts from “UNC Board’s dysfunction”:

We hereby officially declare the UNC Board of Governors destructive and dysfunctional and headed to hell in a handbasket full of petty infighting and naked opportunism.

You could see this coming, first by inches and feet and now by country miles:

  • The clumsy handling of the still-unresolved “Silent Sam” Confederate statue saga.
  • The testy relations with former UNC President Margaret Spellings, which led to her abrupt departure in March, after only three years.
  • The departure as well of UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt in January.
  • The persistent rumors that N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore is angling to become UNC system president (perish the thought).

And now the shenanigans (what else would you call them?) of board member Tom Fetzer, who keeps meddling in the affairs of individual campuses in what appears to be a shameless attempt to find a new job for himself.

After reviewing Fetzer’s latest outrageous behavior in which he hired lawyer Peter Romary to conduct an investigation of former ECU interim chancellor Dan Gerlach (and who could have expected anything different from a career troublemaker like Fetzer?), the editorial concludes this way:

But what is painfully obvious is that the Board of Governors is spinning out of control, with warring factions and clashing agendas. And all this scratching and clawing is mostly Republican versus Republican. There are no Democrats on the board.

Yet, somehow nobody seems to be held accountable. Thus, Fetzer has twice gone off the grid to play amateur gumshoe and still retains his seat on the board

As of Thursday, at least some board members finally were publicly condemning Fetzer’s actions. But that’s not enough. Fetzer needs to go…..

This is an outrage and an embarrassment and, if left unchecked, it will do lasting damage to the UNC system’s integrity and reputation, as well as its ability to attract the best leaders.

Would you want to work for these guys?

Click here to read the entire editorial.


  1. William Richardson

    November 23, 2019 at 8:03 am

    I don’t know if I would like to work for those guys or not, but I do know, I would not wish to work with anyone that topples, removes, or destroys public property, because it “offends” them. They commit acts such as that in the name of “inclusion” they claim. One can’t be for inclusion, while you wish to eradicate another’s Heritage. What they claim they are for is a lie.

    Inclusion for ALL, equality for ALL.

  2. Andy Bernholdt

    November 23, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    I have to ask: there was a press release from a police union about a week ago confirming that the lawyer was out of the country and had no email access. When he got back, when all of this was in the press, he was retained. The police confirmed that the lawyer contacted Fetzer because current and retired cops were saying they called legislators, and why not, legislators all claim to back cops at election time. Fetzer apparently, passed on messages to please not issue subpoenas, others did too. The cops also confirmed they wanted it quiet and this was not a competing or rogue investigation, this was simply to exonerate cops.

    Seems the real story is, when Gerlach confessed that he had been buying students drinks, had got drunk and had driven home and so had lied on radio and on Internet, why was FBI not called in. That was wire fraud and plenty of people were being hurt, the cops confirmed threats to them and also wondered why the legislators had not come to their aid. Arguments, petitions, threats and still Dr. Medicare Florida Fraud Lawsuit Roper did not tell people. They got out cease and desist for “I am informed I will be hired” and folks said that was same as “I represent” – media left out the “serious doubts” and “won’t happen”. Look over here at my left hand, don’t look at the potential Wire Fraud – because if you search “DaVita” “fraud” “Florida” you may get a huge story!

  3. Andy Bernholdt

    November 23, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Check out some of the student newspapers around UNC system (I’m not being disrespectful) that’s where I read about what police unions were sending out to stop the false connections and people reporting what the UNC system wanted reported.

    Obtaining property by false pretenses (NC crime) is a serious felony — if you lie to gain something with value over $100K then each lie is a more serious felony than armed robbery with 8 years minimum. If you lie over radio or internet (or other devices) to get anything of value (job back) each count = 20 year max.

    So, lying about police setting him up may have seemed smart at the time, but people also included BOT, BOG, politicians and Roper and his crew seemed to keep things quiet when Gerlach finally told the truth. Why? Why risk prison by covering up? Why risk prison by blaming police, lawyers, judges etc.

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