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UNC Board of Governors nominee moves forward without facing committee questions

The House is scheduled to vote on the appointment of Reginald R. Holley to the UNC Board of Governors today, following a favorable report from the House Rules Committee Tuesday.

Holley did not attend the committee meeting, despite several lawmakers saying they were told Holley would attend and answer any questions they may have.

Reginald R. Holley

“Usually in the normal election process they will come in and answer a few questions or they’ll come by and introduce themselves so we can ask them then if we want to,” said House Minority Leader Daren Jackson (D-Wake). “That hasn’t happened. There are a number of things I would like to have asked him.”

There is currently an interim UNC System President and interim chancellors at four of the UNC system’s 17 campuses (ECU, Fayetteville State, UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC School of the Arts.). The board is going to have to make some import leadership decisions quickly, Jackson said — and it would be nice to know where Holley stands on how those decisions should be made.

The exits of former UNC President Margaret Spellings, former UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and former ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton came shrouded in controversy after conflicts with the board of governors.

House Minority Leader Darren Jackson (D-Wake)

“I’d like to know o know what thoughts he had on that,” Jackson said. “I’d like to know what he’s looking for in the next leader of the university system. I think those are fair questions I’d like to get answered.

Jackson said he didn’t know Holley and has only  “seen him around the building” in his role as a lobbyist.

That, he said, is its own problem.

If elected, Holley would be the sixth current or former lobbyist on the current 24-member board of governors (the others are Tom Fetzer, Thom Goolsby, Darrell Allison, Pearl Burris-Floyd and David Powers).

“Lobbyists shouldn’t be allowed to be on the board of governors,” Jackson said. “When you have people who are dependent on the Speaker and the Pro Tem to get legislation moving and the Speaker and the Pro Tem are dependent on PAC fundraising and things like that. And then you’re going to put lobbyists on the board of governors? You can’t have an independently thinking, independently operating board of governors that way. They’re just going to be an extension of the General Assembly. And that is not the purpose.”

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