By Jay Schalin, John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy
John Fennebresque can certainly claim that he is a uniter, not a divider. He accomplished an amazing feat in his 16-month tenure as chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors: he united our highly divided state on one issue, that issue being his resignation from the board—just about everybody wanted him gone (he resigned last week).
Fennebresque angered liberals by showing system president Thomas Ross the door, and angered conservatives by shutting his fellow Republican board members out of the search for Ross’s replacement. He routinely ran roughshod over rules designed to make UNC governance a democratic process, and punished board members who spoke out by removing them from committees.
Jesse Saffron, in his article, “The Man Who Would Be King,” describes Fennebresque’s turbulent term atop the UNC system, plus offers some common sense suggestions about improving university governance in light of the attempt at one-man rule by the man nicknamed “The Czar.”
Jay Schalin is director of state policy for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.