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Cooper and Ross Release Statements on University System Board of Governors’ Efforts to Abolish Positions and Initiatives that Promote Diversity



Governor Roy Cooper and former UNC System President Tom Ross released statements on efforts by the UNC System Board of Governors to abolish positions and initiatives that promote diversity at public universities in North Carolina.


“Our diversity should be used to highlight our state’s strengths, not our political divisions. Republican legislative and university leaders who attack diversity at our public universities are failing in their duty to protect students while threatening our ability to recruit top scientists, researchers and innovators who power our economy,” said Governor Cooper.


“The bipartisan Commission on the Governance of Public Universities found that a lack of diversity among university leadership and governance boards is both a disservice to students across the UNC System and leads to the controversy and volatility that we are seeing threaten our public universities,” said former UNC System President Tom Ross. “Our universities should encourage diversity on their campuses and governance boards and have leaders, administrators, faculty and staff that reflect the extraordinary diversity of our amazing state.”


Governor Cooper established the Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina by Executive Order 272 on November 1, 2022 to advise the Office of the Governor and the public on the status of public university governance in North Carolina and on strategies to successfully position the state’s universities to meet the needs of future students. The bipartisan Commission was chaired by former UNC System Presidents Tom Ross and Margaret Spellings.


The Commission developed seven key recommendations for continued strength of the public university system. The final report can be found here.

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