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Gov. Cooper names members of bipartisan commission on public colleges

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper poses for a portrait at the Governor's mansion on Wed., Aug. 17, 2022. Cooper has been  very vocal and public with his efforts to elect Democrats in this year’s mid-term elections. This follows the intensification in importance of state legislative races that occurred when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, and placed more emphasis on how state’s approach that issue, and its impact on the daily lives of residents.
Kate Medley/Kate Medley
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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper poses for a portrait at the Governor's mansion on Wed., Aug. 17, 2022. Cooper has been very vocal and public with his efforts to elect Democrats in this year’s mid-term elections. This follows the intensification in importance of state legislative races that occurred when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, and placed more emphasis on how state’s approach that issue, and its impact on the daily lives of residents.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has named 15 people who will serve on a bipartisan commission that will recommend changes to how the University of North Carolina system is governed.

Cooper announced the creation of the panel in early November, saying the Republican majority in the General Assembly has too much power over the UNC system's 17 institutions. The governor also cited a lack of diversity on the 24-member Board of Governors. Six members are women and four are people of color.

Two former system presidents — Democrat Tom Ross and Republican Margaret Spellings — will chair the Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina.

Members also include former university trustees, and a former student body president at UNC Asheville. Two state lawmakers, House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) and Senator Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford), will also be members.

The commission can make recommendations, but state lawmakers will have no obligation to act on them. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said the panel is an "autocratic attempt" by the governor to expand his control.

Copyright 2022 North Carolina Public Radio. To see more, visit North Carolina Public Radio.

Bradley George