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University Board Elects New Leaders

Harry Smith, center, was elected as the new UNC Board of Governors chairman.
Lisa Philip
/
WUNC
Harry Smith, center, was elected as the new UNC Board of Governors chairman.
Harry Smith, center, was elected as the new UNC Board of Governors chairman.
Lisa Philip
Harry Smith, center, was elected as the new UNC Board of Governors chairman.

The panel that oversees North Carolina's public universities is changing leadership.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Thursday elected Greenville businessman Harry Smith as chairman.

Smith will replace Asheville attorney W. Louis Bissette Jr., who headed the board for almost three years.

Smith is a graduate of East Carolina University, a member of the school's athletic booster club and a notable contributor to Republican politicians.

Last month the former finance director of N.C. Central University accused Smith of steering a university contract towards The Preiss Company.

Fellow board member Darrell Allison was also named in the employee's lawsuit. The contract was for a public private partnership to build and manage a housing complex on N.C. Central's campus.

Both members deny the allegations.

The panel also elected Randy Ramsey as its vice chair and Pearl Burris-Floyd as secretary.

Ramsey is a former North Carolina State University trustee and founder of Jarrett Bay Boatworks, a Beaufort company that makes and repairs sport fishing boats. Burris-Floyd is a former state legislator from Gaston County who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Copyright 2018 North Carolina Public Radio

Before joining WUNC in October as the station's new education reporter, Lisa Philip covered schools in Howard County, Maryland for the Baltimore Sun newspapers. She traveled from school playgrounds to the state legislature, writing about everything from a Girl Scout friendship bench project to a state investigation into local school officials' alleged hiding of public records.
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