That Darn UNC-BOG…. Whazzzup?

April07/ 2014

I am on constant alert for issues that Everyone agrees are “issues”. Finding a dozen who agree what we oughta do is about any issue is another matter. The rare gotta do SOMETHING abouts are sure fun to discuss.

Climate change? Nope. Voter Fraud? Nope. One & Dones? Nope.

The UNC-Board of Governors IS a universal “Gotta do something” issue.

NOTE: This column WENT VIRAL within 36 hours…. without including nekkid cheerleaders OR a cute kitten video! Internet authorites AGOG!!!

Discussing The UNC BOG is fun because so many of its loudest critics are not sure what the heck it is. The BOG? The BOT?

I asked THE #1 Coed at UNCCH – Nicole Comparato – Editor of The DTH how many UNC students “might” know the difference. Nicole giggled, implying not enough to fill up a VW Beetle. That is being generous.

Ol’ Roy never heard of Fats Thomas. You think Roy knows, or cares, who Tom Ross is? Re-read that sentence again….. keeping a straight face.

I’ve tried on numerous occasions to explain the organizational differences twixt the different levels of boards; but Low Information Voter Syndrome is tough to crack. JayWalkers Rule!

Picking up where we left off last week….. The BOG is/are appointed by The NC General Assembly. Is it “political”? Certainly. The political persuasion of the appointees mirrors the political majority of the NC General Assembly. Ergo the last two “classes” have been overwhelmingly of the (R) persuasion. That is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. As it was overwhelmingly (D) for the previous 40 years.

Those squawking NOW were not squawking during those earlier 40 years. Duh!

32 political appointees oversee the UNC System General Administration. And here is a very key bit of info. BOG members are NOT compensated for their service. They receive a minimal per diem for the 2-3 days/month they come to UNC HQ for meetings. That per diem does not cover a night’s lodging at The Carolina Inn. It COSTS out-of-pocket to be a BOG member.

Raise your hand if you assumed they got Big Bucks to be a BOG member. You read somewhere that members of corporate boards got paid lots of $$$, so you assumed – WRONG! They DO get the occasional “invite” to suites at Kenan, Carter-Finley, Dowdy-Ficklin, etc and all-they-can-eat chicken fingers and lemon squares while in the suite. I’ve had the lemon squares in the Kenan suite. Yum Yum.

Of the 32 current BOG members, 30 or so are actively engaged in business of some sort….. butchers, bakers, candlestick-maker, lawyers, entrepreneurs, media moguls, etc etc. One BOG guy owns a Water Park in Wilmington. Another one owns the only remaining Darryls’ restaurant. Betcha didn’t know that. None are currently candlestick-makers… or butchers.

They tend to be in positions of authority in whatever they do. Those responsibilities require their on-going attention and operational oversight. Bosses and VPs do “do stuff” contrary to what the guys on the loading dock assume.

Did you assume all BOGers just “hung out at da club” sipping full-bodied cabernet and nibbling brie? You need to expand your info sources. Monkey boards over-simplify such matters to fit class-warfare agendas.

Three days before each monthly meeting they receive a 400-500 page “briefing” of the upcoming agenda. They are expected to familiarize themselves with that info for their committees and full board discussion and subsequent votes. Don’t forget….. they’re NOT getting paid for the time to do this.

Not such a cushy gig now? The lemon squares notwithstanding.

Kindly Ol’ Bill Friday set up the BOG so he would always know more about what was going on than his board. The BOG had authority over him on paper, but not really. Knowledge IS Power. That same structure is in place in 2014, but Tom Ross is Prez, not Bill Friday. Uh oh.

Tom Ross and his full-time admin staff assemble the monthly agenda. It’s no surprise that review executive administrative staff for possible downsizing never gets on the agenda. Duh.

Many of you might believe if you and 31 of your like-minded, no-nonsense associates were on the BOG, you would (1) kick some academic butts, (2) replace all the squishy liberal chancellors with retired Marine gunnery-sergeants, and (3) completely revamp those silly Gay AfAm Studies courses replacing them with reading, writing, arc-welding, and auto mechanics. Doing it all before breaking for lunch on Day One.

Mucking those 16 Augean Stables is more complicated than you might think.

Lets recap really quick. Then I’ll give you real food for thought.

BOG members are not compensated for their time. The System Prez and his staff run the day-day operations of the System and set the agenda for the monthly meetings. That agenda involves a lot of “inside baseball” academic gobblygook that outsiders don’t easily comprehend. Familiarizing oneself with 400+ pages of academic gobblygook in 3-4 days while also running your for-real business is challenging.

Academic gobblygook is unlike “real world” gobblygook that bankers, lawyers, and Water Park owners deal with. Every business has gobblygook but Tom Ross isn’t expected to know Water Park or Yuppie Restaurant gobblygook.

BUT….. and this is a BIG BUT (resist urge to refer to Mamma Obama here…. )….. IF the BOG members have confidence in the System Prez that they are in sync and share common objectives….. THEN relying on the full-time professionals “works”. If not; not so much.

Remember. 75% of the current BOG are now of a Conservative persuasion and of an (R) registration. Allowing for varying degrees of RINOness, none of the BOG (R)s have connections to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. The ZSRF is the #1 fund raiser (money-laundering scheme) for Far Left-Wing agendas.

The ZSRF contributes TWICE AS MUCH $$$$ to Far Left causes than Eeeeevil Art Pope does or could afford to do on “the Right”. Betcha didn’t know that.

Prior to his brief time at Davidson, Tom Ross was Executive Director of The Z Smith Reynolds Foundation. WHOA! Suffice to say, your average UNC BOG member circa 2014 does not share the same worldview as the current UNC System President.

Lets say 70% of the BOG have ideological issues with “Z Smith Tom”. Replace them? Replace Tom? This board did not hire Tom. They inherited Tom.

NO ONE in NC bemoaned the landslide results of the NC General Assembly elections last Fall as much as Tom Ross did. His Age 65 retirement is rapidly approaching. Wanna bet Tom and most of the BOG know how many days to go til then?

For those concerned citizens hoping for revamping of the UNC System; be patient a while longer my brothers and sisters.

Replace “Z Smith Tom” with a for-real business executive with for-real boardroom cred and some serious revamping could result.

Using retired Marine gunny-sgts as Chancellors would be a hoot for sure, but a results-oriented System Prez could squeeze results from existing Chancys…. or replace’em. Biz-types as on-campus Chancellors don’t usually work too well except in rare situations. Faculty squirrels go into apoplexy and their heads explode. It’s not a pretty site, but kinda funny. Bad AgentPierce Bad.

Have I given you my Grand Plan for re-allocating the 32 BOG appointments, reducing the Chapel Hill-centric situation AND downsizing the current 16-campus “herd o’ cats” to around a dozen?


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