The UNC BOG Mess CAN Be Fixed

Agent Pierce
September25/ 2015

That stumbling, bumbling administrative vaudeville act known euphemistically as “The UNC BOG” a/k/a University of North Carolina Board of Governors – may indeed be “a stumbling, bumbling ………… act”; but it IS Fixable.

There ARE some fine individuals on the current BOG who CAN do some very good work on behalf of the people of North Carolina….

Jenna Robinson – a quite accomplished investigative commando for The JLF’s “LockerRoom – recently posted the latest “the Truth hurts” account of how dysfunctional the current BOG has become. – Link .… I urge you to read it if you have not.

One does not need to be Peter Drucker or a rainmaker for McKinsey or Booz Allen or any other whizbang management consultantcy “from more than 100 miles away and carrying a briefcase” to fix the UNC BOG.   But no 20 lbs leather-bound “Management Plan” is worth a hill o’ beans unless ……

John Fennebresque…. Ms Robinson’s article is too polite.  She avoids the #1 “monkey wrench in the works” that is responsible for this most inglorious mess i.e. it’s current chairmanJohn Fennebresque.


Fennebresque employs the leadership style of a constipated “Il Duce” Benito Mussolini.   He is arrogant, ruthless, vindictive, and “holds grudges”.   But enough about his better qualities.

Is John Fennebresque as ineffective a “leader” as House Speaker “Tiny Tim” Moore?   A fair question.   They are equally ineffective in different ways.   We will discuss “Tiny Tim” and his cabal of scheming elves at a later date.

Full Disclosure:  I have never personally “met” John Fennebresque.   I have had numerous conversations with BOG members as well as assorted Mecklenburg movers & shakers”.   Stand on the corner of Tryon & Trade in Charlotte and you will hear plenty of John Fennebresque stories.   Apparently everyone in Charlotte has one.

John Fennebresque may be a “nice guy”, a dutiful husband and a loving father.  Maybe he sings in a church choir and delivers Meals On Wheels (I doubt that).   He does have a great deal of “family money” to buy whatever he wants.

A lot of people who get appointed to prestigious positions have “that” going for them.   He is not the first or last to employ that “skill”.   It is a very Bi-partisan “talent”.

The current BOG has not become a laughingstock because of its partisan make-up.   It has ALWAYS been an “overtly partisan body”…. less so now than in previous decades.

Why is John Fennebresque Chairman of the UNC BOG?  Simple.  He bought it.

I could “buy” myself a spot on the roster of The Carolina Hurricanes; but it would quickly become apparent that I can’t ice skate.   A precursory due diligence of John Fennebresque would reveal he is NOT an Executive-level Manager.

Being “a silk-stockinged lawyer” is not the same as “being an accomplished executive manager” any more than being a Hollywood actor equates to being an authority on global economics.

John Fennebresque wanted the resume / obituary credit of Chairman of The UNC BOG to counter several “less than exemplary” items in his bruised and battered Curriculum Vitae.   Items that clearly illustrated his lack of executive leadership acumen. ….. So he wrote sizable checks to several influential NC General Assembly members who are puppetmasters of the BOG.   One recipient being Mecklenburg’s Bob Rucho…. a multi-term veteran of “how Jones Street works”.   NOTE:  Donations to a political campaign are absolutely “legal” assuming certain guidelines are followed.  We are not implying those guidelines were not followed in this case.  “Quid pro quo” is also understood.

You want to know how a John Fennebresque got to be Chair of the UNC BOG?   Contact Senator Bob Rucho – (919) 733-5655 ….. .

He’ll hem and haw and say “his fellow BOG members elected him.  It’s not my fault.  Blah blah yadda yadda…..”   BULL!

Then ask Sen. Rucho if he and Sen. Phil Berger could “persuade” John Fennebresque to “decide to resign his BOG post to pursue other career options”.   Trust me.  Rucho and Berger can “do that” very very easily.

BUT to do that means (1) admitting his appointment was a colossal blunder, and (2) they would have to give back all that $$$.   No politician of any party wants to do either #1 or #2.

Do a freakin’ Tony Tata and say “I need to work on my book”.   Who cares what he says…. just persuade him to get the hell off of the BOG.   Hellfire…. name him (Fennebresque) as Ambassador to Vermont.  Just get him off of the UNC BOG.

IF that happens (odds are it WON’t) – we’ll go to Step Two in cleaning up this trainwreck.   It’s not too late.   There are some fine individuals on the current BOG who CAN do some very good work on behalf of the people of North Carolina….

Flush Fennebresque….. and let them prove it.

PS:   Surely you know that the “prestigious” search firm that Fennebresque hired to replace Tom “Z. Smith” Ross is the same bunch that found Gene “Gasbag” Nichol for William & Mary.   HOLY CRAP, Batman!  How would you like THAT on your company’s list of accomplishments?Freak

That same firm proudly boast of its “success” at promoting DIVERSITY within High Academia.   Look for Tom Ross’ successor to be a Transsexual Albino Muslim Midget with a lazy eye and a lisp.


…. If we’re lucky.


Agent Pierce
  • Doug Reply
    2 years ago

    How to get the UNC-BOG to act on the behalf on the people of NC and the institutions they’re sworn to serve instead of the one tyrant’s personal empire? A surefire risky maneuver is for enough of the ” fine individuals” on the board to give the bully NOTHING of he wants or needs and see what he does in the face of staunch opposition. Many playground bullies have been neutralized by a crushing punch to where it hurts the most. JF can’t possibly take away all the committee appointments of the opposition and maintain the appearance of board consensus can he? If all this sounds naive to you you’re probably right although the BOG members probably have more power than many of them realize. If only there were enough of them with the right stuff. Sadly these appointments almost never go to mavericks. It’s much easier to find and pick docile and complicit people who won’t be troublemakers.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 years ago

      A Palace Coup? They may be getting close to that point of frustration. This latest cluster-F re: the selection committee might be the straw to cause that.

  • Wolfdon Reply
    2 years ago

    Seems other people have disdain for Fennawhathisname

    • BobLee Reply
      2 years ago

      As noted, Everyone in Charlotte “has a story”. Likely very proficient in certain areas. Executive Management is NOT one of those areas.

      • NCSU68Grad Reply
        2 years ago

        Really spooky (must be the BLOOD moon) when you and Mr. Drescher seem to be of the SAME opinion. Wonder where BK stands on this?

        I have written Mr. F a couple of times. He was quick to respond and ask for more info….then NADA. Probably a very successful individual.

        But folks that are successful when they are the CEO of a privately held company sometimes have difficulty in handling tasks or assignments where OTHER folks are providing input. Mr. F reminds me a little of the Donald. Would be OK if he did not have to deal with those pesky members of the BOG that do not share the RIGHT opinion….which is his.

        Seems to me that you opined a solution, with a little seriousness and also tongue-in-cheek about relocating the BOG and saving the NC Tax Payers some $$. May be wrong….but I agree with you….

        • BobLee Reply
          2 years ago

          BK blames it all on them being Eeeeeevil Repubs. He longs for the glory days of iron-fisted Basnight/Rand Regime. I sent JD an email that with he/I in agreement Fennebresque is doomed…. 🙂
          Fennebresque is no Executive Manager. He is a silk-stocking lawyer. Zero people management skills…. just an enormous ego.

  • BullCityWuffie Reply
    2 years ago

    I’ve only met Fennebresque once, at one of the “listening forums” held to get feedback on what people wanted in Ross’s successor. I introduced myself after the event; he seemed frosty/annoyed (I thought I was rather cordial given the tenor of the room).

    I’d like to see at least half of the BOG spots put up for statewide election. Let the pols on Jones Street still have some appointment power so they don’t feel like they’re being totally stripped of authority, but open it up to the people a bit. Maybe even reshuffle how the Boards of Trustees on each campus are handled.

    (For any of your readers who don’t already know: right now 8 Trustees per campus are selected by the BOG, 4 are appointments by the Guv’nah, and 1 is the Student Body President. At the BOG level, 16 are chosen by the House, 16 chosen by the Senate, the UNC Assoc of SGs President is ex officio non-voting, and both (i) past BOG Chairmen and (ii) former Guv’nahs who served on the BOG get to stay as ex officio voting members emiriti)

    • BobLee Reply
      2 years ago

      The current system has many faults. Lib/Dems who despise the current system NOW – LOVED it for the 25 years when they controlled the NCGA…. and the System spent taxpayers $$$ like drunken sailors. … The current BOG has not initiated the “reforms” that many had hoped for… and then there’s Fennebresque.

  • Dr.Vinnyboombatz Reply
    2 years ago

    I very much enjoyed this one. The BOG needs a major league overhaul.

    • BobLee Reply
      2 years ago

      Yes and No. Flush Fennebesque and it will be like a giant enema… freeing up “good people” to do good things. The negative cloud he represents cannot be over-exaggerated.

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