The choice of Margaret Spellings as the new University of North Carolina President has been controversial, with many calling for the former Secretary of Education under President Bush to be removed before she begins. An action by Faculty Forward North Carolina at the Board of Governors meeting on Friday morning, Dec. 11, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will add to that chorus of voices.
Faculty, students and concerned community members are planning to protest the appointment of Spellings, who they say was selected without proper transparency. From the Facebook event page for the action:
The Board of Governors elected Margaret Spellings to become the newest UNC President in a closed door, private meeting, with no input from faculty, students, and the community.
Margaret Spellings is wrong for UNC. Join us on December 11th as we demand the dismissal of Spellings and to start a new, transparent search for a UNC President.
Concerns over Spellings’ LGBT views
While Secretary of Education, Spellings sent a letter to PBS stating disapproval over an episode of a children’s show that featured a child with two moms. She asked the network to return any federal money used to produce the episode of the show, remove references to the Department of Education from it and notify member stations about the same-sex content should they wish to pull it.
When asked about this in a recent press conference, Spellings said, “I have no comments about those lifestyles.”
Other concerns over Spellings as UNC President
Spellings has also come under fire for her past work at for-profit colleges, as well as at a student loan collection agency.
As for the appointment process, the board held an “emergency meeting” right before a new law was set to take effect which would have required three finalists to be nominated.
“I am personally motivated (to protest) by (Spellings’) LGBT record, which I think is very inconsistent with the values of the UNC system,” said former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Jesse L. White, who plans to be on hand. “I am also very concerned, more generally, about the incredibly flawed search process…I just think they need to do another search, which is what we’re calling for.”
Students are also calling on the board to stop holding meetings during exams and break periods, which say runs counter to open meeting laws.
Those interested in participating are asked to meet at the Wendy’s located at 209 South Rd., Chapel Hill, at 8-8:15 a.m. Participants will then take the FCX to the meeting, held at 140 Friday Center Dr., Chapel Hill.