Margaret Spellings to Resign as UNC System President

University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings will resign in the coming months, less than three years after her appointment to one of the nation’s largest higher education systems. 

The News & Observer reports on the pending departure, which sources told the paper may have been motivated by campus controversies surrounding Confederate statues, equity for diverse student groups and citizens, and divisions in strategic approach with the system’s Board of Governors. 

“This group has some policy priorities of their own,” she told The News & Observer last September. “They’ve made that clear. It’s our job, as they are our elected governing body, to accommodate to the extent we can, their requests. But it’s also incumbent upon us for the good of North Carolina to major in the majors, and work the strategic plan that they’ve adopted, that speak to affordability and efficiency and accountability and student success.”

Margaret Spellings – News & Observer

Spellings led the UNC System during a time of significant upheaval, specifically for public historically black colleges. Changes included a 2017 ban on legal service provision by the state’s law schools, including North Carolina Central University’s School of Law, and a tuition reduction initiative at Elizabeth City State University which boosted first-year and transfer student enrollment but was largely underwritten by a $51 million legislative appropriation for its first year. 

Spellings also played a lead role in the reorganization of ECSU’s leadership structure, twice empowering a system-selected a working group with administrative oversight of campus operations and strategic planning under former chancellor Thomas Conway and current Interim Chancellor Karrie Dixon. 

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