Under the Dome

Senators nominate potential UNC board members

Senate nominees for the UNC Board of Governors include four current members and 11 others — one of which is a recent lawmaker, former state Sen. Thom Goolsby.

Sixteen seats of the 32-member university system governing board are up for election this year. The Senate will elect eight of those; the House will elect the other half.

Four current UNC board members are nominated by the Senate chamber. They are John Fennebresque, a Charlotte attorney and current chairman; Lou Bissette, an Asheville attorney; Frank Grainger, a Cary businessman; and Anna Spangler Nelson, a Charlotte businesswoman.

Other nominees are: Robert J. Brown of High Point, chairman and CEO of B&C Associates Inc.; Jesse J. Cureton of Waxhaw, executive vice president and chief consumer officer at Novant Health; Brenda B. Diggs, retired executive and current board chair of United Way of North Carolina; Ericka Ellis-Stewart, a donor relations specialist and nonprofit executive in Charlotte; Goolsby, a Wilmington attorney and former Republican state senator until last year; Benjamin Jenkins III, retired bank executive in Charlotte and current chairman of the N.C. State University Board of Trustees; Charles B. McCurry Jr., a Winston-Salem real estate broker; Temple Sloan III of Raleigh, former CEO of General Parts, Inc., a large auto parts supplier acquired last year by Advance Auto Parts; William Webb of Raleigh, a senior adviser to Shanahan Law Group and former U.S. magistrate judge; Terry K. Yeargan, a construction professional from Willow Spring and member of the East Carolina University Board of Trustees; and Michael L. Williford, a Fayetteville attorney.

The UNC Board of Governors is set to meet this week to form a nominating committee for the search for a successor to UNC President Tom Ross. The Republican-dominated board acted in January to force the early retirement of Ross, who will leave the job next year. Fennebresque said it was time to make the transition to a new UNC leader but did not offer specific reasons why, and some charged that the decision was based on politics and ideology.

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