The University of North Carolina Board of Governors oversees policy for the campuses of the UNC system, but the board’s broad duties don’t mean it needs to set up a sort of separate staff that will report directly to the board instead of to President Margaret Spellings and her administrators.
The idea, apparently springing from some board members but on temporary hold now, is not a productive one. Spellings already reports to the board, and there’s no reason for the BOG to have its very own separate staff. That would be potentially confusing and worse. Would individual campus leaders, for example, feel the need to report to the board’s staff as well as Spellings? Might some campus leaders try an end run around the president in order to promote some cause of their own that might not be favored by the president?
Spellings appears to keep the board well-informed, but of late, some members have felt no reason to hold back in expressing their views critical of some in the UNC system. The board is more partisan than it has ever been, and that seems likely to continue. A separate staff could be seen as a way for those members who like the idea of hard partisanship on the UNC board to advance their own causes without consulting Spellings.
This is a very bad idea that would make the president’s job tougher and would confuse the leaders of other campuses.