Phi Beta Cons

A New Direction

Margaret Spellings has been on the job at the UNC system for two months. Now, she’s ready, with the UNC Board of Governors, to be part of a new strategic plan for the university. The previous plan, designed in 2013, doesn’t fit the new board or president.

Jesse Saffron writes about the changes the Pope Center hopes to see under Spellings’ leadership.

At the April 15 UNC System Board of Governors meeting, board member Champ Mitchell announced that the board’s Strategic Directions Committee (now renamed the Strategic Planning Committee) is starting the process of overhauling the 2013 initiative. Mitchell said that the 2013 plan was unfocused and that there was a wish on the part of board members to make it leaner and targeted at clearly defined, actionable goals.

The overhaul is also due to the arrival of Margaret Spellings as new system president. Unlike former president Thomas Ross, a Democrat elected by a Democratic-majority board, Spellings is a Republican working with a Republican-led board. And she has shown a desire to move the system in a (slightly) different direction.

Given the inertia in higher education, changing direction will be difficult. But it’s worth pursuing. Read Saffron’s full article, as well as the Pope Center’s recommendations for Spellings, here.

Jenna A. RobinsonJenna Ashley Robinson is the president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. Before becoming president, she was the center's director of outreach. She was previously the ...

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