Leadership and Governance

The University of North Carolina System is governed by the Board of Governors, which, under Chapter 116 of the North Carolina General Statutes, has responsibility for the planning, development, and overall governance of the UNC System. The Board elects the president of the UNC System.


The General Assembly of 1971 created the current governing structure of the University of North Carolina System, including the reformation of the former Board of Trustees into the present Board of Governors. Since that time, it has been led by 18 chairs, and the System has grown to include 17 constituent institutions and various associated entities.

UNC Board of Governors

As of July 1, 2019, the Board of Governors has 24 voting members, elected by the North Carolina General Assembly to staggered four-year terms. Additionally, the president of the UNC Association of Student Governments serves as a nonvoting, ex officio member of the Board. 

The Board of Governors maintains The Code and the UNC Policy Manual. The Code incorporates the requirements of the Constitution and General Statutes, as well as Board bylaws and other high-level policies. The UNC Policy Manual provides more specific direction and policies on university matters.

UNC System President

The President is the UNC System’s chief administrative and executive officer, with complete authority to manage the affairs and execute the policies of the University, subject to the direction of the Board of Governors. 

View the list of past presidents.