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Press Release

CHAPEL HILL, NC – The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has unanimously elected Harry Smith as Chair, Randall Ramsey as Vice Chair and Pearl Burris-Floyd as Secretary. The terms for the new officers begin in July 1, 2018 and run through June 30, 2020.

“I look forward to working with the newly elected officers to build on our efforts to improve access to higher education, student success and to ensure college affordability for all North Carolinians,” said UNC System President Margaret Spellings. “I would also like to thank Chairman Lou Bissette for his leadership and dedication to our incredible university system.”

Smith is currently the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors, serving on both the Budget and Finance and Strategic Initiatives committees. Smith was first appointed to the Board in 2013 and then reappointed in 2017. He also serves on the Elizabeth City State University Working Group subcommittee and the University Funding Model Task Force. In this capacity, he works directly with the university’s leadership to implement new strategies for promoting growth and operational efficiencies at the institutions. 

Ramsey, who was appointed to the Board in 2017, currently serves as the secretary of the Strategic Initiatives Committee and on the University Governance Committee. As a Board member, Ramsey is focused on working towards outcomes that reduce student debt, grow four-year graduation rates, and provide higher education access to all citizens of the state. He is also very passionate about helping young people find resources to make their pathways to an education easier.

Burris-Floyd, who was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2015, is the board’s current Secretary and currently serves on two committees: the Strategic Initiatives committee and the Personnel and Tenure committee. Burris-Floyd was the first African-American elected to the Gaston County Board of Commissioners, serving as its vice chair from a2006-08. In 2008, she was elected to the NC House of Representatives District 110. She served as a state representative from 2009-11. Burris-Floyd has served on committees on aging, appropriations, education, election law and campaign finance reform, and health and mental health reform.

The UNC Board of Governors is responsible for the planning, development, and overall governance of all affairs of the state’s public university system. Its 28 voting members are elected by the NC General Assembly to four-year terms.