State Relations

The principal role of State Government Relations is to communicate the UNC System and its Board of Governors’ top priorities to state government officials, the NC General Assembly, key legislative and government staff, third party advocates, and other education groups.  State Government Relations strives to improve the relationship between government officials and the University, so that representatives and leaders have a greater understanding of the University’s value and the many ways its activities benefit the state.

State Government Relations works directly with institutions through the 17-member, chancellor-appointed, State Relations Council (SRC). The SRC is active in the development of the University’s non-budget legislative agenda and assists in passing key pieces of legislation.

State Legislative Agenda

The UNC System Office works jointly with each institution to develop a state legislative agenda for the year. The University’s priorities reflect the highest needs of the chancellors and of the president. The Board of Governors approves the state legislative agenda for each year’s legislative session.

State Budget Information

State funds, provided as a part of the UNC System’s basic budget, serve as the University’s financial foundation. These funds are critical to the UNC System’s work to serve its 220,000+ students each year. Adequate state funding is essential to North Carolina’s constitutional mandate to provide access to quality, low-cost education.

Legislative Reports:

2020 Short Session of the North Carolina General Assembly
2019 Long Session of the North Carolina General Assembly


State Relations Officers

UNC System Office

Bart Goodson
Senior Vice President of Government Relations
(919) 793-7096

Austen Nowell
Senior Director of State Government Relations
(919) 962-7393

Eric Naisbitt
Director of State Government Relations
(919) 843-4538

Appalachian State University

Matthew Dockham
Director External Affairs and Community Relations

East Carolina University

Michelle Brooks
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Elizabeth City State University

Carson D. Rich
Special Assistant to the Chancellor/Government Relations Officer

Fayetteville State University

Wendell Phillips
Vice Chancellor for External Affairs & Military Relations

North Carolina A&T State University

Oliver Thomas
Interim Director of External Affairs

North Carolina Central University

Michael Page
Director of External Affairs

North Carolina State University

Julie B. Smith
Assistant Vice Chancellor
External Affairs, Partnerships, and Economic Development

University of North Carolina at Asheville

Laura Herndon
Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Director of State Affairs

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Betty Doster
Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Constituent Relations

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Andrew Cagle
Director of State and External Affairs

University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Chris Maples
Executive Director of External Affairs

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Jim DeCristo
Director of Economic Development and External Affairs

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Mark W. Lanier
Assistant to the Chancellor

Western Carolina University

Meredith Whitfield
Director of External Relations

Winston-Salem State University

Cornelius Graves
Director of Government and Community Relations

North Carolina School of Science and Math

Brock Winslow
Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement

UNC Health Care

Lanier Hodgson
Director of State and Federal Policy, UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine