Chapel Hill, NC - By JONATHAN DREW and EMERY P. DALESIO, Associated Press
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina's public university board has picked former U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to head the 17-campus system.
Spellings was selected Friday by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. She is a nonacademic and protege of former President George W. Bush. Her experience running an education bureaucracy and credentials in Republican politics could encourage budget-writers in the GOP-dominated legislature.
Spellings will replace Tom Ross, a Democrat who was lavishly praised but pushed out by the Republican-dominated governing board after members said they wanted a change they were unable to define.
The consolidated public university system includes the country's oldest public university in Chapel Hill, which is still grappling with a scandal in which athletes benefited from sham classes and artificially high grades for almost two decades.