Alamance-Burlington school board member – who is also a former state representative and former Alamance County commissioner – said he’s disappointed by legislation that would take away the school board’s ability to appoint members to Alamance Community College’s board of trustees.
School board chairman Sandy Ellington-Graves briefed her fellow board members about the proposed legislation during the school board’s latest work session last Tuesday afternoon.
The most substantive change proposed under the “Community College Governance” bill that senator Amy Scott Galey – a Republican who represents Alamance County and part of Randolph County in the General Assembly – filed earlier this spring would take away the authority of local school boards and the governor’s office to appoint future members of the boards of trustees for the state’s 58 community colleges.
Currently, the governor’s office, board of commissioner, and school board are responsible for appointing four trustees each to community college trustee boards.
Instead, the bill would give the General Assembly the authority to appoint eight trustees to each board, while county commissioners would continue to appoint four trustees.
Ellington-Graves’ and Ingle’s comments came during a brief discussion last week about deadline of June 15 that ABSS has set to apply for an upcoming vacancy on Alamance Community College’s board of trustees.
“They have every right to do this,” Ingle said last week. “In other words, local governments – school boards, city councils, commissioners – they’re more or less under the General Assembly. Statutorily and constitutionally, when you look at what they’re doing, part of it is how they’re going to appoint the president of the community colleges system.”
A provision within the bill would require future presidents of the North Carolina Community Colleges System (NCCCS) to be confirmed by the General Assembly. Ingle told his fellow school board members last Tuesday that the bill had been passed by the Senate and that a companion bill had been filed in the state house before the “crossover deadline,” May 4, in order to be considered during the General Assembly’s current session.
“They have an absolute right to do that,” Ingle said. “Am I a little disappointed? Yes, I am. I hate to lose those four positions. I know our chair said, ‘senator, what if we kept two [trustee appointments]?’ I know they’re pretty set on doing what they’re doing. But we have a great relationship; she [Galey] said, ‘it’s not you guys; we have a great working relationship.’ I’m just disappointed that we’re losing them.”
If passed, the legislation could potentially affect reappointments for two of the three ACC trustees whose terms are set to expire June 30: gubernatorial appointee Pete Glidewell and school board appointee Carl Steinbicker. [Trustee Blake Williams’ term is also scheduled to expire June 30; he is a commissioner appointee.]
Steinbicker has served on ACC’s board since 2007 but has indicated he will not seek reappointment prior to the expiration of his current term on June 30.
In addition to Steinbicker, the three other school board appointees include: Dr. Roslyn Crisp; Julie Scott Emmons; and Dr. Charles Scott.
Ingle told his school board colleagues last week that Galey has promised to “stay in close contact with us as they make appointments, and we certainly appreciate that.”
For her part, Ellington-Graves didn’t publicly express a position on the bill; nor did the four other school board members who were present for the discussion. (Board member Chuck Marsh was absent due to illness.)
ABSS has set a June 15 deadline to apply for the seat that is currently held by Steinbicker.
Meanwhile, ACC’s trustees voted unanimously, 9-0, during their meeting last week to grant Steinbicker “trustee emeritus” status. That honor is reserved for trustees who have served 12 years or more on ACC’s board and demonstrated exceptional leadership and support for the college.
See earlier coverage of the Galey bill to remove gubernatorial and school board appointments to local boards of trustees for communities colleges: https://alamancenews.com/galey-bill-would-strip-authority-from-school-boards-governor-to-make-community-college-trustee-appointments/