Last month, UNC-system President Tom Ross abruptly announced his resignation. The reasons why remain unclear. Rumors circulated — Ross was too far left for the Republican majority board; members were clearing the way for Art Pope, former budget director for Gov. Pat McCrory, to take the lead — yet no definitive answer surfaced.
At a press conference that same day, BOG Chairman John Fennebresque was adamant that Ross’ ousting had nothing to do with politics, his age or job performance.
Ross, a registered Democrat, was hired five years ago by a board appointed largely by Democrats in the state House and Senate. Now, nearly all of the current BOG members are Republicans appointed by Republican majorities.
A close look at the campaign contributions of BOG members provides clear evidence of the contrast in political affiliations between Ross and the board.
Graphic by Carolyn Bahar. Information gathered from followthemoney.org.