UNC Truth Battle – part 2

The email below was sent August 19 to UNC President Tom Ross and members of the UNC Board of Governors. The links have subsequently been added for reference. This is the second part of the series “UNC Truth Battle”.

President Ross, Chair Gage and members of the UNC Board of Governors:

Good afternoon. My name is Andrew Payne and I am a citizen of Wake County and a former member of the BOG. I read with dismay the article “New UNC Board learns ropes in private ‘retreat’” in the Thursday, August 18, 2011 edition of The News and Observer.

After reading the article and speaking with General Administration staff – the University clearly and blatantly violated NC Open Meetings Law. And clearly acted in an unethical way.

I passionately love our University and have served it with grand humility. This is a time when public confidence in the University should be restored, not deteriorated.

Yet now, the University appears to be lying to the public through the media about this illegal meeting; describing your two-day, six and half-hour “retreat” as purely social in nature. This argument defies logic and is an offense to those who have walked through the halls of our great University.

Unfortunately, in this case, the public must stand up for openness and transparency – it must stand up for the truth at all costs. To that end, who among you will step forward publicly and corroborate UNC Counsel’s assertion that absolutely NO University business was discussed.

We, the public, want to know. We and the media were denied access to this meeting. So the only way for you to restore public confidence in your leadership of the University is to publicly step forward and join your Counsel’s mantra that NOTHING AT ALL related to the University of North Carolina was discussed. Who among you will lead?

My good friend Ben Ruffin often said, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” You have been charged with the stewardship of one of North Carolina’s greatest assets – THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA. Who among you will lead?

I have copied the state’s news media and open government advocates on this email. 

Thank you for your time. I, the public, and free press await and require your response. andrew

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