CHAPEL HILL -- There's new leadership at the helm of the UNC system. The Board of Governors elected Peter Hans to serve as chairman.
The senior policy adviser for a Raleigh law firm served two terms as vice-chairman. Hans defeated Paul Fulton 20 to 11.
One of his top priorities is ensuring tuition is affordable and predictable.
"Erskine Bowles has a tuition plan while he was president that provided those elements and I think we've got to return to that so that students and parents know exactly what tuition will be within certain parameters," said Hans, who replaced Hannah Gage, the board's first female chair.
For Gage's service, she received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state's most prestigious award.
"I do hope that we focus on affordable tuition and improving the relationship we have with citizens and with business," said Gage
Despite the different political affiliations between the outgoing and incoming chairpersons, UNC President Tom Ross feels the transition in leadership will be smooth.
"I think everybody on the board has a common view of where we need to go,” expressed Ross. “That is we know we've got to make some changes in higher education, we know we have to do things differently, we have to be more efficient."
Hans also says the board is not about partisan politics.
"I think that's important for education to remain out of the political fray," he said.
Hans feels all students should receive a high quality experience at all schools in the UNC system.
"It's our responsibility to ensure that they get it," said Hans.
Hans begins his term on July 1. He'll serve two years as chairman.
The board also elected Cary businessman Frank Grainger to serve as vice-chairman and Cary businesswoman Ann Goodnight to serve as secretary.
Gage will serve out her term as a board of governors member for one more year.