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Alumnus Elected to Head UNC System Board of Governors

Greensboro attorney Jim Phillips ’79 was elected on Friday to a two-year term as chairman of the UNC System Board of Governors. He succeeds Brad Wilson, who had served since 2002.

Also, Raleigh businessman J. Craig Souza was re-elected vice chairman, and retired Durham educator Patsy B. Perry ’72 (PhD) was re-elected board secretary.

Phillips was student body president at UNC, and he earned his law degree with highest honors from Wake Forest University School of Law, serving as editor in chief of the Law Review. He is a partner in the Greensboro law firm of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, specializing in complex business and commercial litigation.

Phillips was first elected to the Board of Governors in 1997. He is a member of the board’s committee on educational planning, policies, and programs, and he previously served on the committee on university governance and was twice elected chairman of the committee on budget and finance. Phillips also has been tapped to chair numerous special and ad hoc board committees, including the task force on best financial practices, the special committee reviewing the funding model for enrollment growth, the public affairs committee, the committee on the University Award, and the committee on committees. He also has served on the board’s tuition policy task force, the presidential search committee, and the tuition and fees policy committee.

Phillips also serves on the board of the Triad Stage and is a member of the N.C. Bar Association’s committee on judicial independence and the N.C. Commission on Business Law and the Economy. Previously, he has served on the UNC’s Board of Trustees, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation advisory board, and the Family and Children’s Services of Greensboro advisory board.

Souza is president and chief executive officer of the N.C. Health Care Facilities Association. He joined the Board of Governors in 1997. He is a member and former chairman of the board’s committee on personnel and tenure, and he serves on the Board’s public affairs committee. Previously, he has served on the committee on university governance and chaired the University Award committee, as well as a special committee on the future of nursing.

He is a graduate of East Carolina University and former chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees. He currently serves on UNC’s School of Public Health’s advisory board, the Governor’s Council on Health Policy Information and the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research board. He is a past-president of the Association Executives of North Carolina and the American Society of Health Care Association Executives.

Perry joined the Board of Governors in 1999, a year after retiring as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of N.C. Central University. She was first elected board secretary in 2003 and now serves on the committee on personnel and tenure. She has previously served on the committee on university governance, the committee on educational planning, policies, and programs, and several ad hoc and special committees. Perry holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from NCCU and a doctorate from UNC. In her 42-year career at NCCU, she advanced through the ranks of the English department, serving as department chair and director of the university’s honors program before becoming provost and vice chancellor in 1995.


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