Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ross at UNC -- but if baseball comes calling...

Tom Ross, the former judge, courts administrator and foundation president who has been president of Davidson College for the past three years, is said to be the choice of the search committee of the UNC Board of Governors to succeed Erskine Bowles as head of the UNC system. If that's the case, he'll be the second Greensboro boy in a row to head the 17-campus UNC system. Like Bowles, Ross grew up in Greensboro, where his father was with Burlington Industries.

Ross is also politically savvy, having been a Democratic Party official in his home county and served as chief of staff for former U.S. Rep. Robin Britt, D-N.C. If I remember correctly, Ross is a distant cousin of former Gov. Jim Hunt, who himself was born in Guilford County though he has lived most of his life in Wilson County.

THURSDAY UPDATE: Susan Donaldson Ross, Tom Ross's spouse, says that story about the Hunt connection is not correct. Jim Hunt is related to the Ross family of Pleasant Garden in Guilford County, she says. Tom Ross is related to the Ross family from Charlotte.

Hunt, in fact, appointed Ross to be judge of the N.C.Superior Court judge iin 1984-- the youngest such judge at the time. I ran into Hunt at lunchtime today and told him I heard we were about to have a new UNC president. He winked and said, "We've got a great future."  D.G. Martin, by the way, also a Davidson grad, had mentioned Tom Ross as a candidate for the UNC job way back in February.

Ross's elevation puts him in a better spot to watch one of his favorite things: UNC basketball. Ross went to Davidson and is an avid Wildcats fan, of course, but he also loves Tar Heel basketball, and he and his wife Susan kept a condo in Chapel Hill during his foundation days so he could watch the Heels.

Funny thing, though. He once quipped that the only other job in life he really wanted , beyond president of Davidson College, might be Commissioner of Baseball. Well, me too. Baseball could sure use his talent and judgment.


Anonymous said...

Fan-freaking-tastic. The UNC sytem is about to get another leader who is nothing more than a shill for UNC-CH.

This means for another decade, the NC universities will be led by a man who will bend over backwards for the Mother Ship, and if, GOD FORBID, a school like UNC Charlotte would raise its hand and ask, could the 5th-largest school now be one of the top 5 funded schools, instead of in the bottom 5 where they have been for decades, the redneck eastern NC farmers would be right there to remind Ross that the Mother Ship is the only school that matters. (Oh, yeah, and continue to fund the mostly-black schools well so that no one calls you a racist.)

The system needs someone from outside the state to bring a new perspective. It does not need yet another Tar Heel shill.

Devil said...

Is there any job in NC state government that ISN'T controlled by the Good Ol' Boys? Maybe this guy will do a good job, but on the surface, it looks like just another nudge-nudge, wink-wink deal amongst the fellas.

Sad, very sad

Anonymous said...

Not a bad choice, I guess.

Carolina ties, which is at it should be. ;)

Anonymous said...

Tom Ross will indeed be fantastic as the new leader of the UNC system. He's a man of impeccable integrity, great vision, and humane instincts, and he will serve the entire system -- and the entire state -- with great effectiveness. As someone who shares his love of Davidson College, I'm sad that he will be leaving our alma mater, but I'm proud that he is moving into this new role.

Anonymous said...

^hey anonymous1, how's that football thing going? another carolina homer

Anonymous said...

I know everyone is shocked he's a Democrat.