Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Tuesday creating a commission intended to increase diversity within the University of North Carolina’s governing system.
The commission, in charge of evaluating the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees, will be made up of members from different races and ethnicities, according to the executive order. The commission has the job of ensuring that the composition of the Board of Governors and each Board of Trustees reflect the racial, gender and economic diversity of North Carolina. (RELATED: ‘Extremely Troubling’: UNC Student Government Withholds Funding From Pro-Life Groups)
“It is so important for us to keep our diversity, not just racial diversity, but gender, geography, ethnicity and political thought,” Cooper said in a press conference. “It’s clearly important that the leadership reflects that. Right now, it does not. And although there are positive things going on at our university, erode can and will occur if we don’t make steps towards reform now.”
The executive order comes as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding Harvard University and the University of North Carolina’s use of race-based admission policies. A lawsuit against the institution alleges that UNC uses race as a determinant throughout its whole admissions process.
UNC argues that the race-based admissions policies are in place to increase diversity on campus. If the Supreme Court rules against affirmative action, UNC would not be allowed to use race during its admissions process to further diversity on campus.
The commission must deliver a report to the governor within eight months of the executive order. The report on the governance of the University of North Carolina must include testimonies and experts on the subject.
“The purpose of the commission is to preserve the undisputed excellence of our higher education system, to advise on how we adjust the university governance system to ensure diversity of race, geography, gender and political thought,” Cooper said in a press conference.
Cooper’s office and the UNC did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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