LUMBERTON — The current chairman of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke board of trustees has been nominated to serve on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.
The UNC board establishes policy for the system’s 17 member institutions.
“I’m excited,” Kellie Blue, 45, said Wednesday. “I’m a lover of public education and an advocate for the affordability of a student who wants to pursue higher education. I want kids to be able to fund their education so they can get through and prosper after they graduate.”
Blue, who has worked since 2001 as Robeson County’s finance director, is one of 14 nominees for six seats on the Board of Governors. She is a House of Representatives nominee, and was nominated for consideration to the position by Rep. Brendan Jones, a Republican from Columbus County, and Rep. Charles Graham, a Democrat from Lumberton. Both legislators represent Robeson County.
“We have a good public university system,” said Blue. “As a board member I would advocate for moving our university system in the right direction.”
Blue graduated from UNCP in 1993 with a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. She also holds a finance officer certification from the University of North Carolina’s School of Government in Chapel Hill.
Blue is a lifelong resident of Pembroke. After graduating from UNCP, she went to work as an internal auditor for Southern National Bank, which is now BB&T. Before going to work for Robeson County as the assistant finance director, Blue worked for a short time at the Lumber River Council of Governments.
The House reportedly will consider the nominees for the six positions on the Board of Governors on April 5.
If appointed to the Board of Governors, Blue must step down from her position on UNCP’s board of trustees.
“I am excited but I also am a bit sad,” said Dr. Robin Cummings, chancellor of UNCP. “We would be losing a great trustee and the chairman of our board, and she would be hard to replace. But that said, she would be a tremendous advocate for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Robeson County and the broader region as a member of the Board of Governors.”
According to Phillip Stephens, the head of the Robeson County Republican Party, his party was not consulted about Blue’s nomination.
“This just occurred,” Stephens said Wednesday. “While this appears to be a bipartisan appointment, if there is any discontent we will be looking into it.”
The last member on the Board of Governors from Robeson County was Dick Taylor. Taylor, from Lumberton, is the owner and operator of Taylor Insurance Agency.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.