UNC President Spellings sitting on couch

President’s Posts

President Spellings blogs regularly about UNC, higher ed issues, and life in NC.



A selection of news clippings, articles and media showcasing the work of the UNC system under President Spellings



A listing of scheduled appearances and addresses open to the public





A variety of photographs available for download and media use



Official Portrait of UNC President Margaret Spellings

Nationally known as an education thought leader and public policy expert, Spellings has led the UNC System into a new period of performance, affordability, and growth with a focus on improving economic mobility, ensuring accountability, and advancing the public good.

Since becoming president of the 17-institution UNC System on March 1, 2016, Spellings has overseen a strategic planning process that won unanimous approval from the UNC Board of Governors for its roadmap titled Higher Expectations. That roadmap has led to unprecedented performance agreements at each UNC System institution which outline measurable goals and metrics to advance key UNC System priorities like improving graduation rates, reducing achievement gaps, and ensuring access for students of every background.

During her time as president, Spellings has worked with the Board of Governors and the NC General Assembly to ensure college affordability by putting a lid on tuition and implementing NC Promise, the state’s bold initiative to reduce tuition at three institutions to just $500 per semester for in-state students. With renewed trust from the General Assembly, the UNC System received its strongest budget in more than a decade, and with the confidence of NC voters, the UNC System has moved forward the ConnectNC Bond, which is enabling transformational progress at each of the 17 institutions.

Spellings brings to the UNC System extensive experience at the highest levels of the United States government. From 2005 to 2009, she served as the U.S. Secretary of Education, where she oversaw the creation of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, which shifted the national conversation around colleges and universities, and implemented the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a national bipartisan initiative to provide greater accountability for public K-12 schools. From 2001 to 2005, she was Chief Domestic Policy Advisor at the White House for President George W. Bush.

Beyond her service at the federal level, Spellings served as President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, as President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and at the state-level in Texas politics. She served as a senior advisor to then-Governor Bush of Texas, as head of governmental and external relations for the Texas Association of School Boards, and in key positions at Austin Community College and with the Texas Legislature.

Spellings is a graduate of the University of Houston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also received an honorary doctorate and Distinguished Alumna Award from the university in 2006.. 

Contact the President 

president@northcarolina.edu | 919-962-6983



We missed the big data revolution. But we're going to fix that at UNC.

For a long time, public higher education hasn’t collected or used data about itself well. Our data systems were built to meet narrow compliance and reporting requirements with very little of it helping leaders more effectively manage our public institutions.

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What ails education? ‘An absence of vision, a failure of will and politics’

We have long benefited from a broad coalition that has advanced bold action to improve America’s education system. That coalition has waned. It’s time to rebuild it. Today, education is blessed with bipartisan agreement on what works, and cursed with bipartisan complacency at every level on taking action.

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EDITORIAL: A road-map for transforming state’s workforce

If you haven’t already, we highly encourage you to read Thursday’s OpEd piece by UNC System President Margaret Spellings. While Spellings points out significant accomplishments at UNCW, she is very frank about a critical problem for our region and elsewhere across the state -- overall, our workforce does not have the level of education that employers require.

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UNC System making progress but there’s more work to do

It was nearly 60 years ago that leaders from Charlotte College hosted the first official gathering on their new campus. Just as the big kickoff began, the weather turned and rain forced everyone to find cover in the biggest room available — an old barn.

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Podcast: Presidential Leadership in Challenging Times

From the 2018 American Council on Education (ACE) meeting, “Presidential Leadership in Challenging Times” explores current and emerging challenges. Guests Ted Mitchell, Margaret Spellings, and Ángel Cabrera discuss higher education issues, including demographic changes, demands for greater accountability, diminishing resources, and declining public support.

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Charlotte Talks: UNC President Margaret Spellings On Her First Two Years, DeVos, School Shootings

Margaret Spellings just marked two years as president of the University of North Carolina system. She came into office amid sharp criticism and protests over her appointment. Spellings says those critics have fallen by the wayside and she's out to highlight her successes as president thus far.


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PRESIDENT’S REPORT – November 2018

CSLD- UNC Center for School Leadership Development, 140 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27517


President's Report - October 2018

UNC Center for School Leadership Development, Chapel Hill, NC


President's Report - July 2018

UNC Center for School Leadership Development, Chapel Hill, NC


State of the University: Triangle

SAS Campus, Cary, NC


New York Times Higher Ed Leaders Forum: How Higher Ed Reclaims the High Road

New York, New York


President's Report - May 2016

UNC Center for School Leadership Development, Chapel Hill, NC

*- The Official Bio and Official Headshot of Margaret Spellings on this webpage, https://www.northcarolina.edu/unc_president_spellings, is available for reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

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