WESTERN BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTS                                                                                                  

Image: Asheville attorney Steve Warren

Asheville attorney Steve Warren assumes his duties after being elected chairman of the board of trustees at Western.

Image: Stephen M. Metcalf and Teena S. Little are sworn in by District Court Judge Danny Davis

District Court Judge Danny Davis (left) administers the oath of office to two new members of the board of trustees – former state Sens. Stephen M. Metcalf of Weaverville and Teena S. Little of Southern Pines.

CULLOWHEE – Asheville attorney Steve Warren is the new chairman of the board of trustees at Western Carolina University.

Election of officers and administration of the oath of office for two new board members – former state Sens. Teena S. Little of Southern Pines and Stephen M. Metcalf of Weaverville – came Friday, Sept. 2, as part of the board's first meeting of the 2005-06 academic year.

Warren is a 1980 graduate of Western in economics who went on to earn his law degree at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is a partner with the law firm of Long, Parker, Warren and Jones, and is president of the board of directors of the N.C. Governor's Western Residence.

“I want to thank the members of the board for giving me what I consider to be the highest honor in my life,” Warren said after being elected chair. “I have had the privilege of sitting among 12 people who are, by any definition imaginable, among the most successful people to be found anywhere. It means so very much to me to have received your nomination and your trust.”

Warren also took time to thank the university's faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication, and pledged to help improve working conditions, including addressing salary and benefit concerns, for Western's employees.

“The reason that Chancellor John Bardo stands so tall is because he stands upon some very strong shoulders,” he said. “Give me one word to describe the people who work for this university, and I'll say ‘competence.' Give me two words, and I'll say ‘extraordinary competence.'”

The board also elected Joan MacNeill, a community leader and entrepreneur from Webster, to serve as vice chair of the board, and re-elected retired Mars Hill entrepreneur Genevieve Whitmire Burda as secretary.

MacNeill is co-founder and former president and chief operations officer for the Great Smoky Mountains Railway. A former nurse, she previously served on Western's Foundation Board and the Garden Club of Sylva. Burda is former co-owner of Mars Hill Hardware and Building Supply. She is a former chemist and researcher in Texas, and a past member of the board of directors for the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to the election of officers, District Court Judge Danny Davis administered the oath of office to new board members Little and Metcalf.

A retired public school teacher in Hoke and Moore counties, Little is a former member of the UNC Board of Governors, including a term as vice chair of the board beginning in 2002. A graduate of Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, she is a former member of the N.C. State Board of Education and the board of advisers for the University of North Carolina-Wilmington Watson School of Education. Little and husband George W. Little, former secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Economic Resources and a 2004 candidate for N.C. governor, played significant roles in winning support for the N.C. Higher Education Improvement bonds in 2000.

Metcalf, who stepped down from the N.C. Senate in February 2004, is a former manager for Buncombe County and former director of the city of Asheville's Bele Chere festival. He previously served as assistant to Gov. James B. Hunt Jr., and as deputy secretary for the N.C. Department of Administration and N.C. Department of Transportation. Metcalf was a partner in MGT of America, a national management research and consulting firm serving public sector clients, and was director of Western's local government relations program in 2002-03. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Appalachian State University and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Tennessee.

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Last modified: Friday, September 2, 2005
Copyright 2005 by Western Carolina University