FORMER STATE SENATORS LITTLE, METCALF                                                                                         

CULLOWHEE – Two former members of the North Carolina General Assembly are the newest members of the Western Carolina University board of trustees.

Image: Former state Sens. Teena S. Little and Stephen M. Metcalf.
Former state Sens. Teena S. Little and Stephen M. Metcalf.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors recently appointed former state Sens. Teena S. Little of Southern Pines and Stephen M. Metcalf of Weaverville to serve four-year terms scheduled to expire June 30, 2009. Little and Metcalf will be filling seats that were held by Hickory banking executive Phillip D. Walker and Raleigh businessman J. Clark Plexico, also a former state senator.

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.

“From my time on the Board of Governors, I have become very familiar with the good things that are happening at Western Carolina University under the leadership of Chancellor John Bardo,” Little said. “I am looking forward to working with him and his team on making an outstanding university even better.”

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.

“I am certainly honored to have been selected to be a member of Western's board of trustees,” Metcalf said. “Western has a long history of service to the people of Western North Carolina. The university is positioned to do even greater things in the future, and I am privileged that I will be a part of that.”

In addition to the appointment of Little and Metcalf, the Board of Governors reappointed Rick Carlisle, former N.C. secretary of commerce and current executive with a Raleigh investment firm, and Joan McNeill, a community leader and entrepreneur from Webster, to their second four-year terms. Carlisle, a native of Charlotte, served as secretary of commerce under Gov. Jim Hunt from May 1998 through January 2001, when he became chief executive officer of N.C. Economic Opportunity Fund. He has been involved in state economic development and public policy roles since 1978. McNeil is co-founder and former president and chief operations officer for the Great Smoky Mountains Railway. A former nurse, she also serves on Western's Foundation Board and on the board of the Girl Scouts of Western North Carolina Pisgah Council and the Garden Club of Sylva.

Gov. Mike Easley also reappointed two members to the Western board – Knoxville businessman William Ted Phillips Jr. and retired Mars Hill entrepreneur Genevieve W. Burda. A native of Robbinsville, Phillips is a 1986 graduate of Western. He is vice president of Phillips & Jordan Inc., a construction firm that conducted the cleanup operation after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Burda, who is secretary of Western's board of trustees, 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.

“With the new members we have coming on, the reappointed members and the returning members, I'm a little sad that my time as a trustee is coming to an end,” said Walker, the Hickory banking executive and WCU board chairman whose second term is expiring. “But I know the board and university will be in good hands, and I look forward to more exciting things to happen at Western.”

The UNC Board of Governors elects eight trustees for each of the 16 UNC institutions, and the governor appoints four. No trustee may serve more than two full four-year terms consecutively.

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Last modified: Friday, July 8, 2005
Copyright 2005 by Western Carolina University