Board of Governors welcomes new members

Western Carolina University welcomes a new Board of Trustees chair and five additional trustees.

Teresa Williams of Huntersville has been elected chair of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees.

Williams has served on the Board of Trustees for WCU for over six years. During that time, she served as the Chair of Academic Affairs and Personnel. She currently serves on the UNC-Chapel Hill General Alumni Board of Directors and the YWCA Central Board of Directors.

“She’s great; she’s a wonderful woman,” said Terry Welch, assistant to the chancellor and assistant secretary for the Board of Trustees.

As the new chair, Williams will be required to attend all Board of Trustees meetings. She is also required to attend any Executive Committee meetings she is the chair of, according to the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees by-laws.

She also has a history of volunteering within the community, even winning the JC Penney “Golden Rule” Volunteer Award, according to Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees member page.

“It is quite an honor to be selected as chair. It also is very humbling, and I thank you for the privilege,” Williams said in an interview with The Reporter.

Williams is not the only person stepping into a new role within the board; The Board of Trustees also welcomed five other new members.

The newest members are Charles Philip Byers, Rutherford County educational foundation executive; Phil Drake, chief executive officer of Drake Enterprises; Joyce Dugan, former principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; John R. Lupoli, Highlands contractor and real estate agent; and Kenny Messer, an executive with Milliken Corp’s Spartanburg branch.

The new trustees’ terms will last for four years. They will each be allowed only two terms. A trustee may remain in office for longer. For example, if a member resigns and another takes their position, the newly-appointed member finishes out the term set in place by the resigned member on top of the terms they would ordinarily serve.

The Board of Trustees is composed of 13 members. Of those, eight are appointed by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. The UNC Board of Governors is the legal body that controls the universities within the University of North Carolina system, such as WCU. Of the remaining five members of the Board of Trustees, four are appointed by the Governor. The last position is the president of the Student Government Association. The president of the SGA is ex officio, which means they are a member because of their position. The SGA president is still allowed to vote with the rest of the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees plays a number of roles within the university and the UNC system as a whole. For example, they advise both the chancellor and the Board of Governors on matters regarding the university. They put together search committees when a new chancellor is needed and are responsible for putting together and maintaining a Campus Master Plan for the university, according to the by-laws.

For more information on the Board of Trustees and their newest members, visit