Asheville attorney W. Louis Bissette, Jr., a partner and former president of the McGuire, Wood & Bissette law firm, was today elected chair of the UNC Board of Governors, the policy-making body of the 17-campus University of North Carolina. Bissette, who has served as vice chair since July 2014, will lead the board through June 30, 2016, completing the unexpired two-year term of former Chair John Fennebresque of Charlotte, who resigned his board seat in October.
Bissette joined the Board of Governors in 2011 and was re-elected to a second four-year term earlier this year. He was a member of the 2015 Presidential Search Committee and has previously chaired the board’s Committee on Budget and Finance and served on its Audit and Public Affairs committees. He also chaired the Board of Governors Academic Review Panel.
Bissette is a graduate of Wake Forest University, the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. A former mayor of Asheville (1985-89) he has held senior leadership positions in the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the I-26 Corridor Association, and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. A former member of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees, he is a current trustee at Wake Forest University.
The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls more than 220,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students. UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a specialized school for performing artists. The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.