CHAPEL HILL — Guilford County now has a third representative on the UNC System's governing board.

The N.C. Senate on Tuesday appointed Jimmy Clark to the UNC Board of Governors, which oversees the state's public universities and the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics. He'll serve the final year of the four-year term of former Raleigh mayor Tom Fetzer, who resigned from the university system board in May.

Clark is owner and president of Guy M. Turner Inc., a privately held crane, rigging and heavy transportation company based in Greensboro. He also has served on the Board of Trustees at N.C. State University since 2011 and is a former chairman of that board.

Clark has a long and close affiliation with N.C. State. He's a 1974 graduate of the university's College of Engineering and was named the college's distinguished alumnus in 2012. He's also a member of the board of directors of State's alumni association and previously served on the university's Board of Visitors and the board of the engineering college's foundation.

Clark established a distinguished professorship in the civil engineering department. And he and wife, Vickie Clark are among eight co-chairs of the university's current fundraising campaign, which met its $1.6 billion goal in November.

The Senate vote to confirm Clark was unanimous. Clark didn't return a telephone call to his office Thursday.

Clark will join two others from Guilford County on the UNC Board of Governors, which has 24 voting members. Marty Kotis, a Greensboro developer who lives in Summerfield, has been on the board since 2013. And the Senate named Dwight Stone of Greensboro to the board in November after former chairman Harry Smith resigned. Stone is chairman of D. Stone Builders, a local custom-home builder, and is a former UNC-Chapel Hill trustee. 

The terms of Clark, Kotis and Stone all end June 30, 2021. 

Art Pope named to BOG

The state Senate voted 32-15 Thursday night to appoint Art Pope to the Board of Governors. Pope will replace former state Sen. Bob Rucho, who said last week that he will step down June 30 with one year left on this term. The vote was largely split along party lines, though a few Democrats backed Pope.

Pope owns Variety Wholesalers, a privately held company in Henderson that operates nearly 400 discount stores throughout the Southeast under the Roses, Maxway and other names. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University's law school, Pope served four terms in the state House and was state budget director for nearly two years to former Gov. Pat McCrory.

Pope and the family foundation he chairs also have donated millions of dollars to UNC-Chapel Hill, numerous arts and education institutions and a variety of conservative causes and organizations. Pope's political spending during the 2010 election is generally credited with helping Republicans take control of the state legislature for the first time in a century.

Democrats in the legislature condemned the choice, and an online petition started by an N.C. A&T student had attracted nearly 500 signatures by 5 p.m. Thursday. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported on Pope's appearance Thursday afternoon before the Senate's nominating committee.

Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.​

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