Bob Rucho, the former N.C. state senator who played a key role as Republicans reshaped state fiscal policies, says he’s resigning from the UNC System Board of Governors effective June 30.
The move is timed to the recent graduation from UNC Chapel Hill of his youngest of two sons, which the retired dentist says will free him up to focus on other commitments. Rucho says he’s planning to move from Raleigh to an undetermined location in the next few months, which will take away time he has spent on UNC work. “I give 150% to everything I do,” he says. Rucho told Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger of his decision last week.
Rucho, 71, says his move isn’t related to last week’s BOG decision to hire Peter Hans as president of the UNC System, succeeding Bill Roper on Aug. 1. “Peter will do a fine job,” he says.
An outspoken conservative, Rucho represented Mecklenburg County in the N.C. General Assembly for 16 years, including as chairman of finance and other influential Senate committees. He was involved in changes in N.C. policy after the GOP took control of both legislative bodies in 2011, ushering in lower tax rates for corporations and individuals and slowing the growth of state spending.
After leaving the Senate in 2016 and moving to Iredell County, Rucho made a failed bid to return to the legislature two years later. He was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2017 for a four-year term that was set to expire next year.
Rucho’s announcement follows Raleigh lobbyist Tom Fetzer’s decision in May to resign from the BOG. The former three-term Raleigh mayor joined the board in 2017, also as an appointee of the N.C. Senate. He said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
The 24-member BOG oversees the 17-campus system.