As we've noted over the past week, the politics of the UNC system's Board of Governors is changing.
A Republican majority is now running things in Raleigh, and has put its imprint on the UNC system by thoroughly re-making its governing board.
After a slew of new appointments over the last two weeks, Republicans now out-number Democrats 18-13 on the board.
Does it matter?
Well, maybe. We'll see how ideological the board becomes when its new members are seated in July. It hasn't been too political in recent history.
Though the board itself is rarely openly partisan in its decision-making, the process to get there sure is.
Take, for example, the case of Clarice Cato Goodyear.
Goodyear, of Charlotte, is a current board member, named to the board in 2007 on the nomination of a Democratic State Sen. Daniel Clodfelter.
She has been active on board committees and has represented the board in an official capacity at commencement ceremonies for 16 of 17 campuses in the system.
She concludes her first four-year term later this year, and in recent months has clearly fought hard for reappointment.
The nomination packet she submitted to legislators was far more robust than many; it extols her accomplishments at length and makes the point several times, often in bold print, that while she used to be a registered Democrat, she's now registered as an unaffiliated, and brings the backing of many influential Republicans.
She notes that she's a fiscal conservative who has spent more than 30 years as an executive with the Cato Corporation, a women's fashion retailer.
She enlists 23 influential movers and shakers to offer endorsements. Several happily point out that she's seen the light by abandoning the Democratic party.
Her four pages of endorsements include these snippets:
From Alan Dickson, co-founder of the Ruddick Corp: "I realize Clarice is a former Democrat and now Independent, but, as a life-long Republican myself, I think her objective and sound judgment, reflected in her past service to this Board, is beyond Party loyalty."
From Neill McBryde, partner with the Moore & Van Allen law firm: "I should note at the outset that I am a strong Republican who has financially supported the North Carolina Republican Party, particularly in the last election...but this letter is really not about politics."
"Although I note with great pleasure that Clarice has now seen the light and is officially unaffiliated for voter registration purposes, based on my direct contact and relationship with her, I know Clarice brings a depth of knowledge about the University system and its needs and shortcomings and a perspective that is transparent, reflective, and grounded in good policy and common sense."
Former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot: "Although Clarice is an Independent and former Democrat in this new (hallelujah) 'Republican Era', I know her to be a thoughtful, committed, independent-minded person, and to have been an excellent member of the UNC Board of Governors."
Even Former Gov. Jim Martin, a Republican, chimed in on Goodyear's behalf.
"Clarice," he wrote, "I will be happy to help. Tomorrow morning...I will be in Raleigh to meet with Speaker Tillis, and will tell him my support directly."
And then there's the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, the right-leaning think tank long a thorn in the side of the UNC system. Its president, Jane Shaw, praises Goodyear for taking the Pope Center's writings seriously, notes that one of its reporters "spoke well" of her in a meeting with House Speaker Thom Tillis, and offered her own endorsement.
"I am certainly willing to write a fairly simple but positive letter, noting that you have been interested in the Pope Center positions, more than most Republicans on the board have been, and that, for that reason, I would recommend you for re-election," Shaw wrote.
None of this praise mattered. When the House voted Wednesday, she got just two votes from the 70 completed ballots cast.
(House Democrats upset with the nomination process submitted blank ballots in protest)
She'll leave the board at the end of June.