Eriskine Bowles

  • Aug. 8, 1945: Born in Greensboro to Hargrove “Skipper” Bowles and Jessamine Bowles. Attended Irving Park Elementary and Aycock Junior High schools. He graduated from Virginia Episcopal School, a boarding school in Lynchburg, Va.
  • 1967: Graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in business. Graduated from Columbia University in 1969 with a master’s degree in business administration
  • 1971: Marries Crandall Close. They now have three children, Sam, Annie and Bill, and eight grandchildren.
  • 1975: Founded Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co., an investment banking company in Charlotte that grew to be one of the largest regional firms of its kind in the nation. The firm was bought by First Union Corp. in 1998.
  • 1993-94: Worked for the Small Business Administration in Washington.
    1994-98: Served as deputy chief of staff and chief of staff for President Bill Clinton.
  • 1999: Worked at Forstmann Little & Co. in New York City, and nominated to the First Union and VF board of directors. President of Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
  • July 1999: Named by Gov. Jim Hunt to lead a 21-member N.C. Rural Prosperity Task Force.
  • 2002: Ran for U.S. Senate but lost to Republican Elizabeth Dole.
  • 2004: Ran again for U.S. Senate, but lost to Republican Richard Burr. The campaign was among the most costly Senate races in the nation. Combined spending was $26.3 million.
  • 2005: Chosen by the UNC Board of Governors to be UNC system president. Started job Jan. 1, 2006.
  • 2010: Announced retirement from UNC system.
  • 2010: Named by President Barack Obama as co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The commission presented its recommendations in December.
UNC system achievements during Bowles’ tenure-
  • Launched UNC Tomorrow in 2007 to determine how the universities could respond to the state’s needs. The UNC Tomorrow Commission identified seven areas where the campuses should respond: global readiness; access to higher education; improving K-12; supporting communities and economic transformation; health; the environment; and outreach and engagement.- Changed how it approves new degree programs, placing emphasis on identified needs of the state.
  • Created a Campus Safety Task Force to propose safety improvements at the campuses. General Assembly funding has been put toward improving mental health services, campus police and emergency notification and communication systems. An associate vice chancellor for campus safety and emergency operations was hired to work closely with campus safety offices.- Set goals at the system’s education schools for producing more and better teachers, particularly in high-need areas such as math, science and special education.
  • Established a pilot project to recruit and retain highly qualified math teachers for eight low-performing high schools in Guilford County. UNCG and N.C. A&T were partners in the effort.
  • Adopted a four-year tuition plan in 2006 that caps increases for in-state undergraduates and ties the maximum to increases in state appropriations. A second such plan was adopted this year.
  • Established action plans at UNC campuses for improving retention and graduation rates and raised the minimum requirements for admission to any school in the system.
Source: University of North Carolina.

Sources: News & Record archive, Who’s Who in America, the University of North Carolina.


— Compiled by Diane Lamb, News & Record researcher

More pages