Education chairman Howard Lee to visit Western Carolina March 16

CULLOWHEE – Howard Lee, chairman of the N.C. State Board of Education, will visit Western Carolina University Tuesday, March 16, to participate in a public reception and forum.

The reception at 3:45 p.m. will be followed by a 4:15 p.m. forum in which Lee will respond to questions. Both events will be held in the Grandroom of Western’s A.K. Hinds University Center.

N.C. Gov. Mike Easley appointed Lee to the State Board of Education in May 2003 to fill an unexpired term, and Lee was unanimously elected chairman of the board by its members. He is the first African-American to hold that post.

A former mayor of Chapel Hill, Lee formerly served in the state Senate, where he gained a reputation as an advocate for education and led efforts to improve school safety and accountability and teacher quality.

In addition to owning several businesses, Lee is employed part time with the Jim Hunt Institute. His term on the State Board of Education ends in March 2005.

Lee’s visit to Western is sponsored by the Chancellor’s Office, and College of Education and Allied Professions. Individuals wishing to attend the reception and forum are asked to R.S.V.P. by Wednesday, March 10, by contacting Carol Burton at (828) 227-7056, or by e-mail at