WCU board welcomes SGA president, extends athletic director contract

The Western Carolina University board of trustees welcomed Josh Cotton, president of the WCU Student Government Association, as its newest member and said goodbye to three departing trustees as part of the board’s quarterly meeting Friday, June 5.

WCU Student Government President Josh Cotton

WCU Student Government President Josh Cotton

Cotton (pictured at right), a senior majoring in accounting, was elected during the spring semester as SGA president, a position that also includes ex officio membership on the university’s board of trustees. A 2005 graduate of Hickory High School, he took the oath of office to open the board’s spring meeting.

“You are the most important person on this board,” Joan MacNeill, chair of WCU’s trustees, told Cotton. “You represent the constituency that is the reason we all are here.”

MacNeill also thanked three outgoing members of the board for their years of service to the university. Retired Madison County entrepreneur Genevieve Burda, Knoxville corporate executive William “Teddy” Phillips Jr. and former N.C. Secretary of Commerce Rick Carlisle are rotating off the board, with three new members to be appointed before the trustees’ next meeting in September.

In other action, the board unanimously approved a recommendation from WCU Chancellor John Bardo to grant a three-year extension to Chip Smith, director of athletics since 2004.

“This extension is very well deserved,” said Charles Worley, secretary of the board of trustees. “Chip has done an outstanding job for this university.”