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Former Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to Lead N.C. University System

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has a new job in education.

Spellings, who led the Education Department under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2009, was selected Friday to lead North Carolina's public university system by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, according to the Associated Press. As president, Spellings will oversee 17 campuses in the system that serves more than 220,000 students. She currently works as the head of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

She replaces Tom Ross, and her five-year contract will pay her a base salary of $775,000 annually.The AP notes that she's the first president of North Carolina's university system without an advanced degree since the 1950s.

Since leaving the Education Department, in addition to overseeing the Bush Presidential Center, Spellings has served on several corporate boards, including the one overseeing the University of Phoenix, a for-profit university, and Ceannate, a student-loan-collection company. 

She'll have to decide how (or whether) to deal with sharply rising tuition costs in the system, as well as a scandal in which student athletes took sham classes and received inflated grades for two decades.

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