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UNC's Friday remains in critical condition after receiving pacemaker

Posted May 18, 2012

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— Former University of North Carolina System President William Friday remains in critical condition two days after being admitted to UNC Hospitals, but he has improved after receiving a permanent pacemaker on Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday morning.

No other details about Friday's health were available. 

In 2009, Friday had a heart valve replaced two months after suffering a mild heart attack. 

Since retiring from his position at the head of the UNC system in 1986, Friday has stayed busy with his UNC-TV interview show, "North Carolina People."

In January, Friday weighed in on the tuition debate, saying that he would prefer that the system's 16 university campuses make the needed cuts to staff and program to avoid the hefty tuition increases they have proposed.

Friday led the UNC system for 30 years, a period that included desegregation, challenges to free speech and the creation of a 16-campus state university system.

Enrollment began to surge during his tenure, setting the stage for major expansions and battles over tuition increases in the years since he retired.

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  • bombayrunner May 18, 2012

    interesting you didnt post my thoughts before ... commending the guy being above the racial tensions of the 50-60-70's. Geeezzzz WRAL, I did some good reasearch on this guy.

  • elmakl May 18, 2012

    You represent the best North Carolina has to offer, President Friday, and I am delighted that you're getting better. May you continue to do so, and keep on educating our consciences.

  • pax2U May 18, 2012

    An honorable man with a great vision that has taken North Carolina forward in education. Hoping that he recovers quickly and that his voice is heard. He has spoken wisely about managing both necessary financial cuts at the universities and the role of sports in higher education. Unfortunately, to date, the short-term answer has been to maintain the status quo- sad for North Carolina.

  • FAN72 May 18, 2012

    Best Wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. As a new teacher in 1972, I met President Friday while attending a workshop on the UNC campus. He made a profound impact on my philosophy of educational goals and objectives. As a NC State grad, I was appreciative to learn from this gentleman.

  • hp277 May 18, 2012

    Get well soon, President Friday.