State News

UNC-CH board asks Thorp to reconsider resignation

Posted September 19, 2012

— The board of trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill "emphatically" requested Chancellor Holden Thorp Wednesday to change his mind about stepping down at the end of the 2012-13 school year.

The board met via conference call for about an hour behind closed doors before announcing a unanimous resolution in support of Thorp.

"The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees unanimously believes Carolina is better today because of him and emphatically requests that Chancellor Thorp reconsider his decision because we think it is in the best interest of this university," the resolution read in part.

Faculty members and school employees passed similar resolutions Tuesday, saying Thorp has been a strong advocate for the campus and is the best person to lead the school. Students have scheduled a Friday rally in support of Thorp.

UNC President Tom Ross was traveling Wednesday, so it's unclear whether the mounting support for Thorp would convince him not to accept the resignation.

Thorp, 48, has been chancellor for four years, the last two of which have been marred by athletic, academic and administrative scandals. He said Monday that the continued negative publicity had taken a toll on him, his family and those around him.

Also during the closed session, the board appointed Julia Sprunt Grumbles, a former Turner Broadcasting vice president, as UNC-Chapel Hill's interim fundraising chief.

Vice Chancellor for Advancement Matt Kupec resigned last week amid an internal investigation into his travel. Thorp said he found that some trips taken by Kupec and major gifts officer Tami Hansbrough, who also resigned, were "personally driven."

“Julia Sprunt Grumbles is a devoted, engaged alumna who has made important contributions to the university’s fundraising efforts,” Thorp said in a statement. “I have every confidence that she will provide outstanding leadership, guidance and support to an already talented and successful development staff.”

The board will hold its regular meeting next week, when it will discuss the search for a new chancellor.

26 Comments

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  • homefree Sep 20, 11:44 a.m.

    The stink from Chapel Hill is getting worse. Something is going on behind doors that only Thorp knows about and is sick of it. This guy is no cheater. Lets get on it WRAL....do some investigative reporting.

  • tgawronski Sep 20, 11:20 a.m.

    Let him go, already.

  • rroadrunner99 Sep 20, 10:30 a.m.

    Now I think Tom Ross should be next to resign. UNC need's to clean house of everyone involved in the mess that is STILL being uncovered.If it means BOT'S and BOG'S, then so be it.I think that all of the above should have been a lot more fourth coming when the investigation started!Since that didn't happen, now let the chip's fall where they may.

  • superman Sep 20, 9:54 a.m.

    If he stays he should make sure that all travel is approved. No one gets a blank signed check anymore. Having travel approved by someone is standard accounting practice. None of it would have happened had he checked the travel.

  • unc70 Sep 20, 8:25 a.m.

    Good summary, Jerry Salak. I agree with you.

  • Tarheel born Sep 20, 8:13 a.m.

    JERRYSALAK............well said and I agree. I would like to see him stay as well and finish the job of cleaning up the mess that was here long before he took over. Then his legacy will be etched in stone.
    UNC '75

  • Tarheel born Sep 20, 8:06 a.m.

    The BOG DIDN'T accept anything. Chancellor Thorpe submitted his resignation.

    Try reading the articles and actually comprehending them.

  • jerrysalak Sep 19, 7:53 p.m.

    Part 2. WUNC radio also had a good story by Dave DeWitt did an excellent story yesterday (Sept 18) which covered the facts well. If you review both of those, you'll understand better that Thorp uncovered problems and addressed them well. Not perfectly or with perfect timing - he admits hat - but well. Chancellor's don't control everything that happens at a University, but they can fix things when they go wrong - and that's what Chancellor Thorp is doing. And I hope he reconsiders and decides to stay and keep on doing just that.

  • jerrysalak Sep 19, 7:48 p.m.

    To jmwbrd - It's easy to confuse the boards. The Board of Governors of the state-wide University of North Carolina met last week and asked him over the weekend to stay. The Board of Trustees of UNC at Chapel Hill campus met today and asked him to stay. This was an emergency meeting. Their regular meeting is next week. The faculty met yesterday and asked him to stay. The staff and students are holding a rally of support outside his office on Friday. And emails from alumni and others have been pouring in all week asking Chancellor Thorp to stay. The majority of people want him to stay. I would wager that everyone who is informed on the issues wants him to stay. The only ones calling for his resignation are those who don't have a good understanding of the issues. And I think that's because most of the news coverage has focused too much on sensational aspects of the issues and too little on the plain facts. Two exceptions - yesterday's (Sept 18) N&O editorial covered the facts

  • storchheim Sep 19, 7:45 p.m.

    Is this some twisted joke?

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