UNC-CH board asks Thorp to reconsider resignation
Posted September 19, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — 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.