State News

New UNC chancellor: 'A lot of homework still ahead of me'

Posted July 1, 2008

— The new chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill started his first day on the job with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast with student leaders.

Holden Thorp said he was inspired that students in Chapel Hill would turn out so early in the morning to welcome him to work. He's admits, too, that he's still something of a student himself.

Thorp said he's concentrating on learning about the entire university and has "a lot of homework still ahead of me."

UNC Student Body President J.J. Raynor presented Thorp with a Tar Heel-blue backpack, map of campus and large coffee mug. The Graduate Student Government Association gave him large bottles of Tums and Aleve.

At age 43, Thorp is among the youngest university leaders in the country. The former chemistry professor graduated from the university two decades ago and has spent much of his career there, most recently as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

He now takes over the state university's flagship campus, which has with more than 28,000 students and 3,200 faculty members.

"What I hope people will say is that I listened to the various constituents," Thorp said.

He replaces James Moeser, who stepped down after eight years as chancellor.

On his first day in office, the university snagged a $1 million gift to establish a visiting professorship in the Creative Writing Program.

Sallie Shuping-Russell, managing director of a New York investment firm and a member of UNC's Board of Trustees, committed $666,000 to endow the professorship, qualifying it for $334,000 in state matching funds. The position would help attract top writers to Chapel Hill to teach and give public readings.

"This gift gets my job as chancellor off to a great start, and I'll always feel a special gratitude to Sallie," Thorp said in a statement. "The rigorous program and intimate engagement with faculty in creative writing embody the commitments to originality and undergraduate experience that define Carolina."

In an interview, Thorp also spoke briefly about slain UNC student, and former student body president, Eve Carson.

"I think that enthusiasm that she had for Carolina is going to be around here for a long time," Thorp said.


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  • TarheelTurtle Jul 1, 2008

    My reaction is no based on emotion, it's based on fact and personal experience. Clearly, not the same for the rest of you. Already calling him names? Getting a shot at athletics in? Come on, move on to something more one cares about your slanted "opinions."

  • ncsuspam Jul 1, 2008

    Woah LacyAprons, we are just posting our point of views on here. There is no need to get so upset. I wish your new chancellor the best of luck.

  • TarheelTurtle Jul 1, 2008

    The students happened to adore Moeser, as did (do) the alumnae. Meeting with them and mentioning Eve was a class move. He's a grad, and a professor. Don't underestimate him based on his youth. He knows how UNC works and he'll get it done. The right way. All you negative posters and ABCer's need to get a life...

  • rogerkneebend Jul 1, 2008

    When I see his pic, I'm reminded of Devo or Thomas Dolby.

  • superman Jul 1, 2008

    HIs first mistake was meeting with the students first. Think his first move should have been breakfast with the staff. He is going to need the support of the staff more than he will the students. He is already on the wrong foot. I am sure the staff is somewhat upset with his first wrong move. Does he want to be a student again or a member of the staff. I am not impressed so far.

  • FloydTurbo Jul 1, 2008

    When will Doogie meet w/ Art Pope to accept his generous donation on behalf of "diverse political opinions" on the UNC campus?

    Is Doogie "a new leader with a fresh approach" or just a younger version of the same old same old ??? We shall see.