Local News

Deadline for plan on future of 'Silent Sam' pushed back to May

Posted March 5, 2019 12:27 p.m. EST

— The chairman of the UNC Board of Governors has pushed back the deadline for a committee's recommendation on the future of a controversial Confederate monument on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

The board was supposed to review the recommendations at its meeting next week, but Chairman Harry Smith has given the committee another two months.

"In order to give our team the time they need to do their work, I am extending that deadline and asking them to report back to the Board at our May 2019 meeting," Smith said in a letter to other board members.

The "Silent Sam" statue was toppled during an August protest, and former Chancellor Carol Folt ordered the pedestal and other markings to be removed from campus in January.

Hours after crews hauled off the pedestal in the middle of the night, the Board of Governors voted to push Folt out the door, moving her retirement date from late May to the end of January.

The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees had approved a plan to move Silent Sam to a new $5.3 million building on campus where it could be viewed with other exhibits that put it in historical context.

But the Board of Governors rejected that plan, primarily because of the costs involved, and created the committee to work with trustees on a new proposal.