Local News

UNC-CH trustees meet but take no action on replacement for Carol Folt

Posted January 22, 2019 2:54 p.m. EST
Updated January 22, 2019 8:37 p.m. EST

— Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill met Tuesday behind closed doors but took no action with just over a week before Chancellor Carol Folt leaves her post.

Board trustees met at the Carolina Club and adjourned shortly after the executive session.

Trustee Chairman Haywood Cochrane told WRAL News that the trustees did discuss a replacement for Folt, who had planned to depart following the university's May graduation but was forced out early by the UNC Board of Governors after she unilaterally authorized the removal of what remained of the controversial "Silent Sam" Confederate monument statue earlier this month.

Folt is now expected to leave her post on Jan. 31,

Folt's replacement will be named by Bill Roper, the interim president of the University of North Carolina system, who was named to that post when President Margaret Spellings announced she would resign the job late last year.

Cochrane said the system is looking for a chancellor with a "deep love for the university, a strong work ethic, integrity, unparalleled understanding for the need for balance on this campus and beyond."

The trustees are expected to meet again sometime between Jan. 30 and Jan. 31.

Folt had originally announced she would be leaving in May, during a statement in which she also revealed she had authorized the removal of what was left of the Silent Sam statue.

Under the cover of darkness, work crews were dispatched to eradicate the granite base of the statue from its century-old location on McCorkle Place.

Sam has been in storage since ever since a group of protesters toppled it last August.

UNC Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith was rankled by Folt's unilateral decision to remove the remnants of the statue, saying at the time that it "undermines and insults the board’s goal to operate with class and dignity."

After a closed-door meeting last week, Smith told reporters that the decision for Folt to leave her post four months early was not punitive.