Saying that it’s in the best interest of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chancellor Holden Thorp announced Monday he intends to step down from his leadership position at the end of this academic year.
In a statement release by the school the chancellor said:
“I will always do what is best for this University. This wasn’t an easy decision personally. But when I thought about the University and how important it’s been to me, to North Carolinians and to hundreds of thousands of alumni, my answer became clear.
“Over the last two years, we have identified a number of areas that need improvement,” Thorp said. “We have a good start on reforms that are important for the future of this University. I have pledged that we will be a better university, and I am 100 percent confident in that. We still have work to do, and I intend to be fully engaged in that until the day I walk out of this office.”
According to the University, Chancellor Thorp notified UNC System President Tom Ross over the weekend of his intent to resign.
The system’s flagship school has been under heavy scrutiny following an NCAA investigation of the Tar Heel football program, an internal investigation of possible academic fraud, and most recently questionable travel expenses by the school’s top fundraiser.
UNC President Tom Ross said he accepted the resignation with ‘considerable sadness’:
“It will also allow for an orderly transition in leadership, an important consideration given that the campus is without a chief development officer and the provost has announced his intention to retire, as well,” Ross said. “I will, of course, be working closely with UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees Chair Wade Hargrove to quickly launch a search for a successor.”
After stepping down, Thorp will return to the faculty in UNC-Chapel Hill’s chemistry department, where he was a longtime professor, researcher and the former chair.