The University of North Carolina’s Faculty Assembly issued a strongly worded statement Friday, saying that the system’s governing board has repeatedly ignored faculty input and pushed forward a secretive process to find a new leader.
(For more about the expected presidential announcement tomorrow, read my story from earlier today here.)
The Faculty Assembly, which represents professors and faculty and serves in an advisory capacity to the UNC system and UNC Board of Governors, warned that the new president opted not to meet with faculty during the search process, and could face difficulties in gaining the trust of faculty.
“The faculty will not prejudge the commitment of new President to the well-being of the University,” wrote Stephen Leonard and Gabriel Lugo, on behalf of the UNC system Faculty Assembly. “But he or she must understand that the secretive character of this search, and his or her own indifference to consulting with staff and faculty when s/he was an active candidate for the position, will make it difficult to win the confidence and trust of the University community.”
The statement also said the board has repeatedly ignored faculty input on admissions, tuition and financial aid and instead adopted “ill-advised policies and practices that have proven detrimental to the best interests of public higher education in this state.”
The UNC Board of Governors is holding a special meeting at 11 a.m. Friday in Chapel Hill to officially announce the new president. The top candidate appears to be Margaret Spellings, a former U.S. Secretary of Education in the Bush Administration. (To learn more about Spellings, read my story from earlier today about tomorrow’s meeting.)
The board was on the hunt for a new president after it unexpectedly moved in January to part ways with Tom Ross, a well-respected administrator who had been at the helm of the university system since 2011. Ross, a former Davidson College president and Superior Court judge, had been selected by a board dominated by appointees from what was a state legislature controlled by Democrats. Since then, Republicans took over the state legislature and selected a new slate for the UNC Board of Governors, most of whom are Republicans.
The entire statement from UNC Faculty Assembly is below.