Deadline extended for Silent Sam proposal

The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees will get some extra time to announce its plans for the toppled Silent Sam statue.

In August, after protesters toppled the Confederate monument, the board gave the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and UNC Chancellor Carol Folt until Nov. 15 to come up with a detailed plan for the statue.

The UNC Board of Governors approved an extension of the Nov. 15 deadline Friday. Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith said his board expects to hear the plan at their Dec. 14 meeting.

“It’s a lot more complex than I think any of us thought,” Smith said.

The trustees requested more time to vet security for the several plans they’re still considering, said UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees Chairman Haywood Cochrane.

“We want to make sure the security is right,” Cochrane told Policy Watch Friday. “But I would say we are pretty close. We’ve had a lot of good input, a lot of good ideas in listening sessions. I think we’re very close.”

Smith said the Board of Governors understands and wants to be sure that whatever the proposal, it is the right one for this thorny issue.

Asked whether the Board of Governors would be the final word on the plan for the statue or would need state approval, Smith said the board isn’t quite sure.

UNC Attorney Tom Shanahan said that will likely depend on the details of the plan.

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