The UNC Board of Governors will not discuss a plan for the future of the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument at next week’s meeting.
After it was toppled by protesters last August, the damaged statue was taken to a secure, undisclosed location. Board members were divided on its future – some publicly insisting a 2015 law passed by the General Assembly means it must be re-erected on campus, others quietly hoping to preserve the statue and peace on campus by moving it elsewhere.
The board tasked then-UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt and the school’s Board of Governors with crafting a plan for the monument. But it swiftly rejected a plan for a $5.3 million UNC history museum on campus where the statue could be securely kept.
Instead, the board appointed five of its own members – Darrell Allison, Jim Holmes, Wendy Murphy, Anna Nelson and Bob Rucho – to “got back to the drawing board” with the chancellor and trustees, coming up with a new plan.
The board’s unveiling of that new plan, already repeatedly pushed back, had most recently been planned for its May meeting. But on Tuesday afternoon, board Chairman Harry Smith released a statement saying the board has decided to again postpone it.
“In early March, we set the May meeting of the UNC Board of Governors as a tentative reporting date to consider possible solutions for the confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill, commonly known as Silent Sam,” Smith said in the statement. “A small group of Board members is prepared to review and discuss options at an appropriate time. However, our Board and the universities have also been focused on a number of other issues, including the legislative session, and there is nothing to report at this time. Therefore, the monument issue will not be on our agenda for the May meeting.”
Policy Watch is continuing to follow this story as it develops.