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New chair, vice chair of UNC Board of Governors elected without discussion

The UNC System Board of Governors unanimously elected a new chair and vice chair Tuesday after waiving their own 30-day waiting period on new leadership and holding no public discussion on the issue.

Randy Ramsey became the board’s new chairman and Wendy Murphy its vice chair, filling the vacancies created when Harry Smith resigned as chairman last week and Ramsey became acting chairman. The election came in a Tuesday morning board meeting held by tele-conference.

Randy Ramsey, the newly elected Chairman of the UNC Board of Governors.

In an unusual move, the board voted to waive its customary 30 day period between the resignation of one chair and the election of another. No other candidates came forward for the positions of chair or vice chair, giving the appearance that Ramsey and Murphy’s election had been negotiated ahead of the Tuesday’s public meeting.

Last week Smith, who is staying on the board after stepping down as chairman, told Policy Watch that Ramsey was his choice for chairman and he believed he had the board’s support.

Ramsey thanked the board for its support in a prepared statement Tuesday.

“It is my great honor and privilege to serve as chairman of the board, and I want to thank my fellow members for entrusting in me with this responsibility,” Ramsey said. “I’d like to thank Governor Smith for his service and the great work that he has accomplished during his time as chair. The initiatives that he has put in place have done a great deal for the State of North Carolina and I look forward to continuing in this effort going forward.”

Murphy also thanked the board for their support in a statement.

“I am extremely proud and grateful to have the chance to serve in this new role,” Murphy said. “I wish to thank the entire board of governors for their support, and I look forward to working to further our great North Carolina public education system in the coming days, weeks and months.”

Vice Chair Wendy Murphy

Ramsey and Murphy will continue as co-chairs of the UNC System Presidential search committee.

The board also met in a closed session Tuesday to discuss personnel matters.

The board and its members made no official statement Tuesday about East Carolina University Interim Chancellor Dan Gerlach. Gerlach was placed on administrative leave Monday after photos and video of him drinking and dancing with students in a bar near campus caused controversy. Interim UNC System President Bill Roper said Monday the matter is being investigated.

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