COVID-19, Education, Higher Ed, News

UNC System President search slowed by pandemic, Roper may stay in role

Bill Roper will likely extend his service as UNC System Interim President as the search for the next system’s next leader has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, UNC Board of Governors Chairman Randy Ramsey said Friday.

Roper was scheduled to leave the interim position at the end of June. But the presidential search won’t conclude until the search committee can meet with candidates face-to-face, the board heard in a report Thursday.

Dr. Bill Roper, UNC System Interim President

“The timeline of the search has certainly been changed given what we’re going through,” Ramsey said. “I believe we would have already have been at the interview process by now with candidates. I do believe it’s effected it. I’ve spoken with President Roper and he is agreeable to continue to stay in his current role for a period of time if we ask him to. My belief is we may need to do that. I am grateful for his willingness to do that.”

Roper confirmed his willingness to stay on in the position in a brief press conference after Friday’s meeting.

“I’m honored to serve and we’ll see how this plays out,” Roper said. “It’s an uncertain time in many respects.”

Roper has been serving as interim president since November 2018. Before that, he was CEO of UNC Health Care for 14 years and dean of the public health school at UNC-Chapel Hill.

As interim president he now makes $775,000 per year, with a $77,500 annual retirement contribution and the possibility of up to $125,000 in an annual performance bonus.

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