The University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors are moving forward in their search to replace UNC President Tom Ross, and have come up with tentative list of who will coordinate the search for a new president.
The proposed search committee list was discussed during a four-hour public meeting Thursday in the Charlotte law office where Chairman John Fennebresque works.
The full UNC Board of Governors will vote on the slate of committee members at its meeting this coming Friday, behind held on East Carolina University campus.
The proposed co-chairs of the search committee are Ann Goodnight, the Cary philanthropist and wife of SAS founder Jim Goodnight, and Joan MacNeill, the co-founder of the Great Smoky Mountains Railway tourist attraction from Webster. Therence Pickett, the general counsel for MackTrucks/Volvo Trucks in Greensboro, is slated to become a vice-chair of the search committee that will present final candidates to the full UNC Board of Governors.
The university’s system’s 32-member governing board, all of whom got their appointments from Republican legislative leaders, pushed out UNC President Tom Ross out at their January meeting. Ross, who has headed the state’s public university system since 2011, will stay in his position until 2016.
Fennebresque has denied that pressure from legislative leaders or politics played a role in dismissing Ross, who had been hired by a board that leaned Democratic. Ross, a former judge and Davidson College president, was hired by a board of governors then controlled by Democrats.
Frank Grainger, a member of the UNC Board of Governors from Cary, commented during Thursday’s meeting that approval from the Republican-controlled legislature on the next UNC president is key.
“If they’re not happy with whoever we hire, then we’ve got a problem,” Grainger said.