UNC chancellor search committee announced. Who will find university’s next leader?

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University governing board members, alumni and representatives of the student body, faculty and staff will be among those tasked with finding the 13th chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill.

UNC System President Peter Hans announced the chancellor search advisory committee Monday. Christy Page, a three-time UNC graduate who serves as the executive dean of the UNC School of Medicine and chief academic officer of UNC Health, will chair the committee.

“I’m confident our nation’s first public university will draw a field of excellent candidates,” Hans said. “As a proud alumnus, I am eager to get to work with a committee that represents Carolina’s vibrant and diverse campus community.”

The 13 committee members, as selected by Hans and following guidelines set forth in UNC System policy, are:

  • Hans

  • Page

  • John Preyer, chair of the UNC Board of Trustees

  • Randy Ramsey, chair of the UNC System Board of Governors

  • Kellie Hunt Blue, member of the UNC System Board of Governors

  • Jennifer Evans, member of the UNC Board of Trustees

  • Malcolm Turner, vice chair of the UNC Board of Trustees

  • Beth Moracco, UNC faculty chair

  • Katie Musgrove, UNC Employee Forum chair

  • Christopher Everett, UNC student body president

  • Franklin Gilliam, chancellor of UNC Greensboro

  • Veronica Mora Flaspoehler, president of the UNC General Alumni Association

  • Jim Phillips Jr., a UNC alumnus and partner at the Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard law firm

Anita Brown-Graham, a distinguished professor and associate dean at the UNC School of Government, will serve as a special adviser to the committee. Brown, who also directs the Carolina Across 100 initiative that connects the university to communities across the state, “will provide strategic guidance to the president and the committee chair throughout the search process and serve as the committee’s primary liaison to campus stakeholders,” Hans said.

Hans did not provide a timeline for when the committee would meet, but said more information would be available “in the near future” on a UNC website dedicated to the search.

The committee will hold engagements with faculty, staff, students, community members and other groups to hear their input in the search. Hans has already committed to holding a listening forum with the university’s graduate students, since that group is not represented on the search committee, he previously told The News & Observer.

Page said she is “honored” to lead the committee of “individuals who all have a deep love and respect for Carolina.”

“Every day, I see the life-changing impact of this great university, from the education in our classrooms to the health care we provide to North Carolinians,” Page said. “This is an important role for the state, and we’re excited to find a leader who values our service to North Carolina.”

How long will the search take?

It is unclear exactly how long the search process will take, but Hans’ announcement of the committee Monday puts the process months ahead of the previous search that resulted in Kevin Guskiewicz’s selection as the university’s 12th chancellor.

That search began in August 2019, seven months after Carol Folt left the position and Guskiewicz was named interim chancellor. Guskiewicz was selected as permanent chancellor in December of that year, about four months after the search began.

Interim Chancellor Lee Roberts is currently leading the university following the January departure of Guskiewicz, who next month will become president of Michigan State University.

The search committee will be tasked with recruiting and interviewing candidates for the position and proposing a list of finalists to the campus Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees, using the information provided by the committee, will select at least three finalists to submit to Hans. Hans can then interview at least one of the finalists and choose one nominee to submit to the Board of Governors for a vote, or return the slate to the campus Board of Trustees with directions “for further action.”

The Board of Governors will vote on Hans’ nominee and the conditions negotiated for the candidate, including salary and other compensation. Hans’ nominee will not be allowed to be present at any meeting where a vote is taken on their selection as chancellor.

Chancellor searches across the UNC System are confidential, but the final vote to hire the chancellor must take place in a public meeting.

System policy, citing state law on personnel records, states that none of the names and identities of the chancellor candidates, semi-finalists or finalists may be released to the public, even after the search is over. Search committee members and any other individual who becomes involved in the search are required to keep information about the process and candidates confidential.

The UNC System is currently searching for new chancellors at four universities: UNC, N.C. A&T State University, Winston-Salem State University and N.C. Central University.