Chancellor search may be down to 12 candidates

The search for UNC’s next chancellor is narrowing down.

Jackie Overton, chairwoman of the Employee Forum, expressed her confidence in the remaining pool of candidates at a meeting of the forum Wednesday.

“We’ve got it narrowed down to about 12,” Overton said.

“It’s a very diverse pool, and that’s all I can really say about that.”

Overton said the chancellor search committee is deep in the process of reference checks to replace Chancellor Holden Thorp, who announced in September he will step down in June.

She said the committee will start preparing for the interview process within the next three to four weeks.

“It is in full throttle,” she said. “I think we are going to end up with a good candidate out of this pool.”

At a search committee meeting Monday, chairman Wade Hargrove also said he was optimistic.

“We have a very impressive pool of candidates who have been identified and who have indicated an interest in the position,” Hargrove said.

He said the committee hopes to have a new chancellor installed by the end of June.

But a tentative schedule for the executive vice chancellor and provost search suggests UNC might have a new chancellor sooner. It predicts that Thorp’s successor could be meeting with provost candidates as early as April 18.

Hargrove said the names and numbers of the candidates will remain confidential throughout the search.

Student Body President Will Leimenstoll, a student member of the committee, said the process is going well.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “I think the committee is doing a really great job of balancing all the interests of the University that the chancellor has to deal with.”

Overton said though it’s going well, the process has been long — the previous meeting lasted more than five hours.

But Hargrove said the committee has been successful so far.

“We’ve been encouraged by the extent of interest in the position — candidates with extraordinary qualifications,” he said.

“Which is frankly a reflection of the high regard for which other leaders in higher education and the country regard this University, its faculty and students and its traditions.”

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