Thomas Ross, president of Davidson College, will be the new UNC-system president following an emergency meeting this morning.
Ross will replace outgoing President Erskine Bowles after the Board of Governors approved him today. Bowles announced his retirement Feb. 12 after four years of serving in the position.
Bowles was widely popular among legislators and administrators and was considered a difficult man to replace.
- Graduated from Grimsley High School in 1968
- BA in political science from Davidson in 1972
- J.D. with honors from UNC in 1975
- Executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc., 2001–2007
- Director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, 1999–2000
- North Carolina Superior Court Judge, 18th Judicial District, 1984–2000
- Chief of staff to Congressman Robin Britt (D-NC), 1983–1984
- In charge of the 16 universities in the state and the N.C. School of Science and Math. He is the chief administrative and executive officer of an organization that enrolls more than 220,000 students. The campuses and their affiliates have budgets totaling $7.4 billion and collectively employ more than 47,000 faculty and staff.
- Has complete authority to manage the affairs and policies of the universities, with the direction of the Board of Governors. He is in charge of all policies, recommendations, and requests to the NC General Assembly and the Governor. He is charged with nominating chancellors for each of the UNC system’s campuses and recommending tuition increases to the board based on campus proposals.
While Ross comes from a much smaller institution and lacks recent legislative experience or national prestige, friends and colleagues said he is a dynamic individual, a passionate North Carolinian and a good pick for the job.
As chief executive officer and spokesperson for the 17-campus system, Ross will face serious budget woes at an institution that has already made significant cuts. As president, he will work with the board, legislators and the governor to shape the future and direction of the educational system.