Thorp said Mann’s absence will affect the way UNC deals with its finances, especially the upcoming state budget deficit of $3.7 billion.
But even though Mann said the budget will be an issue for his successor, he predicted budget pressures will let up in the near future.
“I’m very optimistic that even though we’re facing hard times now, the University will make it out okay,” he said.
With federal stimulus funding and a state sales tax expiring at the end of the current fiscal year, officials have looked to 2011-12 as a particularly ominous year. But many, including Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney, said it will likely be the last bad year as the economy slowly recovers.
Since entering his current post on an interim basis in 2009, Carney said he has worked closely with Mann on budgetary matters.
“I appreciate especially his common sense and his decisiveness,” he said.
Mann said the atmosphere of cooperation instead of competition helped his and other offices create a good plan for dealing with some of the highest budget cuts the University has ever seen.
“Once the plan’s in place the rest is easy, and I think after next year things will look up,” he said.
Filling his shoes
Thorp announced Friday at a Faculty Council meeting that a search committee will soon be formed to find a replacement for Mann by July 1. The search will coincide with searches for a new dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and several administrative positions.
Thorp said he will either create an interim position or ask Mann to stay on longer if the post is unfilled by the start of the 2011-12 fiscal year. Mann said he would stay on if asked.
But Thorp said he was confident the search would finish within the allotted time because it will be free from some of the constraints that other searches have encountered.
“When you’re looking for a CFO you’re not tied to the academic calendar,” he said.
On Friday, Mann said he planned to meet Monday with William McCoy, former vice president for finance for the UNC system and interim chancellor for the University in 1999. Mann said McCoy will lead the search committee.
Mann said there’s a good system in place to help his successor transition smoothly, joking that his main goal when he arrived was to not mess anything up too badly, and that he thinks he succeeded.
“I hope I have (done well),” he said. “Nobody’s run me out, and that’s mainly because of the people working for me.”
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