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The Daily Tar Heel

WSSU Tries to Forgo Search Policy

But they face opposition from members of the Board of Governors who say state statutes prevents the body from altering the selection policy.

The WSSU Board of Trustees plans to ask UNC-system President Molly Broad later this week to alter the policy calling for a two-name nomination and recommend Martin to the post.

UNC-system spokeswoman Joni Worthington said Broad will meet with officials at WSSU to explore the possibility but said she does not believe a decision will be made in the next few days.

Martin was named interim chancellor at WSSU in 1999 following the resignation of former Chancellor Alvin Schexnider.

WSSU trustee Ted Kaplan said Martin's diligent work in his first year has earned him a strong reputation at the university.

"He has a proven track record," Kaplan said. "He has brought the community, school and communities within the school all together who have a great deal of respect for him."

Kaplan also said he believes nominating Martin as the sole choice for chancellor will benefit the school. "It will save a lot of time and money, and there will be the same outcome," he said.

WSSU spokesman Aaron Singleton said he agreed that Martin's work has earned him respect among school and community leaders. "People seem to like him whether they're business people who have donated financially to the school to alumni who say he's done a good job in including them in events at the school."

He said Martin's accomplishments at the school include getting Internet access in 85 percent of campus facilities and increasing fund raising at the school, which resulted in a record number of scholarships awarded to incoming fall 2000 freshmen.

But BOG member John Sanders said state law requires that a search committee be formed to determine potential candidates for a chancellor position.

The law requires that at least two names must be submitted to Broad, who then nominates one candidate to the BOG, Sanders said.

He said he does not know of a situation in which a search committee was not formed to hire a new chancellor.

But Sanders said the body could make a partial exception to the law in this case.

"The BOG could, perhaps, waive the search committee requirement," he said. "But the Board of Trustees still has to nominate two names."

Sanders said it is possible that the Board of Trustees could nominate a filler name to meet the two-name requirement but still support Martin as its top choice.

He added that the board should ensure that both names submitted are ideal candidates for chancellor should Martin not win Broad's nomination.

WSSU officials say they believe Martin's strong devotion to the university makes him the top choice for the post.

"He likes to get input from people, taking time out of his schedule to personally reply to every e-mail he receives," Singleton said.

"A person who cares that much, who follows through with that much sincerity, people seem to like that here at the university."

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