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The Daily Tar Heel

Presidential funk: Consulting firm should look for internal replacement

Erskine Bowles is a difficult UNC-system president to replace.

A successor surely exists, but the UNC system might be looking in the wrong places.

The system hired R. William Funk & Associates, a higher-education consulting firm, in the spring to bring in applicants for Bowles’ successor.

The University has turned to the consulting firm in the past when looking for higher-level position applicants.

Funk is currently conducting a nationwide search but has yet to narrow down a candidate to replace Bowles.

Funk consulted on the 2008 chancellor search in which the search committee ultimately chose Holden Thorp, who was head of the UNC College of Arts & Sciences at the time.

Funk was also hired as the search consultant in the national search that resulted in the March hiring of UNC Provost Bruce Carney — another internal appointment.

External consulting firms such as Funk have the resources to locate candidates from a larger pool in order to meet the highly distinct requirements of a job like system president.

But if the past is any indication, the Board of Governors should again look at candidates closer to home.

The presidential role of the 17-campus UNC system un-doubtedly deserves forethought and great consideration.

The UNC system issued a Presidential Leadership Statement in the spring outlining the attributes of an adept system president.

The president must be someone with strong leadership experience, business acumen and the ability to navigate legislative politics. Their responsibilities include “an appreciation of the history and culture of North Carolina.”

They must also be a visionary for the UNC system, full of fresh ideas for future Tar Heels.

Given these guidelines, an in-house appointment would be the most reasonable option and should undoubtedly be taken into consideration.

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