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.