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The Daily Tar Heel

Search is on for new UNC-system president

Replacement to be selected soon

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Outgoing UNC-system President Erskine Bowles, 64, announced his retirement on February 12. The UNC Board of Governers is currently conducting a closed search to find his replacement.

A search for the new UNC-system president moved to the next step this month. Although the process is closed to the public, system leaders seem confident that it is on track.

“We are on target,” said Board of Governors Chairwoman Hannah Gage, the chief spokeswoman for the presidential search process.

Gage said the torch was recently passed from the screening committee to the search committee, and a new president will be selected this fall.
Current president Erskine Bowles formally announced his retirement Feb. 12, and the search process began in earnest in early March.

Committee members have said that finding the right replacement for Bowles — a widely respected leader who received kudos for his handling of the budget crisis — will not be an easy task.

Members have also said they are willing to look outside North Carolina and the educational system for a suitable replacement for Bowles.

“Every single one of us would love for another Erskine Bowles to appear … with the deep North Carolina ties and commitment to the state, and commitment to the university system,” Gage told The Daily Tar Heel in May. “The cold hard reality is, however, right now, we don’t see the next Erskine Bowles, at least clearly.”

The committee decided in May to hire R. William Funk & Associates, a well-known Dallas search firm that helped hire UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp, to facilitate the search for the new Bowles.

Funk recommended that the system raise the starting salary of the new UNC-system president to a maximum of $550,000, in order to attract and recruit the best possible candidates.

Contact the State and National Editor at stnt@unc.edu.

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