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Search for new fundraising leader starts

Four months after the former vice chancellor for University advancement resigned in scandal, the search for his replacement is finally beginning.

On Monday, Chancellor Holden Thorp announced the names of an 11-member committee that will conduct the search. Members will meet for the first time on Tuesday, said Lowry Caudill, chairman of the committee and a member of the Board of Trustees.

Matt Kupec, the former vice chancellor for University advancement, resigned in September. In October, an audit revealed that he had used UNC-Chapel Hill foundation funds for personal travel. Julia Sprunt Grumbles is serving as interim vice chancellor.

Caudill said the Office of the Chancellor has already chosen a firm — Witt/Kieffer — to conduct the search. The same firm is also conducting the search to replace Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney.

UNC is spending $130,333 in non-state funds for the search firm, said Mike McFarland, a University spokesman, in an email.

“The logic for (using a search firm) is that the we would want to have the best vice chancellor for development for the University possible, and to do that we need to conduct a national search,” Caudill said.

He said the search will also look internally at UNC.

“So when we finish with all of this, we can say that we left no stone unturned,” he said.

Caudill said the search’s timing allows the committee to begin the process before the new chancellor is selected so Thorp’s successor will able to quickly hire Kupec’s replacement.

“This person will be working for the chancellor … So the chancellor clearly has to have input into the process,” he said.

“But we can advance the process considerably before the chancellor gets here.”

Caudill said the committee will develop a job description and interview questions ahead of time and then collaborate with the new chancellor to further develop the details of the position.

Kupec’s departure came less than a year after UNC announced its largest fundraising campaign ever, which aimed to surpass the Carolina First campaign of $2.38 billion during eight years.

Planning for the campaign was put on hold after Kupec’s resignation, said Scott Ragland, director of development communications, in an email.

“At this point, we don’t have an official goal or timeline for the campaign, as the next vice chancellor for development will need to be involved in those decisions,” he said.

He said a campaign planning cabinet has been formed and will meet for the first time at the end of February to create a vision for the new campaign.

“This will give the new vice chancellor — and chancellor — a headstart on the planning process, while at the same time enable them to be a part of it.”

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