But when Carney announced his resignation, Kristen Swanson knew he would be difficult to replace.
As Swanson, dean of the School of Nursing and chairwoman of the 21-member UNC committee tasked with finding his successor, listed traits she would search for in a new provost in the coming months, she paused.
“Well, clearly I’m describing Bruce Carney,” she said.
Karol Gray, committee member and vice chancellor for finance and administration, put it another way: “Bruce was a real gentleman.”
Swanson expressed optimism that the committee will be able to find someone to succeed Carney.
“Having gotten past grieving, now I’m ready, and I think many of us are, to see what comes next. It’s an exciting time of change and creating this University’s future.”
The committee is working with Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm, to find qualified candidates from around the nation, Swanson said.
She also said the committee is broadly representative of the entire campus, with members from multiple UNC departments, schools and centers.
The committee’s student representative, Student Body Vice President Rachel Myrick, said she will look for a candidate who, like Carney, is committed to UNC’s vision for both academic excellence and meeting financial needs.
“What I admired most about Carney was his unyielding commitment to affordability and accessibility,” she said.
“I would hope the next provost would have that same commitment to and understanding of values of Carolina.”
Carney said his successor has to be someone who understands how higher education is changing and can learn how UNC works at all levels.
“He or she is going to have to come with an open mind about how the future’s going to play out,” he said.
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