Chancellor Holden Thorp won’t return to the University’s faculty after he resigns — he will become provost at Washington University in St. Louis.
Thorp, who announced his plans to resign in September after a series of scandals plagued his tenure, will become the chief academic officer at a private university with less than half of UNC’s enrollment on July 1.
Thorp said he was sought out a few months ago by a search firm hired by Washington University. Though he originally said he was looking forward to teaching and researching at UNC, Thorp said the new position is a good fit.
“I realized I know a lot about higher education and the inner workings of universities — and that it would be fun to try to apply all that at a new place,” Thorp said in an interview Sunday.
Thorp’s announcement that he would resign roughly coincided with a similar announcement from the university’s provost Edward S. Macias, who had served as chief academic officer for 25 years.
Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton made the decision to hire Thorp after consulting with the search firm and an advisory committee.
Thorp’s leadership was challenged throughout a series of scandals during the past two years, which began with an NCAA investigation into the football program and led to multiple examinations of UNC’s academics.
But Wrighton said in an interview that Thorp’s trials will make him even more of an asset.
“I do know there of course have been some challenges at the University of North Carolina, but I believe he worked with a high degree of integrity and effectiveness,” Wrighton said. “And I believe that the experiences he’s had have been ones that may prove valuable as we may face complex challenges in the future.”