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UNC system to pick new chancellor Friday

After months of uncertainty surrounding who will succeed Chancellor Holden Thorp this summer, the UNC-system Board of Governors will select the next chancellor Friday.

Thorp announced his resignation

21-member search committee UNC

But every meeting of the committee since March 11 has been canceled, sparking rumors that the committee had already chosen the three candidates it would recommend to the Board of Trustees for approval, before sending names to UNC-system President Thomas Ross.

Kenneth Broun, former Chapel Hill mayor and a member of the selection committee, said the group of candidates was even deeper than the applicant pool when Thorp was selected.

“I served on the last selection committee, and the number of very good people was even better this time,” Broun said.

On Friday, Ross will present his nomination in open session to the Board of Governors, who will then vote whether to approve the candidate.

But just who that candidate is remains unknown. The closed search process for the next chancellor resulted in an extremely tight-lipped committee that offered few clues ­— other than the number of candidate being considered — as to who might fill the position.

But some members of the committee did discuss the quality of candidates being considered.

“The three sent (to the Board of Trustees) were all extraordinary,” said Roger Perry, former chairman of the Board of Trustees and a member of the selection committee.

“In fact, there were more than three that were qualified.”

Joni Worthington, spokeswoman for the system, said the candidate is expected to be at Friday’s meeting and will make remarks to the board.

The meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in the boardroom of the Spangler Center.

The selected candidate will assume his or her new role as the University’s chancellor on July 1, the day after Thorp steps down from the position. The new chancellor will take the reins amid federal and state investigations, and will also play a role in selecting Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bruce Carney’s successor.

Thorp will become provost of Washington University St. Louis on July 1.

Assistant University Editor Liz Crampton contributed reporting.

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