Boxill was replaced by Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, who was appointed interim director.
Philosophy chairman Marc Lange and Sayre-McCord refused to comment on their personal reactions to Boxill’s involvement in the bogus classes within the former African and Afro-American Studies department.
“I talked to my friends and colleagues about my reaction,” Lange said. “I don’t think I’m particularly interested in talking to the entire readership of The Daily Tar Heel about it.”
Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, announced her decision Oct. 24 in a letter.
Gil said she consulted Lange before making her decision.
“(Sayre-McCord) is the best-qualified person to lead the Parr Center at this time,” Lange said. “He was instrumental in the founding of the center during the time when he was philosophy department chair.”
Sayre-McCord said he was not involved in the decision.
“I was asked the evening before if I would be willing to,” he said. “I have a bunch of research projects going on, but there was just no question when asked if I would do it and do it with energy and commitment to what we can accomplish in the coming year.”
Lange said he is confident about the future of the Center under Sayre-McCord.
“He is a world-renowned ethicist, and he has a great deal of enthusiasm for and commitment to the mission of the Parr Center,” Lange said. “The Parr Center is a leader in what it does, and I expect it will continue to be.”
Sayre-McCord said he is expecting to stay in the role until June 30. There’s no plan for a search for a permanent director, he said.
He said the recent scandal caught him off guard.
“Before I read the report, I watched the video conference and I would say I was shocked, very surprised and disappointed,” he said.
Despite the upheaval in his department, Sayre-McCord said he has high hopes for the future of the Parr Center.
“I hope that as relevant issues come to the floor, (people) will participate and contribute to the discussion that I think are so important in making sure that Carolina moves forward with appropriate transparency and energy to tackle the sorts of ethical issues that Carolina, especially right now, is in a position to address,” he said.