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The Daily Tar Heel

Board of Governors denies Chancellor Folt, UNC's Silent Sam proposal

Silent Sam

Police surround Silent Sam on Aug. 20 after the Confederate monument was pulled down by demonstrators. 

Update 4:50 p.m.: Folt said the University will reconsider off-campus options in the relocation of Silent Sam in a conference call with reporters. 

"As we work with the Board of Governors, our work will involve more fully exploring off-campus options as put forward in the initial report," Folt said. "This was the stated and strong preference that the Board of Trustees and I made in our proposal for the plan because we learned from our analyses that relocating off campus, for example to the North Carolina Museum of History, was the best way to ensure the safety and security of our people and campus and was more feasible and cost-effective."

Folt acknowledged that the BOT's plan, which involved moving the monument to a new single-purpose educational center on South Campus, "hasn't satisfied anyone." During the BOG's meeting, demonstrators protesting the return of Silent Sam to campus waited outside.

In their Friday meeting, the UNC-system Board of Governors denied the proposal from Chancellor Folt and the UNC Board of Trustees to house the Confederate monument, Silent Sam, in a new building located in Odum Village on UNC's campus.  

The BOG cited public safety concerns and the problems associated with using state funds for a new Silent Sam building. Instead, five members of the BOG were assigned to guide campus administration through the decision-making process, and asked to report back by Friday, March 15.

After a closed session, the BOG passed a motion that established a committee on University governance, which will review existing policies regarding student, faculty and staff conduct. 

“The committee plans to create changes that set clear expectations for conduct,” said Board member Marty Kotis. 

The disciplinary review process will be examined and increased sanctions wil be considered for certain offenses. 

Part of the intended reform will involve reviewing the sanctions for crimes that pose a threat to public safety. 

Assault on an officer, inciting riots, resisting arrest and participation in riotous acts are among the list of charges the committee intends to engage with.

The committee will work with faculty and administration to ensure that the discipline process at UNC puts the public safety at the forefront, according to the BOG.

Taylor Buck contributed reporting.

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