Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced Monday that the UNC-system Board of Governors has extended the deadline for the Silent Sam preservation plan from March 15 to the May 2019 meeting – once again delaying a decision about the contentious monument's future, a cause for concern for student activists on campus.
While Guskiewicz has not commented on what exactly the Board of Governors will do with the statue, he has said on record that he prefers that the monument not return to campus.
“As we move toward the Board of Governors’ new deadline for a decision on the Confederate monument, we will continue engaging with them to share viewpoints from our campus,” Guskiewicz said in a statement sent to The Daily Tar Heel. “I look forward to continuing thoughtful conversations with the Board of Governors in the coming weeks, and I remain optimistic that we will find the right path forward.”
In a letter to the Board of Governors, Chairperson of the Board Harry Smith Jr. said the postponement was to give the team — Board of Trustees members and other appointed individuals — time necessary to do their work.
“I think they wanted to fully make sure they are giving enough time to the process, and the original March deadline wasn’t enough time,” said Jason Tyson, director of media relations for the UNC system. “I think it was a Board-level decision, and I’m pretty sure that they thought through every scenario, and they fully vetted their decision.”