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More than just Folt: meet the seven UNC administrators who left this past year

Carol Folt Alexandra Mauney Felicia Washington
Chancellor Carol Folt taking a selfie with first-year Alexandra Mauney, exercise and sports science major and daughter of vice-chancellor Felicia Washington, and vice-chancellor Felicia Washington at "Thank you, Carolina" on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in the Carolina Union. Mauney says that it "breaks her heart" that Folt is leaving, but that it is "good to know that Folt is leaving with a lasting impact on the Carolina community."

Winston Crisp: Vice chancellor for Student Affairs (October 2018)

After 26 years, UNC’s Winston Crisp, who served as the vice chancellor for Student Affairs, resigned from his position in October of 2018. Crisp helped assemble the University’s Mental Health Task Force and co-chaired the History Task Force. In his farewell statement, Crisp credits his time as a Tar Heel for allowing him “to have been able to work with some of the most wonderful individuals a person could know.” 

Crisp was a 1992 graduate from UNC’s School of Law, and was well known on campus for his presence at orientation sessions, where he would often give out his personal cell phone number to incoming students and their parents. Crisp resigned a few weeks after being interviewed by a law firm for a report, commissioned by the Board of Governors, into the University’s actions on the night of Silent Sam’s toppling.

Emails released by WRAL showed that on the night demonstrators brought down the statue, Crisp texted another administration member, “One can hope,” when asked if he thought Silent Sam would be torn down.

Margaret Spellings: UNC-system President (October 2018)

The former education secretary under George W. Bush, stepped down from her position as the UNC-system president after just three years in office. Following her resignation, Spellings began work as a consultant for a nonprofit organization known as Texas 2036. 

Spellings had spent her tenure at odds with many members of the conservative Board of Governors, who were notorious for politicizing the North Carolina higher education scene, many of whom had publicly fought against her policy proposals and efforts at reformation in the past. She left with a $500,000 exit package.

Mark Merritt: UNC General Counsel (December 2018)

Former UNC General Counsel Mark Merritt resigned in December of last year. Before departing, he acknowledged then-Chancellor Carol Folt and the Board of Trustees for allowing him to serve the Carolina community since 2016. "However, I have also missed what I used to do: being an advocate for clients in the courtroom,” said Merritt. 

A long-time Tar Heel, Merritt graduated from UNC as a Morehead-Cain scholar in 1979 before moving on to the University of Virginia’s law school. The Office of University Counsel reportedly determined in 2017 that UNC didn't have the authority to relocate Silent Sam; this opinion became the University’s primary stance thereafter.

Carol Folt: Chancellor (January 2019)

After six years of service to the University, Carol Folt announced her resignation in January of 2019. In her swan song move, the former Chancellor sent machinery into McCorkle place in the middle of the night to excavate Silent Sam’s pedestal, the culmination of years of debate. 

Folt became Chancellor in 2013 amid the NCAA academic-athletic scandal, and will now move across the nation to take care of the University of Southern California's Varsity Blues college admissions scandal, where she will be the university's first female president. In her farewell statement, Folt said she planned to “look ahead for (her) own 'new and next.’”

Leslie Parise: Chairperson of the Faculty Committee (March 2019)

Before Leslie Parise served as chairperson to the University’s Faculty Committee, she was a professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in UNC’s School of Medicine. Among other accomplishments, Dr. Parise received the Stewart-Niewiarowski Award for Women in Vascular Biology and was named associate editor of the hematology journal "Blood." 

In March, she announced her plans to step down before the end of the 2018-2019 school year. She continues to work at the University as a professor and has ongoing research projects involving cancer cells, platelet aggregation and sickle cell disease.

Felicia Washington: Vice Chancellor (May 2019)

A 1987 graduate of Carolina, Felicia Washington served under Folt as vice chancellor for workforce strategy, equity and engagement at the University before following her to the West coast. The two will soon work hand-in-hand at the University of Southern California. Washington was named USC’s senior vice president for human resources in May.

Jeff McCracken: UNC Chief of Police (July 2019)

The former Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety at UNC Jeff McCracken resigned on July 1. McCracken, along with the rest of UNC’s police force, received criticism regarding the handling of protests taking place around campus in recent months. McCracken became chief in 2007 and developed and implemented the Alert Carolina notification system and other safety measures during his tenure.

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