Kevin Guskiewicz, who has served as UNC’s interim chancellor since February, was named the University’s 12th permanent chancellor Friday as protesters stood outside in opposition to the recent Silent Sam settlement.
Guskiewicz was selected by interim UNC System President Bill Roper out of two candidates. The Board of Governors voted unanimously on him for the role. His appointment was effective immediately and his starting salary is $620,000.
Guskiewicz, well-known for his concussion research, is the founding director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center. He was dean of the College of Arts & Sciences before becoming UNC’s interim chancellor earlier this year.
Guskiewicz has faced scrutiny for his response to the recently announced settlement agreement between the UNC System and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which gives the group possession of Silent Sam and a $2.5 million trust for its preservation.
He sent a campus-wide email on the day of the announcement, expressing appreciation for the decision. He followed up on Wednesday with a letter to Roper and BOG Chairperson Randy Ramsey, asking that they ensure the trust is only used for the monument’s preservation.
"I join with others on my campus in stating that the values expressed by the SCV are inconsistent with and antithetical to the values of the University," Guskiewicz said in the letter.
Before the BOG met by conference call Friday morning to vote on Guskiewicz’s appointment, protesters gathered outside the UNC Center for School Leadership Development in opposition to the BOG’s role in the Silent Sam settlement.
Activists came out in the rain to speak against the trust that will be given to the SCV as part of the settlement.
Altha Cravey, a UNC geography professor who attended the protest, said she had heard that the BOG may vote on Guskiewicz’s appointment Friday.