UNC System Board of Governors Chairperson Randy Ramsey said Silent Sam will be secured away from UNC's campus at a meeting Friday.
The Board responded to the reversal of its settlement with the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Inc. during the meeting.
Ramsey said the Board is getting distracted and should be focusing on more important efforts, like university governance. But he did address the settlement directly.
"While I’m very disappointed that happened, we are getting the University’s money back, and we will be securing the monument away from campus," he said. "And we will deal with it in due course."
He said the Board is aware of the 2015 monument law that requires the statue to be put in another place of prominence.
"We are focused on safety on this campus, and that is our primary concern," he said. "We are not looking for an unlawful solution to the monument."
He declined to comment on whether the state legislature should change the law.
Interim UNC System President Bill Roper emphasized the desire to find a lasting solution, but he said the process to get the money and the statue back may take a while.
"But there are many more important issues facing the University, the University System and the Board of Governors," he said.
The monument will not return to campus, he said.
It's unclear how long it will take the Board to determine the ultimate fate of the monument, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour determined Thursday that the SCV has 45 days to return the remaining balance of the $2.5 million trust to the University.
Baddour originally approved the settlement in November 2019 before overturning it earlier in February.
Ramsey stood by the original settlement on Friday.
"We hoped our action would allow the University to focus on the core responsibilities while keeping Chapel Hill safe," he said.
He emphasized that the monument is not where the Board should be focusing its time. Instead, he said they should concentrate on the current presidential search, and applauded individual campuses for continuing to focus on their students.
"That monument does not educate students, it does not run the universities, it does not make governance decisions regarding our university, and this Board is here to govern this University and educate the students of North Carolina," he said. "And as much as it may be a newsmaker, I'm not going to let is distract this Board going forward."
Anna Pogarcic is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel. She is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying journalism and history major.
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