Former UNC Board of Governors member Darrell Allison has been named as the next chancellor for Fayetteville State University.
UNC System President Peter Hans nominated Allison for the position. He was confirmed by an unanimous BOG vote at a meeting Thursday.
"Few people in our state can testify more genuinely to the ability of our public universities to change lives and transform communities. I am excited to see Darrell focus that energetic advocacy on behalf of Fayetteville State," Hans said at the meeting.
Allison resigned from the BOG and his role as chairperson of the Racial Equity Task Force in September, citing “personal reasons.”
In September, the BOG instituted a new policy that allows the UNC System president to personally designate up to two individual candidates for system chancellor positions. At least one of these candidates must automatically become a finalist — even if the search committee disagrees.
The BOG previously said this new policy would not impact chancellor searches at FSU or Eastern Carolina University. The FSU chancellor search began on Jan. 22.
Through a fall 2019 executive action by the BOG chairperson, Allison was one of the five BOG members tasked with finding a solution for the Silent Sam monument. Allison was also one of the five signatories on the December 2019 op-ed for the News and Observer explaining the Silent Sam settlement with the N.C. Sons of Confederate Veterans, which was overturned this month.
The settlement of the DTH Media Corp. v. UNC System lawsuit over alleged Open Meetings Law violations during this deal revealed that this op-ed was not written by the five committee members, but by then-UNC System Vice President for Communications Earl Whipple.
With Allison's departure from the BOG, concerns were raised about representation. At the time, he was one of only three Black BOG members, but Black students make up over one-fifth of total enrollment at UNC System schools, including five historically Black institutions.
Allison said at a press conference that, in applying for the FSU chancellor position, he "followed procedure and protocol." He stepped down from the BOG in September with the intention of applying for the job. He said he was "thoroughly searched" with "no guarantee" that he would be selected.
A media relations representative at the press conference said they would give no specific answers about the chancellor search process.
Prior to the chancellor nomination, Allison served as vice president of governmental affairs and state teams at the American Federation for Children.
He will succeed former FSU Chancellor James Anderson, who resigned in June 2019, and Interim Chancellor Peggy Valentine.
"I am intently focused on learning and listening," Allison said at a press conference.
He hopes to set up opportunities for FSU leaders to hear directly from stakeholders — students, faculty and alumni.
Allison will assume his chancellor role on March 15.
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