Entering the role during the onslaught of the pandemic and mitigation of the Silent Sam settlement, Chapman said her initial priorities as chairperson revolved around “survival.” Rather than commit to concrete goals, she recognized the landscape of the University was shifting and wanted to focus on being an intuitive voice of the faculty.
“So in that way, I feel like this has been a successful experience,” she said.
Sue Estroff, former chairperson of the faculty from 2000 to 2003 and current member of the Faculty Executive Committee, said Chapman’s courage, clarity and commitment to speaking truth to power are some of her legacies.
“I admire the composure she has been able to display throughout a fair amount of incivility on the part of trustees and other people who don't necessarily agree with the faculty,” Estroff said.
Estroff said she was proud of Chapman’s handling of the provost search and her outspokenness in support of granting tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones.
“I'm not one of these people who kind of has heroines and heroes. But there have been so many times when I've just kind of shaken my head and said, ‘You go girl,'” Estroff said.
In order to unite the leadership bodies impacting University decisions, Chapman said there must be a set of common values and outcomes that each entity is working toward.
“The primary piece is to make sure that people are on the same page," she said. "And right now, it doesn't feel like they are."
Chapman also said that there is a commonality between almost all UNC alumni: wanting to pass down the greatness behind their degree to future generations.
A former trustee once told Chapman that universities are about 10 years ahead of dealing with issues the wider culture has yet to confront, and she agrees.
She said that the University’s top priority should be addressing how to be committed to its values in the face of national and community issues such as diversity, equity and inclusion and affirmative action.
Estroff noted that University governance has changed significantly over the years. She said it used to be that the chairperson of the faculty was not seen as a "threat" to the Board of Trustees.
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“Since that time, it's hard to describe how extraordinarily politicized the University system has gotten over the last 10 or 15 years with the legislative intrusion into the Board of Governors and to virtually every aspect of what we do," she said. "It's unprecedented.”
Moracco said that she hopes to expand on Chapman's traditions of communication and faculty input and said that Chapman leaves a rich legacy of leadership at the University.
“When you know the depth of that work, and the quality of people that are here, it's just an honor to be entrusted with standing up for all of those people in the best way that you can,” Chapman said.
As she leaves her leadership position, Chapman said she hopes the faculty will remember the sincerity, accuracy and truthfulness she strived for.
“I hope they felt like they had a champion,” she said. “Someone that stood up for them — that cared about their life on this campus and their life beyond this campus.”