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UNC set to name next chancellor

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The University of North Carolina's Board of Governors has called a special meeting for Friday to elect a chancellor for UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Board of Governors oversee the UNC system.  UNC-Chapel Hill has been looking for a chancellor since Holden Thorp announced he would not continue. He has since announced he will become the provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

UNC set up a search committee to look for Thorp's replacement. That committee made recommendations to the UNC Board of Trustees, which then made nominated three names to UNC system president Tom Ross.

Ross then vetted the three candidates and forwarded a name to the Board of Governors to be elected.

The next chancellor faces significant challenges at UNC, a school with a national reputation but one that has been tarnished by a football scandal. That scandal resulted in the firing of football coach Butch Davis, the early retirement of athletics director Dick Baddour and the decision of Thorp not to remain as chancellor.

The scandal also exposed a significant lack of oversight at Carolina, a school that has prided itself on a strong sense of integrity.

The new chancellor also will face significant financial challenges. UNC's historically strong ties to the North Carolina General Assembly face real challenges, with the current legislature less inclined to fund the university system at the same level and Gov. Pat McCrory expressing concerns that the state's top universities are not fully connected to the state's economic needs. McCrory's proposed budget is a harsh one for the UNC system, and it provoked immediate concern from Ross.

UNC's next chancellor will face the challenge of both restoring trust on campus and of making the case for funding for the school from state government.

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