We the members of the UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Executive Committee were dismayed to learn earlier today of Holden Thorp’s decision to resign as our chancellor as of June 30, 2013. We have worked closely with Chancellor Thorp for many months as he has dealt with the unfolding academic scandal emerging from the investigation into UNC athletics, and we have found the chancellor to be thoughtful, engaged with the faculty and its elected leadership, receptive and open, and highly responsive to faculty concerns about protecting the integrity of the university’s academic mission. In particular, Chancellor Thorp without hesitation supported the efforts of our own faculty subcommittee to dig deeper into the problems that may have contributed to the academic scandal. Thus, our own experience working with Chancellor Thorp has been entirely positive.
In emergency session this afternoon, we observed that:
In sum, we believe that Chancellor Thorp has far exceeded expectations and stands as an example of exactly the kind of leadership that we—and all of public higher education—need at this time. We are convinced that all of his actions, including the sad announcement today, have been taken with the best interests of Carolina at heart.
On behalf of the faculty, the Faculty Executive Committee respectfully requests that Chancellor Thorp reconsider his decision to resign. We believe that, despite the difficulties of the present moment, Holden Thorp remains the best person to lead our university through these challenging times. With the College’s Council of Chairs, we urge that UNC system President Ross, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, and the UNC System Board of Governors continue to provide the support the chancellor needs to remain in office.
Members of the Faculty Executive Committee
Jan Boxill, Chair of the Faculty (Philosophy, Committee Chair)
Steven Bachenheimer (Microbiology and Immunology)
Mimi Chapman (Social Work)
Gregory Copenhaver (Biology)
Jean DeSaix (Biology)
Jo Anne Earp (School of Public Health)
Joseph S. Ferrell, Secretary of the Faculty (School of Government)
Michael Gerhardt (School of Law)
Kevin Guskiewicz (Exercise and Sports Science)
Laurie Maffly-Kipp (Religious Studies)
Timothy McMillan (African and Afro-American Studies)
Leslie Parise (Biochemistry)
Shielda Rodgers (Nursing)
Sarah Shields (History)