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UNC BOG Launches Search To Replace Ross


The search to find a new president of the UNC system is just starting. Members of the board of governors met in Charlotte Thursday to come up with names of people to oversee the search to replace Tom Ross.  The board forced him to leave his job early next year.   


Finding someone to lead a university system takes time, a lot of` discussion, and several committees. Board members met Thursday to decide who among them should take that on. 

Board member Mary Ann Maxwell said a lot is at stake with these nominations.  

“This is the most important thing that I will do in my role,” Maxwell told the others.

The group decided to recommend Ann Goodnight and Joan MacNeill to lead an eleven member search committee. That group will do the heavy lifting.  Another committee that includes university chancellors, trustees, and professors will come up with a job description.  A third will help whittle down the number of candidates. 

“I’m taking it really seriously as how we can make a difference for the future of the state for the next twenty years,” said John Fennebresque, the chairman of the UNC Board of Governors.

The board unexpectedly forced Ross in January to leave after completing the year.  At the time, Fennebresque called his performance exemplary, but said it was time for a “leadership transition.”

Asked why people can trust the search process, after not receiving much of an explanation about Ross’s dismissal, Fennebresque said:   

“Because a lot of people are going to work really hard and it’s going to be very open.”  

The board plans to hold hearings across the state to get public input. Board member Frank Grainger told them he expects a lot of people will be watching.  

“The meetings that you hold across the state are very important to get stakeholders.  Everybody needs to buy in.  We need to make sure our legislative group is informed as well.  They are our bankers and if they’re not happy with whomever, then we’ve got a problem,” said Grainger. 

The full board still has to approve the committee selections.  The board hopes to find someone to fill Ross’s position by the fall.   

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.