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UNC President Erskine Bowles to retire

UNC System President Erskine Bowles today announced he will retire at the end of the year, citing a commitment to serve only five years in the role. The last year has been tumultuous for Bowles and the UNC System. A federal jury began investigating former Governor Mike Easley and Bowles supported the firing of Easley's wife from her job at NC State University. It was discovered that Mary Easley got the job because of her husband's influence and was being paid too much. NC State's chancellor resigned during the controversy. But Bowles told the UNC Board of Governors he is retiring after five years because that's what he always said he'd do. UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois has no doubt that's the only reason for Bowles' resignation. "I believe everyone would want him to stay longer if he could be convinced, but I think he really made up his mind to return to Charlotte and spend more time with his family - particularly his grandchildren," says Dubois. "But that five years was a very intense five years and that's enough." Dubois credits Erskine Bowles with securing funding from the General Assembly for UNC Charlotte's new center city building and energy production and infrastructure center. Bowles was White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton and has worked as a finance executive in Charlotte. Bowles says he will leave the UNC President spot at the end of 2010, or whenever a successor can be found. Chancellor Dubois says he plans to put Bowles to work as a fundraiser and booster for UNC Charlotte.