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Davidson President Thomas Ross Chosen To Head UNC

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The President of Davidson College has been appointed to head the entire University of North Carolina system. Thomas Ross came to Davidson just three years ago, but he told the UNC Board of Governors today he was torn about leaving. Ross earned his undergraduate degree at Davidson, a place he says "nurtured" him both as a student and as its president. "It has been an emotional struggle for me to come to the decision to leave, but I do so feeling called to this position and this university," said Ross. Davidson College students Jack DeLoach, Christina Blackwood, Billy Schmick, Ray Shenje and Kris Hendershot share their thoughts on Ross' appointment. Listen Ross went to law school at UNC Chapel Hill and was appointed to the North Carolina Superior Court as the youngest judge in the state. He was 33. Today Ross is 60 and well-known in higher education circles for his work as president of a prominent philanthropic foundation and his service on numerous university boards. UNC officials conducted a nationwide search to replace outgoing President Erskine Bowles who pledged to step-down after five years. Bowles says he plans to spend more time at home in Charlotte once he leaves UNC. Earlier this year, he was tapped by the Obama Administration to co-chair a task force on debt-reduction The chairman of the Davidson College Board of Trustees, Mackey McDonald, says Ross will stay on as President until the end of the year. "We're very proud of Tom and the recognition this gives to him and his capabilities and the job he's done at Davidson. We're very saddened to see him leave. He's done a great job at Davidson," McDonald says. McDonald says it's too early to say if he expects Davidson to name a permanent replacement before Ross leaves the school. McDonald says Ross' departure didn't come as a complete surprise. He says several members of Davidson's board were aware that Ross was in line for the UNC job. Read Ross' acceptance speech here.