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Charlotte Area News

UNC System Faculty Criticize Firing And Hiring Of President

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Faculty leaders in the UNC system have some scathing criticism for the board that governs North Carolina's public universities. The Faculty Assembly for the 17-campus system released a statement Thursday airing their concerns with an upcoming vote on a new system president.

Faculty leaders say for the better part of half a decade, the UNC Board of Governors has failed to follow its own stated principles of good governance, repeatedly ignoring input from professors and researchers.

State lawmakers appoint the board of governors, and many professors have become increasing critical of changes under Republican leadership.

In a statement, faculty leaders say the firing and hiring of a new system president "is but the most egregious in a long train of problematic governance actions." Board members are forcing President Tom Ross to step down without explaining why. In fact, board leaders have praised Ross' performance.

Friday, they're set to vote on a new president. Professors are upset the board has not consulted them. The faculty assembly's top officers from UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC-Wilmington call the search process "secretive." They say it'll make it difficult for the new president to win the confidence of the university community.