UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp to resign at the end of the 2012-13 School Year


Speaking as an alumna and a townie, this is terrible terrible news, both for UNC and for Chapel Hill. Thorp is the best chancellor we've had in at least decades. In addition, I thought he was a pretty successful one. I can't think of what could be behind this except for fallout from the NCAA/athletics problems.If this is happening because of pressure on him from sports boosters (or from Art Pope and his lackeys) then things are dire indeed.

"If this is happening because of pressure on him from sports boosters (or from Art Pope and his lackeys) then things are dire indeed."

 I did recently read the following last week. No idea if it's connected or not.


 "UNC system leaders have formed a broad advisory group that will help shape the future of the state's public universities.

Serving on the planning group are...Art Pope, CEO of Variety Wholesalers, a ... sometime critic of the university system" 

Another recent story: http://www.wral.com/news/state/nccapitol/blogpost/11556803/

"Real Jobs NC, a 527 group that spent heavily to aid Republicans in 2010s legislative elections, will begin airing ads and sending mailers this month, according to its executive director."We'll also being doing some mail in the governor's race," said Roger Knight, the group's lawyer and acting executive director. Real Jobs is backed by Art Pope, a former Raleigh lawmaker and president of Variety Wholesalers, the company that owns Roses and Maxway" 

 When I'm at the mall and see people spending money at Roses, I sometimes wonder if they know how much that is costing the university. 

This changes a lot of my hope for a real positive Town/Gown relationship. As many have said Thorpe had the best rep with both Towns of any Chancellor in 25 years. What now?

I sure hope that plan of ours really is a "living document".

This is a real bummer. Chancellor Thorp has done so many great things for UNC and the surrounding community.  Perhaps Holden bears a certain amount of responsibility for hiring Ms. Hansbrough, but the rest of the recent controversies have to do with matters that pre-date his Chancellorship by many years.Oh well.  I hope this move will be the best thing for the Thorps, but it's hard to see how it will be the best thing for our local community. 

But I don't blame him.  The new Republican Overlords are coming out
in full force, as noted above, and things will only get worse, worse,
and more worse for the UNC system and for UNC Chapel Hill in particular.As
noted above, Art Pope is one of the new sheriffs in town. He has tried to buy
his way into UNC a dozen times over the past decade ... and now he's
been given his own personal keys to the kingdom.  Look for a hard lurch
to the right, including prohibitions on such evil activities as
collaborating with the town, planning in general, etc.As good a time as any to jump ship, in my view.  But personally, I'm very sad to see the Chanecellor leaving.    

I will miss Holden. I think he has done an outstanding job despite all the turmoil dealt to him. WE often speak about our boys at events because they are the same age going through teen life in CH. His eyes are always open wide and a smile is on his face when he speaks of his children and Patti. I think Holden loves UNC, but he also loves Chapel Hill and has done an excelent job of town-gown relations. I will miss Holden. 

The UNC Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) was called into emergency session yesterday upon hearing the news of Chancellor Thorp's resignation. They issued this statement to the Chancellor, calling for him to reconsider his resignation, and called a meeting of all faculty for today (Sept 18th) at 4 pm to discuss it. The statement reads:

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:
  • The Council of Chairs in the College of Arts and Sciences today
    passed a resolution supporting Chancellor Thorp and urging him to
    reconsider his decision to resign.
  • The Faculty Council and General Faculty, meeting on September 7,
    endorsed a strong resolution of support for the steps and actions
    Chancellor Thorp has taken in response to the revelations of recent
    months and the various studies and reports that have been undertaken.
  • Chancellor Thorp is a devoted, accomplished member of Carolina’s
    faculty who has demonstrated, time and again, his understanding of,
    respect for, and support of the critical role of the faculty in
    Carolina’s success.
  • Chancellor Thorp has been an approachable, accessible, sincere partner with faculty in our efforts to make Carolina better.
  • Chancellor Thorp has demonstrated integrity, vision, thoughtfulness,
    and intelligence in considering the university’s challenges and has
    done his best to make informed, reasoned decisions under very difficult
  • In regularly seeking the counsel of the faculty’s elected and
    appointed representatives and in demonstrating that their advice makes a
    difference in his decision-making, Chancellor Thorp has shown himself
    to be a strong believer in shared governance of the university.
  • In the flurry of coverage of these tumultuous events, Chancellor
    Thorp’s inspiring vision for an innovative, flexible, responsive
    university, and his many significant accomplishments (including
    shepherding us through the recent financial troubles while minimizing
    impact on faculty and students, championing academic freedom, and making
    a strong case for the university’s affordability and accessibility)
    have been overlooked and underemphasized.

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) 


I can't believe how upset I am about this, and have been surprised to see some of my friends on Facebook blaming Thorp for UNC's athletics scandal and acting like the abuse of med air flights was a capital crime.Thorp clearly seems guilty of trusting Kupec too much, and allowing him to waste taxpayer dollars. But Thorp was also far and away the best chancellor UNC has seen in decades. One stupid screw-up wasting money does not outweigh the great job he has done for many thousands of students, for Orange County, and for the state of North Carolina. In fact, I credit him for a lot of the overdue daylight that's been shed on UNC athletics.The chancellor's position has become untenable now because of the athletic boosters and anti-intellectuals like Art Pope pounding the drums of "scandal." (WCHL was a standard bearer for this, too. Whatever sells ads to the Chamber.) Of course the Kupec/Hansbrough thing was a big mistake, but it doesn't make him unfit to do all the many things required of a good university chancellor.  And with Pope stacking the BOG with his Republican pals and getting himself appointed to this panel on the future of the UNC system, not only will the next chancellor rock less than Thorp, they'll probably be an anti-education CEO or right-wing ideologue. The next chancellor will certainly be a slick PR job to compensate for Thorp's perceived weakness. I'm afraid it will be some sleazeball that doesn't care about Chapel Hill and does whatever the Ram's Club wants. This will also not be a person who is able to fight off Pope's decimation of the state educational system.When Thorp was selected, I was disappointed to see another white male in the job. If the BOG could break this chain, that might be some silver lining. But I won't be holding my breath for that, and even a Black woman who is in Pope's pocket will not be an improvement over Holden Thorp.

Maybe he's just fed up.  The bureaucrazy (this was an unintentional typo, but maybe it fits)  is so hard to change, espeically when big money buys influence and access in the halls of our campus as well as the State legislature.  It's very hard to turn the Titanic and maybe he's just had enough.   

The UNC Employee Forum, in conjunction with the Faculty Council and the Student Government, is holding a peaceful assembly in support of Chancellor Holden Thorp in front of the South Building this Friday, September 21st, 2012 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.A petition to the Chancellor and our Univeristy sytem leaders is being drafted. The petitions will be available from 10 am until 5 pm and will be located in the Pit, in front of Wilson Library, and in front of the South Budiling for people to sign.

The problems at UNC go beyond those who have resigned or retired and that is where Thorp has fallen short. For example Thorp did stop Kupec from hiring his girlfriend but Kupec got Crisp from Student Affairs to hire her in the same kind of job and where did the her salary come from, Kupec. Crisp and Kupec were working hand and hand, Crisp needs to go also. We know this went on for several years we just don't know how much it cost or who else was involved. On the fake classes how many of you believe that the Department Head and a manager were the only ones who knew and covered up the fake classes. There had to be more than just these two people. No one in the   Athletic Ddepartment knew about this sweetheart deal? Only football and basketball player were taking these courses. Don't think so.The point I am trying to make by these two examples is we are seeing the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Thorp being the nice guy that he is may not want to clean up this mess that has been ongoing for some time now.Good luck to the next person!


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