CHAPEL HILL — The search is under way to find a successor for UNC Chapel Hill chancellor Holden Thorp.
A 21-member search committee, composed of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members, met for the first time Monday. They are conducting a world-wide search for qualified candidates and hope to have the next chancellor in place by July 1. There is also a plan in place to hold public forums so that students, faculty, and the community can lend their input on who is right for the position.
Monday, UNC system President Tom Ross gave the committee the official charge to begin the search for the school's eleventh chancellor.
"There will likely be nothing you do that's more important to the University of North Carolina than the work you will do as a member of this search committee," said Ross.
Ross urged the committee to find a leader who possess integrity, similar to outgoing Chancellor Thorp.
"There are vast pressures on the individual that sits in the chancellor chair and it takes courage to be able to do the right thing," said Ross.
Ross also wants the committee to find a chancellor who understands the balance between athletics and academics.
"With academics always being the priority, but who also understands the value that athletics play in the college experience," said Ross.
Despite the recent athletic and academic problems at UNC, search committee chair and UNC Board of Trustees chairman Wade Hargrove believes the position will attract a qualified pool of candidates from around the world.
"It's a world class university. It's got a wonderful reputation," said Hargrove.
The committee will select three finalists for Ross to consider. Ross will select a final candidate for the Board of Governors, who will elect the new chancellor. The search committee's first priority is to select a search firm to help find qualified candidates. Afterward the committee will hold a series of public forums.