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UNC-CH AAUP statement against changes to chancellor searches

The officers of the UNC-Chapel Hill Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) strongly condemn an unprecedented policy revision that will be proposed to the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina this Thursday, September 17, 2020.

The proposal has two parts. First, in any local campus’s search for a new chancellor, the UNC System President will have the power to insert two candidates, regardless of that campus’s wishes or needs. Second, the UNC President can require that those two candidates be put forward for consideration by that campus’s Board of Trustees, again without attention to the recommendations of that campus’s faculty and administration.

This proposal, if approved, will grant the system president undue influence over individual campuses and gut the principle of shared governance, which has guided the North Carolina university system since 1931. The changes threaten efforts on individual campuses to build trusting and locally relevant relationships among stakeholders and will discourage high quality candidates from applying because the results can be easily overridden or will not reflect campus goals.

When individual campuses seek input from stakeholders, listen to that input, and use it in important decision making processes, this shared governance strengthens everyone's confidence in the process, the institution, and in the outcomes of those decisions.

The UNC-Chapel Hill officers join AAUP chapters at UNC-Greensboro and East Carolina University and the UNC Greensboro Faculty Senate in strenuous opposition to this proposal. We call upon our own and all system campus leaders to fight this proposal.

Officers of the UNC-Chapel Hill Chapter of the American Association of University Professors: Professors Michael Palm, President; Jay Smith, Vice President; and Karen Booth, Secretary/Treasurer.

Statement adapted from “A Call for UNCG Campus Leaders To Take Action” by the UNC-Greensboro Chapter of the AAUP.