UNC-system president Tom Ross to step down


The Appalachian Online

Laney Ruckstuhl

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors and system president Tom Ross released a joint statement in a meeting Friday morning announcing Ross’ resignation.

Ross, 64, will continue to serve until Jan. 3, 2016 while the board begins the “process of leadership transition” in a national search for a new system president, according to the statement.

The statement notes Ross’ performance as “exemplary” and having nothing to do with the decision.

Despite the statement’s claims, both the Charlotte Observer and News & Observer have reported Ross was asked to step down, as traditionally system presidents have retired at age 65.

According to Ross’ revised contract released after the meeting, his salary will be $600,000 for the remainder of his term and he will take a year of research leave, then be given a tenured position as a professor in UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Government.

Governor Pat McCrory released a statement directly following the meeting citing Ross as a close family friend and thanking him for his service in the position.

The News & Observer has also previously reported rumors that Art Pope, the state’s biggest political donor, may be a candidate for the presidency.

Story: Laney Ruckstuhl, News Editor