Statement regarding recent events involving the Board of Governors and President Tom Ross

We ask all those concerned by recent actions by the Board of Governors to join us in signing the following statement:

Statement by Concerned Faculty and Friends of UNC

1. As current and former faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the seventeen campuses of The University of North Carolina, we treasure The University’s commitment to the welfare of the state and its people, and its core mission of teaching, research, innovation, service, and access for students of different racial, national, gender, and socioeconomic means. Each of its constituent campuses plays a distinct and important role in fulfilling this larger mission.

2. North Carolina’s system of public higher education has for decades been the envy of others around the country and around the world. It is a precious asset that has driven the economic strength of our state and the well-being of its people for generations. It needs to be guided by those who understand that they serve as protectors of past investments and guardians of our children and grandchildren’s future.
We fear that The University’s core values have increasingly been put at risk by at least some members of the Board of Governors, and are further concerned that the current Board has become dysfunctional.

3. We join with others in sharing our deep distress about the Board of Governors’ recent decision to curtail Tom Ross’s service as University President. He is a widely acclaimed, outstanding leader who has effectively led The University through enormously difficult times characterized by very scarce funds and increasingly polarized political viewpoints. His contributions and integrity in office have been universally acclaimed. Whatever the Board’s legal prerogatives, we believe that it acted unwisely in curtailing President Ross’s service, particularly in such perilous times and without explanation.

4. We are further concerned that the public lacks information about the Board of Governors’ full deliberations and ultimate intent to move toward some unspecified “transition.” The lack of transparency in reaching the decision to curtail President Ross’s service suggests that ideology has intruded deeply into core decision-making that has historically been guided by neutral and open-minded judgments, good-will and a commitment to the welfare of the State and its people.

5. We ask the Board of Governors to reconsider its decision and to reinstate President Ross at the earliest opportunity, by extending the term of his current contract and assuring that he will enjoy job security while serving the public and the state. We hope that the Board of Governors will make future decisions without partisan political or ideological interference, and with a level of deliberation, consultation, and transparency that will allow the state’s citizens in all walks of life to understand its actions and restore confidence in related processes.

6. We ask the Governor, members of the General Assembly, and all who care about The University’s future to support our cause and to share their concerns and views with the Board of Governors. In future, we ask the General Assembly to appoint members of the Board of Governors who have a commitment to wise and open-minded decisions in the best interest of The University as has been true historically.

7. We urge all those of good will who share our concerns to express their sentiments in support of this statement by signing it at www.helpsaveuncsfuture.org

Sign by completing form below.