CHAPEL HILL — UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp will step down at the end of this school year, he said in a news release.
I will always do what is best for this University, he said. This wasnt an easy decision personally. But when I thought about the University and how important its been to me, to North Carolinians and to hundreds of thousands of alumni, my answer became clear.
Thorp, 48, has been consumed with a scandal in athletics for the past two years that later turned into a major probe of academic fraud. Last week, another problem emerged when two fundraisers resigned because of improper travel.
Chancellor Thorps love of and devotion to UNC-Chapel Hill are beyond question, UNC President Tom Ross said in a statement. I have accepted his announcement with considerable sadness, but fully understand he is acting in what he believes to be the best interests of UNC-Chapel Hill and the entire University. Whether youre measuring the quality of its students, the productivity of its faculty, or the benefits of its world-class research, Carolina has made great strides during his tenure.
Thorp has spent his entire career at UNC-CH, as an undergraduate, a chemistry professor, a department chairman and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences before becoming chancellor in 2008. He will return to the faculty, where he holds a Kenan professorship, one the highest endowed chairs.
Wade Hargrove, chairman of the Board of Trustees, said the board tried to talk Thorp out of stepping down.
Holden Thorp has done an exemplary job as chancellor, especially in improving a wide range of processes and academic and fiscal management procedures, Hargrove said in a news release. It is inspirational to see the passion that Holden has for the University and the positive impact a research university can have on society.
Thorp addressed faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and friends, in an online statement .