Education

Here’s who will help pick the new president of the UNC System

UNC Board of Governors chairman and UNC Interim President discuss issues facing the university system

Chairman Harry Smith and Interim President Dr. William Roper cover topics like the future of Silent Sam and hiring a new chancellor in Chapel Hill as they meet with the media
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Chairman Harry Smith and Interim President Dr. William Roper cover topics like the future of Silent Sam and hiring a new chancellor in Chapel Hill as they meet with the media

Kimberly Strach, former executive director of the N.C. State Board of Elections, will lead the search for the next UNC System president.

Strach was appointed the director of the search committee charged with finding Margaret Spelling’s permanent replacement and interim Bill Roper’s successor. Her appointment was announced Friday, and she began her new role immediately, earning $15,000 per month.

“I want to thank the committee for appointing me and providing me the opportunity to serve,” Strach said. “I am confident that this committee will discover the perfect candidate to lead the UNC System as President.”

The UNC Board of Governors also named Wendy Murphy and Randy Ramsey as co-chairs of the presidential search committee.

“Kim is the perfect choice to serve as director, due to her outstanding record of professional service of nearly two decades at the N.C. State Board of Elections, her integrity and her exemplary professional reputation,” Ramsey and Murphy said in a joint statement.

Strach, an East Carolina University graduate, worked for the North Carolina Board of Elections for nearly two decades as an elections investigator, deputy director of campaign finance and, most recently, executive director. Strach was fired as executive director in May after about six years in the position. The News & Observer previously reported that the Democratic majority of the five-member elections board voted to oust her, while the Republicans on the board voted against Strach’s replacement.

As executive director, Strach oversaw how all 100 county board of elections in North Carolina ran their elections and followed campaign finance laws. She led the fraud investigation of the 9th District congressional race.

In her new role, Strach will work with the presidential search committee, which will forward candidates to the UNC System board’s presidential assessment and advisory committee. Those members also were announced Friday. The committees have not discussed hiring a specific executive search firm to assist or facilitate the process.

The presidential search will be confidential, which has been the case in the past as a way to protect potential candidates. The committees won’t release the names of the candidates or finalists, which could include Roper.

The UNC System Board of Governors will vote to appoint the new leader. He or she will oversee 17 campuses across the state, including UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State, that serve nearly 250,000 college and gifted high school students.

Who’s on the UNC System presidential search committee?

Wendy Murphy (Co-Chair)

Randy Ramsey (Co-Chair)

Darrell Allison

Kellie Hunt Blue

Rob Bryan

Phil Byers

Carolyn Coward

Who’s on the Board of Governors presidential assessment and advisory committee?

Anna Nelson (Co-Chair)

Temple Sloan (Co-Chair)

Pearl Burris-Floyd

Leo Daughtry

Tom Fetzer

Alex Mitchell

Mike Williford

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