Under the Dome

UNC presidential search in intense candidate review

The committee on the hunt for the next UNC system president is in overdrive.

The search committee, made up of members and former members of the UNC Board of Governors, is spending three days reviewing candidates on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. No word on just how many candidates are left in the pool, but this set of meetings is by far the most active the full committee has been.

Meetings are happening at SAS in Cary, the software company with ties to N.C. State University and the UNC system. Ann Goodnight, wife of SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, is a vice chair of the search committee. A former member of the Board of Governors, Goodnight now serves on the NCSU Board of Trustees.

Each day the committee will convene in open session briefly, and then meet privately behind closed doors to huddle about candidates. Those meetings are expected to be lengthy.

Board of Governors Chairman John Fennebresque has said he expects the new president to be announced this fall. The board is scheduled to meet in Winston-Salem next week.

The current president, Tom Ross, will serve through early January. Early this year, the board pushed Ross, 65, to leave the presidency, giving him a contract for nearly a year. The decision was controversial and prompted some to say it was politically motivated. The board is mostly Republican; Ross is a Democrat.