UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor to leave by end of school year as pressure mounts
UNC Board of Governors member, former interim president on list for interim chancellor role
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WBTV) – UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz is seeking the top job at Michigan State University and elsewhere amid pressure to leave his current post from UNC System President Peter Hans and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, multiple sources tell WBTV.
Guskiewicz confirmed in a statement on Thursday that he is the sole finalist for the open job as president at MSU. The statement gave no indication whether Guskiewicz would take the role.
What has gone unreported, until now, is the circumstances behind Guskiewicz’s decision to leave Chapel Hill.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell WBTV Hans and Guskiewicz have been in discussion for months about the chancellor’s departure.
Each of the five people spoke with WBTV on condition they not be identified in order to discuss sensitive personnel matters.
A UNC System source with knowledge of the matter tells WBTV that there have been multiple timelines for Guskiewicz’s departure, each of which have changed based on various job searches in which Guskiewicz has participated.
The current timeline, multiple sources confirmed, is that Guskiewicz will announce his departure in January and leave the university after spring commencement in May.
If Guskiewicz leaves the university on that timeline as currently planned, he will have been chancellor for five years, which has become a typical tenure for campus leaders in that role, the UNC System source—who asked not to be identified in order to speak candidly—pointed out.
“Kevin is a good man. He’s a good leader, not without his challenges,” the UNC System source said.
Discussion of Guskiewicz’s departure from the chancellor post started in earnest this summer, sources said, as his relationship with the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees continued to deteriorate.
“Kevin is frustrated with his trustees and his trustees are frustrated with him,” the UNC System source said.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the transition plans said UNC System President Peter Hans is actively working to name an interim chancellor.
Among those on the list are former interim UNC System president Bill Roper, UNC Board of Governors member Lee Roberts and current UNC-Chapel Hill Provost Christopher Clemens.
It is not clear whether others are under serious consideration for the interim role.
Neither Hans nor Guskiewicz responded to phone calls and detailed text messages seeking comment for this story.
The leadership transition comes after a fall semester in which the campus endured an on-campus shooting and a second security incident within days.
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