Sources: Dartmouth’s Carol Folt to succeed Thorp at UNC

Apr. 11, 2013 @ 11:04 PM

Carol Folt, interim president of Dartmouth College since July, this summer is expected to take over for Holden Thorp as chancellor of UNC.

Sources close to the search process identified Folt as the soon-to-be chancellor in several published reports, but no one confirmed as much on the record late Thursday.

Instead, they’re keeping relatively quiet until today’s announcement and reception at the university.

University leaders on Thursday didn’t keep secret the fact that they already know who the next chancellor at UNC will be.

But they would not share the name of the person chosen to replace Thorp, who is stepping down in June and will become provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

A special meeting will be held today in Chapel Hill at 2 p.m., during which the UNC Board of Governors will elect the new chancellor.

The campus is expected to welcome Folt, the first woman to lead the state’s flagship school, during a 4 p.m. reception at the FedEx Global Education Center on Pittsboro Street.

UNC system President Tom Ross said he made his choice from among three candidates brought to him by a search committee that worked for months looking for the university’s next chancellor.

Ross asked the committee to submit three finalists for the chancellor’s post. He will recommend Folt to the Board of Governors.

“I’m excited about it,” Ross said in an interview in between committee meetings. “Hopefully, the board will support that.”

Ross said the three finalists were chosen from a “deep pool” of “talented people” and that each is capable of serving the university well.

Thorp said he also knows who the new chancellor will be and is confident the person chosen will be a good fit.

“I think it’s absolutely going to be great,” Thorp said. “The pool was fantastic and is a tribute to all of the academic progress we’ve been able to make in terms of research and undergraduate applications and all the really great things that are going on at Carolina and how hard it is to do what we’ve done at a public university.”

UNC Board of Trustees Chairman Wade Hargrove, who led the chancellor search committee, has said often that he was pleased with the quality of candidates who expressed interest in the job in spite of the university’s recent troubles.

Those troubles include athletic and academic fraud scandals that dinged the reputation of the state’s flagship school.

And, more recently, the school has found itself under federal investigation due to complaints from students and a former administrator who contend that the university mishandled allegations of sexual assaults.

The board last elected a chancellor in February when it chose Debra Saunders-White, a U.S. Department of Education official, to lead N.C. Central University.

Saunders-White will be the 11th chancellor in NCCU’s 110-year history and the first woman to serve in more than a temporary capacity in the role.

Thorp became UNC’s 10th chancellor in July 2008.