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Faculty and Staff

Faculty Senate to Mull Ross Reaction

BOG Chairman John Fennebresque, left, at Jan. 16 press conference with system President Tom Ross.

Members of the UNC Board of Governors had nothing but praise for system President Tom Ross last month when they announced he’ll be stepping down next January. But the board’s glass-half-full approach fell flat with NC State’s Faculty Senate, especially since Ross’s departure comes sooner than he’d like.

“A lot of faculty are not happy about the decision,” says Faculty Chair David Zonderman. “People are mystified because the BOG gave no real reason.”

At a press conference with Ross on Jan. 16, BOG Chairman John Fennebresque said neither political considerations nor Ross’s performance played a role in the decision.

“This board believes Tom Ross has been a wonderful president,” Fennebresque said. “President Ross has our complete confidence in managing an incredibly complicated system in an area—education—that is changing every day.”

“I wasn’t planning on leaving in the near future,” Ross told the media. But, he noted, the board had “a different timeline” for his departure than he did. A joint statement by Ross and the BOG is available on the system’s website.

Senators will mull how to respond—if at all—to the BOG’s decision at their upcoming meeting 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, in Room B404 of the D. H. Hill Library (the administrative conference room in the library’s south tower).

The Senate could piggyback on a resolution being considered by the system’s Faculty Assembly or it could draft its own resolution.

In a message to campus Jan. 16, Chancellor Randy Woodson thanked Ross for his service and said he was confident that state leaders and the BOG would continue to recognize the university’s vital importance to North Carolina.

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  1. If neither political agenda nor performance are the reasons and Mr. Ross did not have any plan to leave in near future, then can someone please ask the UNC BOG why they are asking Tom Ross to step down?

  2. It is outrageous that the BOG should be meddling in this way in the operation of the University. Even worse, it should not be possible for the BOG to remove a President because they feel that the University is allowing diverse political opinions to be heard, that displease them. The system president should not be a servant of the BOG, he should serve the University and the state of North Carolina. There should not be a dismissal without just cause.