UNC System Appoints New Chair, Vice Chair

Oct 1, 2019
Originally published on October 2, 2019 1:48 pm

The governing board that oversees the 17-campus University of North Carolina System appointed two new top officers on Tuesday.

The UNC Board of Governors promoted Randy Ramsey from vice chairman to chairman, and Wendy Murphy to take Ramsey's vacated role. The chairman seat came empty when Harry Smith said last week that he would step down, though he remains on the board.

According to his board profile, Ramsey is the founder and president of Jarrett Bay Boatworks in Beaufort, "a company that specializes in the construction of custom sport fishing boats and the repair of all types of marine craft."

He holds a marine propulsion degree from Carteret Community College. Most board chairs in recent memory have held degrees from four-year universities.

Murphy is the chairwoman of the search committee tasked with finding a UNC system president. The UNC system has had significant turnover in the past decade. Since 2005, there have been six system presidents and 64 university chancellors, including those in interim roles.

At the special meeting Tuesday, there were no other nominations for chair or vice chair, and there was no additional discussion about any other board members who would potentially be interested in either of the roles.

The board also met for about 30 minutes in closed session. Over the weekend, photos surfaced that showed East Carolina University interim chancellor Dan Gerlach in a bar with female students. On Monday, Gerlach was placed on "administrative leave pending further investigation," according to a statement released by UNC System interim president Bill Roper.

The board took no action in open session following the closed session discussion.

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