UNC chancellor Holden Thorp to resign amid athletics scandals
Chapel Hill, NC, United States (4E Sports) – UNC chancellor Holden Thorp announced his resignation at the end of the 2012-13 academic year, stressing that he will do what is best for the university.
“This wasn’t an easy decision personally. But when I thought about the University and how important it’s been to me, to North Carolinians and to hundreds of thousands of alumni, my answer became clear,” Thorp said in a statement.
A chancellor since 2008, Thorp will end his tenure marred by several athletics related scandal, the most recent of which was the questionable travel expenses charged to the school by top fundraiser Matt Kupec and Tami Hansbrough, a gifts officer and mother of former basketball star Tyler Hansbrough.
The two resigned last week after Thorp discovered the couple’s scheme.
“Over the last two years, we have identified a number of areas that need improvement,” Thorp said. “We have a good start on reforms that are important for the future of this University.
Thorp has already notified UNC president Tom Ross of his intent to resign effective June 30, 2013 but expressed his willingness to stay beyond that date if needed.
Wade Hargrove, chair of UNC’s Board of Trustees, said in a prepared statement that the board tried to talk Thorp out of his decision.
“I respect his unwavering commitment to always do what he thinks best serves the University,” Hargrove said in the statement. “Holden Thorp has done an exemplary job as chancellor, especially in improving a wide range of processes and academic and fiscal management procedures.”
Under Thorp’s term, the NCAA slapped a one-year postseason ban and scholarship reductions on UNC’s football program as penalty for improper benefits and academic misconduct involving a tutor last March.
Aside from that, the school penalized itself with 16 vacated wins and probation. In addition, the university fired football coach Butch Davis and accepted the resignation of athletic director Dick Baddour.
Armed with a Kenan Professorship, Thorp will return to UNC’s chemistry department, where he was a longtime professor, researcher and a former chair before he became chancellor.