One day after the University of North Carolina’s board chairman submitted his resignation, interim President Dr. Bill Roper has announced he’s not interested in permanently leading UNC.
Roper, on Wednesday, Sept. 25, announced his intention to leave UNC June 30, 2020.
Roper last week looked tense during a news conference alongside board chairman Harry Smith. Tuesday, Smith announced he would step down as board chair effective Oct. 1.
“Setting a clear time frame is the right course of action to allow our system time to plan for a successor. I have no plans to be a candidate for president beyond June 30,” Roper said in a letter to the board.
“This additional time in service will allow me to reach the goals and obligations set when I began the role of interim president,” Roper said in a statement.
The former head of UNC Health Care became interim president in January, after the quick exit of former President Margaret Spellings. She resigned just 2-½ years into her five year contract.
Until now, Roper hadn’t said whether he wanted the permanent job, but indicated he’d stay as long as needed.
The search for a new president is in its early stages. System officials hired Kim Strach, former head of the N.C. State Board of Elections, to lead the presidential search. The presidential search committee plans to find UNC a new leader by spring 2020, Strach said Sept. 19.