Carol Folt resigns as UNC chancellor

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 1/18/19 3:20am

Former interim College President Carol Folt announced her resignation from her position as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Monday. Folt also announced that she had ordered the removal of a Confederate statue on campus out of safety concerns. 

The university’s Board of Governors accepted Folt’s resignation but told her to step down by Jan. 31. In her original announcement, Folt had said she would leave at the end of the academic year in May.

The statue, also known as “Silent Sam,” was torn off its base in August by students who protested its symbolism as a shrine for white supremacy. The status was never returned to its original spot on campus. 

The monument was originally erected on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus in 1913 to remember the “sons of the university who died for their beloved Southland 1861-1865,” according to the school’s website. It had been built at the request of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees expressed its support for Folt’s decision to approve the removal of the monument’s base and commemorative plaques. 

Folt was elected as UNC-Chapel Hill’s 11th chancellor in 2013, becoming the first woman to lead the university.

Prior to assuming her leadership role at the oldest public university in the U.S., Folt had held a 30-year career at Dartmouth. A biology professor, she also served as dean of graduate studies and dean of faculty before being appointed as provost in 2010. 

In 2012, Folt became interim College President — the first woman to hold the office — following the departure of former College President Jim Yong Kim, who left to become president of the World Bank. 

College President Phil Hanlon succeeded Folt in June 2012.