CHAPEL HILL, NC – University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings announced her resignation on Friday (10/26). She has agreed to continue serving through March 1, 2019, according to a press release by the UNC System.
“North Carolina’s public universities are the lifeblood of the state. They are pillars of communities, drivers of economies, and paths to opportunity for people of every age and background. The state’s commitment to higher education is what drew me here three years ago, and it’s what propelled me forward every day on the job,” said President Margaret Spellings. “I will forever be honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve alongside our terrific chancellors, faculty, staff, students and our Boards of Trustees and Board of Governors.”
“Together, we held tuition in check; opened the doors to more rural low-income, and first generation students; and earned deeper support than ever from our lawmakers and the public. We’ve kept our focus on the core challenges facing North Carolina, we’ve made real progress.”
Under President Spellings’ leadership, the UNC System capped tuition and implemented NC Promise, created a new national model for accountability and transparency, modernized its data systems, and shifted its focus as a System to tackle key issues of upward mobility and economic impact in all 100 counties.
In partnership with the Board, President Spellings led the creation of a new Strategic Plan Higher Expectations, which holds institutions accountable for hitting ambitious targets to lower achievement gaps, increase graduation rates, and broaden college access. In the plan’s first year, the System improved on nearly all performance metrics including graduation rates, rural and low-income student completions, research productivity, and critical workforce degrees.
“The Board is grateful and appreciative to Margaret for her service, commitment, and dedication to the University and the state,” said Harry Smith, Chair of the UNC Board of Governors. “Under Margaret’s strong and capable leadership, we have worked together to achieve a lot of great things – keeping college affordable, holding ourselves and our institutions accountable, and getting the facts, data, and details we need to be world-class. Moving forward, we’re focused on a healthy transition from President to Interim, a positive departure for the President, and continued progress on our shared goals and initiatives.”
“All leaders are for a time,” added President Spellings. “I came into this position knowing that most lasting contribution I could make was to help create a culture of higher expectations for the citizens of this state — and we have done just that.”
The UNC Board of Governors is working to identify an interim President and expects to announce details on the appointment in the coming weeks.