UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp is resigning. The announcement comes just a few days after UNC’s Board of Governors said it still supported Thorp despite a series of troubles during his tenure.
Thorp kept his job – and the support of his bosses – during a two-year stretch that included a football scandal, an academic scandal and, finally, a fundraising scandal.
The NCAA caught some former UNC football players cheating in classes and taking gifts from agents, and then an internal investigation found some instructors in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies gave out grades without assigning work.
But the last straw for Thorp came last week, when the university’s top fundraiser and a lower-level one resigned. UNC found that Vice Chancellor Matt Kupec and Major Gifts Officer Tami Hansbrough paid for personal trips with university money. Hansbrough is the divorced mother of former UNC basketball star and current NBA player Tyler Hansbrough.
Despite Kupec and Hansbrough’s resignations, the governing body for all UNC schools said it still supported Thorp when it met on Friday. But after the meeting that day, Thorp said the board was clearly sick of all the bad news.
"They're concerned about the toll that it's taking on me and the institution, and they're frustrated that things like this are making it hard for us to talk about the positives at Carolina," Thorp said at the time.
Over the weekend, Thorp decided it would be best for the university if he resigned. In a statement, he said he’ll serve out the rest of this school year.
The chair of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Board of Trustees said he tried to convince Thorp to stay, and UNC system president Tom Ross said he’s sad to see Thorp go.