CHAPEL HILL, NC — After concerns have built up in the campus community that UNC-CH Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz could be removed, chair of the UNC Board of Trustees’ said during Thursday’s meeting the board supports Guskiewicz and they plan to work with him to move the University forward.
Concerns began earlier in the week that Guskiewicz might be removed after members of the UNC Faculty Council heard rumors the university was looking for an interim chancellor.
This comes after weeks of UNC-CH in the headlines for the way they handled the tenure request for journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.
The council then held an emergency meeting on Wednesday where members voiced their support for Guskiewicz and said, “now is not the time to change leadership.”
On Thursday, the UNC Board of Trustees met for three hours in closed session, board chair David Boliek said they had a good discussion and that the board is in support of Guskiewicz and they plan to work with him in the future.
Earlier in the meeting, student body president Lamar Richards talked about his concerns with racial inequity on campus and demanded UNC leaders uplift marginalized campus communities.
“I often think about how our institution was not built for people that look like me, but rather it was built by people that look like me,” Richards said. “It is clear now, more than ever that as a community, that we continuously hold leadership across our state accountable.”
The UNC Black Student Movement, the Carolina Black Caucus, and the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association have made some demands that they say would ensure a safer campus for Black students following the fight over tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones.
This includes sending text message alerts when White supremacists are on campus, hiring more Black counselors and faculty, and the termination of acting UNC Police Chief Rahsheem Holland.
Guskiewicz said during Thursday’s meeting that he will work with and support the Black student community on campus.
“We’re looking at some of the demands they’ve asked for and identifying which ones we can move forward more quickly, and others will take some time to develop,” Guskiewicz said. “I think it’s important that we have a campus community that’s safe and welcoming for everyone. Right now Black students are feeling challenged in many ways and concerned about inequities and that’s what we’re listening to and we’re committed to.”