Excellent Choice for UNC Leader
A committee searched far and wide for a new president of the University of North Carolina system and found him not in the backyard but right out in front.
On top of all the right qualifications to lead the 17-campus university system, Tom Ross claims two ideal assets: He is a native North Carolinian, and he earned one of his academic degrees at the UNC-Chapel Hill law school.
Ross will follow Erskine Bowles, a fellow Tar Heel with many of the same qualifications. Both men have broad administrative experience, coupled with the valued asset of political skills.
Let’s face it: The president of any institution of higher learning, especially UNC, must know how to work around the political bureaucracy. Otherwise, he most likely will sink before given the opportunity to fail.
Ross, a Greensboro native, comes to UNC from Davidson College, his alma mater and the institution he has headed for the past three years. Thus academic administration is now a familiar skill.
Ross has also served as a Superior Court judge and as director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. He has directed the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, a position of considerable influence. Then add his experience as a law school faculty member and chief of staff to a member of Congress, and you have a really impressive resume.
As chairman of the N.C. Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission, Ross is credited with restructuring the state’s sentencing system — which, at the time, was in dire need of reform.
The new UNC president faces critical issues, including financial and growth woes, that will require wisdom, experience and a spirit of adventure, and Ross clearly possesses the intellect and courage to meet each challenge. We applaud the UNC Board of Governors’ choice.
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