A search committee will meet for the first time Monday morning.
The search for a new chancellor comes after Thorp announced he's stepping down following some scandal-plagued years at the university.
It's been a tough road during Thorp's tenure, starting with a NCAA investigation into the football team that uncovered academic fraud.
"There's no way I could have imagined some of the things that I've gone through the last two years," Thorp said in a previous interview.
The investigation eventually forced the school's long-time athletics director and beloved coach out.
There were also questionable classes uncovered within the Afro-American Studies program.
Most recently - and unrelated to the football program probe - one of the school's major fundraisers and the mother of a former Tar Heel basketball player resigned from their jobs after the university said it discovered improper travel expenses.
All of it eventually led Thorp to throw in the towel.
"I do think that I've had some bad luck and some folks I trusted weren't doing things the right way," Thorp said.
Monday's goal for the 21-member panel in charge of launching a national search for Thorps replacement, is selecting a search firm to assist with the task ahead.
The public will also get a chance to weigh in on the search process at upcoming forums.
UNC leaders have admitted that the search for Thorp's replacement won't be quick or easy.
UNC Board of Trustees Chair Wade Hargrove said the national search will be challenging given that several universities are conducting searches at this time.
The search committee will recommend a list of candidates to the full UNC Board of Trustees for consideration.
Thorp is expected to stay on the job until June 2013.