Peter Hans named next president of UNC System

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Friday, June 19, 2020
Peter Hans to be named the next president of UNC System, report says
Peter Hans to be named the next president of UNC System, report says

RALEIGH -- The current president of the North Carolina Community College System was officially tapped Friday to become the next head of the University of North Carolina's 17-campus system.

Peter Hans, who began the community college job just two years ago, was introduced Friday as the UNC system president at the Board of Governors meeting.

WATCH: Peter Hans officially introduced as next UNC System president

The 24 voting members of the UNC Board of Governors met at 9:30 a.m. Friday to officially elect Hans.

A search committee was formed last year to determine a permanent successor to Margaret Spellings, the former U.S. education secretary who left the post in early 2019 midway through her five-year contract. The interim president, Bill Roper, is set to leave the temporary job at the end of this month.

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Hans, a 1991 UNC-Chapel Hill graduate who grew up in Southport and Hendersonville, is no stranger to UNC system administration. He previous served on the Board of Governors and was its chairman from 2012 to 2014.

The system serves nearly 250,000 students, with UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University its two flagship campuses.

Hans had a lengthy history in Republican politics, which should suit him on a board dominated by conservatives. The voting board is elected by the GOP-controlled General Assembly.

Like schools nationwide, the UNC system is figuring out how their schools will reopen this fall with the COVID-19 pandemic still in place. The UNC system board also struggled recently about what to do with a Confederate statue on the Chapel Hill campus that was toppled by demonstrators in 2018. A $2.5 million legal agreement between the board and North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans was overturned by a judge earlier this year.