UNC Health CEO, William Roper, named interim president of UNC system

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The leader of UNC Health Care has officially been named Interim President of the University of North Carolina system.

The UNC Board of Governors held an emergency meeting Thursday morning. In that meeting they agreed to appoint Dr. William Roper to lead the UNC system.

"It's a great day in North Carolina," UNC BOG Chairman Harry Smith said. "(Roper) has a long storied history of success."

Smith said Roper grew, developed, and led "one of the most sophisticated assets in the state of North Carolina," referring to UNC Health Care System.

Roper, 70, has headed UNC Health Care and been the dean of the School of Medicine since 2004.

Roper will assume his new position Jan. 1.

Margaret Spellings, who previously announced her intentions to resign, will work until Jan. 15.

"I can't think of anybody I'd rather give the reins to than Bill Roper," Spellings said.

"Today is an exciting day for me and my wife and my son," Roper said. "A lot of hard work lies ahead...I'm excited to get past the ceremonies and get on with the work."

Roper previously had plans to retire in May, according to the News & Observer. It's unclear if this new appointment as the head of the UNC system will alter his retirement plans.
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