Interim UNC system president says campus calm is priority

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The interim president of North Carolina’s public universities says his priorities include preventing teachers and researchers from being distracted by problems swirling around the system.

William Roper addressed the University of North Carolina’s governing board on Friday for the first time since the group pushed out his predecessor and the head of the flagship Chapel Hill campus. The university system also is grappling with the future of a dismantled Confederate memorial at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Since taking over as system head from Margaret Spellings 10 days ago, Roper says he has focused on finding a temporary substitute for UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor Carol Folt, who is out next week. She ordered the granite base of a Confederate memorial removed and was ordered out months before she intended to leave.

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