UNC-Chapel Hill loses interim fundraising chief

By Todd Cohen

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Julia Sprunt Grumbles has stepped down as interim vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The departure of Grumbles, a former corporate vice president at Turner Broadcasting, leaves the school without fundraising leadership, at least temporarily.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt is expected this fall to name a new vice chancellor for university development.

The fundraising operation at the school has been without permanent leadership since the resignations a year ago of Holden Thorp as chancellor and of Matt Kupec as vice chancellor for university advancement in midst of a controversy involving Kupec.

That lack of leadership, in turn, has left in a state of suspension UNC’s long-delayed plans for a comprehensive campaign that at one time was expected to total $3 billion.

After Kupec resigned and Thorp announced his resignation, effective at the end of the academic year in June, he named Grumbles as interim vice chancellor for advancement and launched a search for a new vice chancellor.

Folt, a former interim president at Dartmouth who became chancellor July 1, has signaled that total compensation for the new vice chancellor for development might be exceptionally high.

This summer, in an unusual move, the board of trustees at UNC-CH approved a proposal by Folt to let the next vice chancellor for development receive incentive pay of up to 25 percent of his or her base pay by meeting goals set by Folt.

That move led to speculation that Folt might be courting a candidate who already was paid over $500,000 a year.

Underscoring that speculation was the participation by Folt earlier this year, before she took office, in the decision to dismiss search firm Witt/Kieffer from the search for Kupec’s permanent successor.

Thorp had launched that search after he announced he was resigning but before he stepped down this summer. He now is provost at Washington University in St. Louis.

Search firm Isaacson, Miller subsequently was hired to conduct the search.

Elizabeth Dunn retired in January as senior associate vice chancellor for university advancement at UNC-CH. That position still is vacant.

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