UNC Board Chairman Harry Smith to depart in October

Anuja Vaidya (Twitter) - Print  | 

Harry Smith, chairman of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, is stepping down Oct. 1, noting that he doesn't "have the energy to lead anymore," according to The News & Observer.

Mr. Smith, a developer and entrepreneur, has served as chairman of the board since 2018 and joined the board in 2013. He is leaving one year into his two-year term as chair; his board appointment was set to end in 2021.

Mr. Smith told The News & Observer that he started thinking of leaving the position months ago, when he opened a private equity firm. The role comes with a lot of challenges, including board, system and city politics, he said.

During his tenure as chairman, the university system experienced record growth in enrollment, and Mr. Smith is credited with guiding William Roper, MD, as he transitioned into the role of university system president last year.

He oversaw the board for the university system during a period of upheaval for its healthcare arm. Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health Care has been at the center of scrutiny for several reasons, including a New York Times report in May that revealed safety issues and high death rates at UNC Children's Hospital and the Joint Commission placing UNC Hospitals' accreditation status on probation last month.

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