UNCG Chancellor Linda Brady To Retire
Linda Brady announced Monday that she is stepping down next year. The announcement comes at a time when many at the university have questioned her leadership in the wake of felony charges against three former employees.
Brady has been chancellor since 2008, taking over just as the national economy began falling into a deep recession. She says she was drawn to the university in part by the faculty’s commitment to both research and teaching. She says she has worked hard to improve student success and retention.
But Brady has also had to deal with her share of controversy. That came to a head in September when three employees lost their jobs and were arrested amid allegations that university resources were used for a private business.
Chris Polous, head of UNCG’s department of communications, says the case raised a lot of questions about university policy, and the concerns of the community have not been addressed.
"People react with shock that they're that willing to go that far that fast and they're unwilling to talk about it," Polous says. "What it does, it creates a problem of trust. Staff members are afraid they're next and that someone's going to come after them."
Brady says the right decision was made in the case involving the three former employees and she stands behind it.
"We do of course have an appeal process under way and we do want to respect that and the confidentiality associated with it," she says. "But I am convinced the university made the right decision in the case and we simply need to let the HR process move forward."
Brady says the timing of her retirement had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding the case. She says she started talking with UNC system president Tom Ross about the timeline of her departure last spring.
"We have just launched a strategic planning process here, which will be the first step toward a seven to 10 year fundraising campaign," she says. "Given that I am about to turn 67, I could not in good conscious commit to another 10 years in the role."
Spoma Jovanovic is the chairwoman of the Faculty Senate. In a written statement to WFDD, Jovanovic says she wishes Brady well upon her retirement, but that much still needs to be done to restore confidence in the university and the community.
"We need to hear from people who have been silenced, we need to hold people accountable for any unjust actions, and we need to act with integrity and care for one another as the expression of our institution's mission," she says.
Brady has a degree in political science and plans to go back into the classroom. She says she is announcing her retirement now to give a search committee enough time to find a successor. Her retirement is effective on July 31, 2015.