UNC Governors Need More Time To Decide On Silent Sam

Mar 5, 2019

A sign in support of the Silent Sam statue rests near the monument on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 as hundreds of protesters gathered in opposition of the statue.
Credit Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The board governing North Carolina's public universities is giving itself more time to decide the fate of a Confederate statue toppled by protesters.

The Board of Governors is now expected to receive recommendations for the statue in May, two months later than previously planned, according to an email by board Chairman Harry Smith.

In a statement, Smith said the group of five board members now has until May 20 to devise a plan for the Confederate Statue that stood on UNC Chapel Hill's campus.

Smith did not give a detailed reason for the extension, other than the team needed "time to do their work." 

At least five Board members have expressed a desire to see the statue put back where it was. Protestors tore down Silent Sam in August of last year. Former chancellor Carol Folt ordered the pedestal removed in January, the same day she announced her resignation.

Smith had previously asked five members to develop and submit a plan to the full board by March 15.

Silent Sam once stood at the entrance to the UNC-Chapel Hill campus but was toppled by protesters in August. It had been dedicated more than a century ago with a speech praising the nearby assault of an African-American woman.