CHAPEL HILL — Carol Folt, the former interim president at Dartmouth College, has been installed as the 11th chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Folt is the school’s first female leader. She was sworn in Saturday as a highlight of the school’s University Day.
Addressing an audience on the campus, Folt said she was overwhelmed by “Carolina warmth and a Tar Heel welcome.”
A crowd estimated by school officials at 2,500 attended the ceremony.
Folt replaces Holden Thorp, the UNC-Chapel Hill leader since 2008 who decided to resign last year after his leadership was marred by a string of scandals involving academic fraud, improper travel spending by fundraisers and special treatment for athletes.
The ceremony was held on University Day. The observance began in 1877 to commemorate the 1793 placing of the cornerstone of Old East, the nation’s first state university building.
Since 1957, UNC-Chapel Hill has installed chancellors on University Day.
UNC System President Tom Ross said he sought a leader able to manage a complex organization operating with constrained resources yet still committed to keeping tuition low, in line with a requirement in the North Carolina constitution. Ross said he wanted a proven fundraiser and communicator, who made academics a priority but recognized that athletics had a key role in building school pride and alumni loyalty.
Folt became Dartmouth’s president in July after Jim Yong Kim left the job to become head of the World Bank. Folt had been the school’s chief academic officer, the school’s second-highest rank, for three years.