Bowles Elected President of the University of North Carolina

UNC Office of the President
October 06, 2005 CHAPEL HILL - Charlotte investment banker Erskine B. Bowles was unanimously elected president of the 16-campus University of North Carolina during a special meeting of the UNC Board of Governors. Late last week, the Presidential Search Committee of the Board recommended Bowles as the sole finalist for the post. J. Bradley Wilson, who chairs the Board of Governors and also led the search committee, placed the name in nomination. Bowles, 60, will take office January 1, succeeding Molly Corbett Broad, who announced last March that she would retire this academic year after eight and a half years in the post. In recommending Bowles to the Board of Governors, Wilson said: "There is no other job in our state quite like the presidency of the University of North Carolina. It requires a rare blend of experience, skills, character, and passion. We searched nationwide for a leader who possessed all four, and no one embodied that combination more fully than Erskine Bowles. " "Without question, UNC's president must have an intimate understanding of the teaching, research, and outreach that define the University's three-part mission. But equally important, the president must understand how to leverage resources and motivate supporters to carry out that mission. I'm absolutely convinced Erskine Bowles is up to the job." Born and raised in Greensboro, N.C., Bowles was the son of the late Hargrove "Skipper" Bowles, a distinguished state legislator and 1972 gubernatorial candidate. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning an undergraduate degree in business in 1967. After a short stint in the U.S. Coast Guard and earning an MBA from the Columbia Business School in 1969, he joined the financial firm of Morgan Stanley in New York. Returning to North Carolina, Bowles settled in Charlotte, where in 1975 he helped launch the investment banking firm of Bowles Hollowell Conner. In 1993, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve as director of the Small Business Administration, and later was tapped to serve as deputy White House chief of staff (1994-95) and White House chief of staff (1996-98). As chief of staff, he was credited with helping to negotiate the first balanced federal budget in a generation. In between his two White House tours of duty, Bowles co-founded Carousel Capital, a merchant bank based in Charlotte, where he currently serves as a senior advisor to the firm. From 1999 to 2001, he also served as a general partner of Forstmann Little, a New York-based private equity firm. He ran for the U.S. Senate in 2002 and 2004. Bowles has shown a life-long commitment to public service. He helped found Dogwood Equity, chaired the Rural Prosperity Task Force, and served as a trustee of the Golden LEAF Foundation-three entities designed to bring economic development to rural North Carolina. Earlier this year, he was appointed United Nations deputy special envoy to 13 tsunami-affected countries in Southeast Asia. He has served as vice chair of the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and as a trustee of the Duke Endowment. In addition, family illness inspired Bowles to help lead efforts to create an ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease) Center in Charlotte and to serve as the international president of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of General Motors, Cousins Properties, and NC Mutual Life Insurance Co. Following his election, Bowles told the Board of Governors: "I cannot imagine having another job that would offer such an extraordinary opportunity to positively impact the lives and livelihoods of the citizens of our state for years and years to come. In the years ahead, we are going to face enormous challenges and opportunities. Today's knowledge-based global economy relentlessly punishes the undereducated individual, community, state, and nation. North Carolina's system of higher education must be up to that challenge. Come January 1, I promise you that I will be prepared to accept this public trust, and I thank you for entrusting me with this opportunity to serve this great University." Bowles has been married since 1971 to Crandall Close Bowles, chair and chief executive officer of Springs Industries, one of the nation's largest textile companies. They have three adult children: Sam, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and the Harvard Business School employed by Carousel Capital; Annie, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who will soon begin a fellowship in infectious diseases at the UNC School of Medicine; and Bill, a graduate of Princeton University now attending the Stanford Business School. They also have a one-month-old granddaughter, Ellie. The oldest public university in America, the University of North Carolina today encompasses all 16 of North Carolina's public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees and enrolls nearly 196,000 students. UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, ten nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a specialized school for performing artists. Also under the University umbrella are the UNC Center for Public Television with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, and the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation's first public residential high school for gifted students. For more information contact Joni Worthington at (919) 962-4629 or