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The Latest: Confederate base removal order surprises board

January 15, 2019

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on the debate over what to do with a Confederate statue that stood at North Carolina’s flagship university (all times local):

8 p.m.

The board that oversees North Carolina’s public universities says it was taken by surprise when a university leader ordered the removal of a pedestal that once held a Confederate statue.

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt said Monday that she had authorized that the base that once held the statue known as “Silent Sam” be removed from a main campus quad and put into storage. She didn’t give a timetable.

She also announced to the campus Monday that she will step down at the end of the school year.

Folt’s surprise order drew an angry response from the leader of the board overseeing the state’s public universities, but he stopped short of saying he would seek to stop the removal.

Board of Governors Chairman Harry Smith said Folt’s announcement hadn’t altered the statewide panel’s timeline for deciding what to do with the statue by March.

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5:30 p.m.

The chancellor of North Carolina’s flagship public university says the school will remove the pedestal where a Confederate statue stood until protesters tore it down.

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt also announced to the campus Monday that she will step down at the end of the school year.

Folt said she had authorized the removal of the “Silent Sam” statue’s pedestal from a main campus quad. She said safety was among the reasons for removing it but didn’t give a timetable. The empty base had continued to draw protesters for and against the statue.

The statue was torn down last year by protesters who called its origins racist. It was later put in temporary storage. Officials are seeking a new location for it.