FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2019
UNC System reaches settlement allowing for disposition of Silent Sam
CHAPEL HILL, NC – This morning a judge entered a consent judgment in a lawsuit involving the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam. The North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. (SCV) filed suit and asserted various legal claims against the University of North Carolina System and the Board of Governors concerning the disposition of the monument.
This settlement involving the UNC System, the Board of Governors, and SCV prioritizes the safety and security of the University community, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors. The settlement also allows the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University System to focus on its core mission of teaching, education, and research. Finally, the resolution provides the SCV with the resources to preserve the historic monument and be fully compliant with the law.
Under the terms of the consent judgment, the Court approved resolution of the case on the following terms:
- SCV owns all rights, title, and interests in the monument;
- The University will turn over possession of the monument to SCV;
- SCV will forever maintain possession of the monument outside any of the fourteen counties currently containing a UNC System constituent institution;
- Using non-state funds, the University will fund a charitable trust to be held independently by a non-party trustee in the amount of $2,500,000, the proceeds of which may only be used for certain limited expenses related to the care and preservation of the monument, including potentially a facility to house and display the monument; and
- This resolution complies with existing North Carolina law, including the monuments law as provided in Chapter 100 of the North Carolina General Statutes.
In early 2019, five members of the UNC Board of Governors, Darrell Allison, Jim Holmes, Wendy Murphy, Anna Nelson, and Bob Rucho, were tasked to work with UNC-Chapel Hill to find a solution for the monument that is safe and compliant with the law.
"The safety and security concerns expressed by students, faculty, and staff are genuine, and we believe this consent judgment not only addresses those concerns but does what is best for the university, and the university community in full compliance with North Carolina law,” said Jim Holmes, member of the UNC Board of Governors.
UNC Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey said, “This resolution allows the University to move forward and focus on its core mission of educating students.”