UNC search panel member resigns after domestic violence charge

Doyle Parrish
Doyle Parrish

A UNC Board of Governors member has resigned from the committee tasked with selecting a new system president after being arrested on a domestic violence charge.

Doyle Parrish will take a leave of absence from the Board of Governors until his court case is resolved, board Chairman John C. Fennebresque said Wednesday.

Parrish was arrested May 13, according to court records, after an incident in his Raleigh home and charged with assault on a female. Parrish is a major political donor in North Carolina and CEO of a hotel management company.

His resignation became apparent as the committee tasked with searching for a new president of the University of North Carolina system met in Charlotte on Wednesday to review candidates.

Search committee members gathered over lunch in the uptown Charlotte offices of law firm McGuireWoods, where Fennebresque is vice chairman.

Almost all of their work was done in private. After opening the meeting, the committee immediately moved into closed session.

The UNC system is searching for a replacement for Tom Ross, who has led North Carolina’s public universities since 2011. He is expected to leave his job in early 2016 after being pushed out in a controversial decision in January.

Executive recruitment firm Isaacson, Miller is managing the search for the UNC Board of Governors, a process that could cost $300,000.

Fennebresque said the list of candidates is “dynamic” and will grow and shrink over the next few weeks. The board plans to meet again in August at SAS in Cary, and again in Charlotte in early September.

Wednesday’s meeting was the first gathering of the search committee since Parrish was arrested.

Parrish did not attend the meeting, wasn’t a part of the roll call and no longer appears on the list of search committee members. The UNC Board of Governors website states that he resigned from the committee.

Fennebresque said Parrish decided to leave the board until his Wake County court case is over.

Parrish could not be reached Wednesday.

Dunn: 704-358-5235;

Twitter: @andrew_dunn