Dear Carolina Community:
We write with mixed emotions to let you know that Vice Chancellor and General Counsel Mark Merritt will leave Carolina at the end of the year. Mark will return to a position he loves, as a shareholder at Robinson Bradshaw in Charlotte, where he was a litigator for 33 years. Mark let us know his intentions to return to Charlotte earlier this fall. We will all miss working with him. Mark has been a compassionate and thoughtful colleague, a champion of free speech on campus, and an advocate for the University.
Since joining the University in 2016, Mark has led us through some of the most pressing legal challenges in Carolina’s history, including resolutions with the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights about our Title IX program. In addition, Mark has bolstered the University’s risk management activities, advised on a host of policy issues, and supported the activities of our billion-dollar research enterprise. As chief legal officer, he has provided invaluable advice and counsel to the administration, the Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff on legal matters involving or affecting the institution, and led outside counsel on all cases and issues. He has also served as a liaison with the Office of the President of the University of North Carolina System, the state Attorney General’s Office and other authorities on legal issues affecting our campus.
A former president of the North Carolina State Bar, Mark is a highly regarded trial attorney. His many accolades include being named to the Woodward/White, Inc. “The Best Lawyers in America” list, joining Business North Carolina’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame, earning the 2012 North Carolina Bar Association’s H. Brent McKnight Renaissance Lawyer Award, and being selected as a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers and the American Bar Foundation.
A Morehead-Cain scholar, Mark graduated from Carolina with a degree in economics and political science in 1979 and has served as a member of the Morehead-Cain Scholarship Central Selection Committee. He earned his law degree from the University of Virginia, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. His wife and three children are Carolina alumni. Mark will continue to have strong ties to the University, and he has agreed to assist us with critical issues until we appoint his successor.
In the meantime, please join us in thanking Mark for his tireless work on behalf of Carolina. We, along with our senior leadership team, have enjoyed working with Mark. His passion and love for his alma mater will continue to inspire us. We wish him the best in his next endeavor.
Finally, we are very appreciative of the outstanding attorneys and staff in the Office of University Counsel. We have great assurance that legal matters will remain in their capable and professional hands.
Carol L. Folt
Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost