UNC is turning to an alumnus to serve as a consultant and to review Greek life at the University with an eye toward recommendations about ways to improve the system.
In a letter to D. Jordan Whichard III ’79, trustees Chair Robert Winston III ’84 said Whichard was the “perfect person” to complete the review.
Whichard is chair-elect of the GAA’s Board of Directors.
The appointment comes on the heels of a turbulent fall semester for fraternity and sorority life at Chapel Hill. Courtland Smith, Delta Kappa Epsilon’s president, was killed in late August by police near Archdale after he had left a DKE party and was stopped on an interstate highway. In September, four students arrested by Chapel Hill police on cocaine charges had ties to fraternities or sororities.
Looking to repair the perceptions of Greek life at UNC, Winston made his intentions clear in the letter. He wrote, “We aspire to have the best Greek system in the country. … [W]e want to ensure that the Greek system is promoting excellence across the full spectrum of student life.”
Winston suggested in his letter that Whichard’s review include consultations with a wide array of University constituents, ranging from students, parents and alumni to faculty, administration and staff.
Whichard also may examine best practices at other universities to generate his ideas and recommendations. He also will be asked to work closely and provide direction to the vice chancellor for student affairs. Peggy Jablonski, who has been UNC’s vice chancellor for student affairs since 2004, announced last year that she would be stepping down this year. In January, Winston B. Crisp ’92 (JD), who has spent his career at Carolina, was appointed to the post effective May 10.
The Board of Trustees cited both Whichard’s deep roots at Carolina and his professional accomplishments. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity during his time at UNC in the late 1970s. Both his son, Jordan ’07; and daughter, Anna Brooks, who is a senior, have participated in Chapel Hill Greek life.
A native of Greenville, Whichard graduated with a degree in industrial relations and political science. He was publisher of The Daily Reflector in Greenville for 18 years and group publisher of Cox North Carolina Publications Inc. for 13 years. He retired from both in 2009. He also serves on the board of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication Foundation of North Carolina Inc.
Jenny Levering, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority life, said Whichard brings a perspective that can look at the Greek system objectively because he has been away from it for some time. “I think it is a phenomenal opportunity to get someone with a Greek background but someone who hasn’t been connected to the system in the last few years to use an external approach and perspective to provide feedback on how we can further grow and improve the community,” Levering said.