Los Angeles Times

USC job will challenge a leader known for caution

LOS ANGELES - As chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carol L. Folt ordered the removal of a pedestal that once held Silent Sam, a bronze Confederate monument on campus that had been toppled by protesters.

It was praised by some as a brave act of defiance against racism in a Southern state where the law protects such monuments and conservative Republican political appointees govern the state university system.

But for others such as Jerry Wilson, a black graduate student at the university, Folt's decision came when it was politically safe: the day she announced her resignation. Weeks before a crane came for the pedestal in the dead of night, Folt had presented a decidedly less bold plan to build a $5.3 million history center to house the statue in a less prominent place on campus.

On controversial issues, Wilson said, Folt was a cautious chancellor who tried to please everybody.

"As a leader in the university, that might give you job

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