WRAL News reporter Laura Leslie interviewed UNC System President emeritus William Clyde “Bill” Friday on March 6, 2012. The 15 minute interview was used as a segment within another WRAL news/public affairs program. President Friday addressed several topics including NCAA investigations into the UNC Football program, higher education, tuition costs, politics, and civility.
Friday was assistant Dean of Students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1948 to 1951, assistant to the President of the Consolidated University of North Carolina Gordon Gray from 1951 to 1955, then Secretary of the University of North Carolina system, and acting president from 1956 to 1957, when he was chosen to take the position permanently. Friday led the UNC system from 1956 to 1986, a period that included desegregation, challenges to free speech and the creation of a 16-campus state university system in 1971. Enrollment began to surge during his tenure, setting the stage for major expansions and battles over tuition increases in the years since he retired.
Friday was born in Virginia July 13, 1920 and grew up in Dallas, North Carolina. He died in his sleep on October 12, 2012, coincidentally UNC’s University Day. He was 92.