Chancellor’s Statement – October 13, 2022

Dear UNC Asheville Campus Community,

I write to share with you the news that I have informed the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees of my intention to step down from my Chancellor role effective December 31, 2022. While the fall semester will be my last as Chancellor, I have accepted the invitation of the Trustees to serve in an advisory capacity on an on-call basis to the Interim Chancellor from January 1 through July 31, 2023, supporting whomever is selected to assure a smooth transition of leadership.

I care deeply for this extraordinary university, and it has been a privilege to serve as your Chancellor for the last four-and-a-half years. I will forever be an advocate for UNC Asheville, and I will not be far away. I am pleased to announce that I have accepted the position of Executive Director of the William R. Kenan, Jr., Charitable Trust in Chapel Hill. My position there begins in January of 2023, allowing me to return to work in philanthropy.

From the day I joined the UNC Asheville academic community in the summer of 2018, I have been inspired by our dedicated and highly talented faculty and staff, and constantly impressed by our smart, curious, and creative students and student leaders.

Collectively, we faced the headwinds of these recent years, and not just a global pandemic. The imperative to respond to calls for justice and inclusion, along with addressing the tensions within our nation and democracy, have been our shared focus and struggle. I am proud of what we have accomplished together.

In addition, we have strengthened the University through increased fiscal revenue with the $10 million investment of State funds, impacted the region through dedicated community service, revitalized student life programs, launched our Centennial Campaign, and started the important work to further globalize our campus.

These accomplishments have inspired our generous friends and donors. Over the last 40 months since the quiet phase of our Centennial Campaign began, more than $43 million dollars has been given to support student scholarships, faculty research, global study opportunities, and new University professorships.

Our legislators in Raleigh have also been newly engaged as supportive advocates.

By committing $7 million annually in recurring funds to support our Revitalization Plan, they have also invested in the Asheville Trust, the first endowed fund of its kind in the UNC System to reduce student debt. I am particularly proud of their support as well to create a new Chancellor’s Scholarship program to recruit talented and diverse students from across North Carolina who are first generation, from underrepresented populations, or come from rural communities.

I remain so impressed and proud of the teamwork, diligence, and creative spirit of our faculty, staff, and students during our collective work on all these initiatives. It truly has been a joy to work with so many of you as we undertook these transformative efforts together, combining our shared ideas and humane instincts focused on making the world a better place.

To each one of you, thank you for allowing me the privilege of being in your midst and working beside you at UNC Asheville. I am deeply grateful for the privilege and honor to have been a partner advancing the energy, vitality, and quality of this extraordinary institution. Your tireless efforts, and creative and resolute dedication to our academic and co-curricular mission, are greatly appreciated.

With respect and gratitude,