Genetics chairperson appointed vice chancellor for research

On Tuesday, Chancellor Carol Folt announced that UNC’s next vice chancellor for research will be Terry Magnuson, chairperson of the department of genetics.

Magnuson, who will begin the position on July 1, was approved by both the University and the Board of Trustees.

“I have complete confidence in Dr. Magnuson’s leadership,” said Barbara Entwisle, who has been vice chancellor for research for the past six years.

Entwisle said she wants to return to her first love.

“I love my teaching and research and it was time to move back,” Entwisle said.

In September, Entwisle decided to step down from her vice chancellor role.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve in this role, and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished in the five years I have served so far, but I really miss research and teaching,” she said in a letter at the time.

Magnuson said he was excited about the challenges his new role will bring.

“Interacting with our faculty, students across campus and learning really more about their ideas, what are they thinking about (is exciting),” he said. “This includes disciplines that include arts, humanities, the natural sciences, the biological sciences, the social sciences and bringing expertise like this together across disciplines to meet some of our biggest challenges.”

Magnuson said he is interested in interdisciplinary work and will focus on bringing in different types of research.

“The goal is to maximize our talent of our faculty, our students, our postdocs, our fellows and enabling and facilitating their creative ideas,” he said.

The vice chancellor for research leads the University’s research and economic efforts and supports relationships with foundations and the government.

“Dr. Magnuson will lead efforts to connect academic units across campus with the University’s overarching mission and manage research support offices as well as select centers and institutes, major building blocks of Carolina’s research excellence,” Folt’s letter said.

Magnuson, whose background is in genetic research, said his understanding in basic biological structure will help him connect research programs to the health industry.

“A big push for us is our UNC healthcare. The entire health industry, delivering healthcare — how do we take our creative ideas and eventually apply them to the critical world? I think that’s a very exciting challenge,” he said.

His focus on interdisciplinary work and healthcare will present new challenges, Magnuson said, but ones that he is looking forward to tackling.

“I’m just really excited about the challenge of bringing interdisciplinary work together across campus, which is part of our culture,” he said.

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