President-elect Tom Ross already has one order of business to address once he becomes leader of the UNC system.
When Ross takes over the system on Jan. 1, he will be charged with leading the search for a new chancellor for UNC-Wilmington, a growing school that 13,000 attended in 2009.
Rosemary DePaolo announced last week she plans to step down as UNC-W’s chancellor June 30, 2011.
“When a whole phase of a university’s renewal is complete, when the institution has not only redefined itself but grown into that definition, then it’s time for the chancellor who led that renewal to ask whether the time has come for new leadership,” DePaolo said in a news release.
In the past few years, the UNC system and its Board of Governors have adopted a standard procedure for replacing top University administrators.
“I would think the search process under Ross is going to stay pretty much the same,” said Ron Leatherwood, member of the board.
Ross will have to stay up-to-date with the progress of the UNC-W search committee and the candidates they choose so that he is prepared to evaluate them when he starts working next year.
But the search process at the University level has already begun.
“The beginning of the search process was established by the University’s Board of Trustees last week,” said UNC-W assistant to the chancellor Mark Lanier.
“The board will have another meeting in the next week or so during which it will begin selecting members of the search committee,” Lanier said.
Leatherwood said university search committees are comprised of interested students, faculty and community members.
“Most searches take a little while to get organized,” he said.
Once the search committee is selected, it will work with UNC-W’s Board of Trustees to formulate a statement of criteria for the new chancellor.
The search committee then works to find qualified candidates who go through an approval process that ultimately ends up in the hands of the UNC-system president.
“We’ve searched for several chancellors over the past five years and the process we’ve been using has worked well,” he said.
The University is looking for the next chancellor to set new goals.
Leatherwood said he really respects the work DePaolo has done during her seven years as chancellor.
“The Board of Governors’ September meeting was held at the UNC-W campus and we saw the kids during class change,” Leatherwood said. “It was really inspiring to see just how much the school has grown.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what President-elect Ross has in store for the system and working under his leadership.”
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