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UNC research vice chancellor steps down

Tom Carsey, director of the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, said Entwisle has had a deep impact on the research community at UNC and is an example for the next vice chancellor to follow.

“We’re all hoping to find a vice chancellor who understands the deep value of research for its own sake and how it contributes to the educational and service mission of the University,” Carsey said. “Someone who can provide the same support we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy under Dr. Entwisle’s tenure.”

Beyond Entwisle’s influence on research at UNC, she led during a time of heavy budget cuts.

“It would’ve been fun to be vice chancellor at a time when budgets were increasing,” said Entwisle. “That was not my time.”

Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Judith Cone said Entwisle looked carefully at the organizations she oversaw when allocating funds.

“She’s a very thoughtful person and tried to do that in a careful way to adhere to what needed to be done and to do it in a way that inflicted the least pain in the situation,” Cone said.

Carsey agreed that Entwisle did the best she could in the given situation.

“I think she’s done a very fair job of trying to distribute those budget cuts and work with the centers and institutes that report to her,” Carsey said. “(We) stay competitive and on the cutting edge even as our state dollars have been shrinking.”

Although it wasn’t an easy decision, Entwisle said after five years she is ready to leave the position and return to the Department of Sociology.

“I started at Carolina 30 years ago,” Entwisle said. “I want to go to my first love.”

Cone said it is clear Entwisle missed teaching.

“I have a feeling she’s excited about going back to teaching,” Cone said. “Her heart is as an academic.”

Despite the excitement surrounding Entwisle’s decision, she has accomplished many things and her legacy will live on after she returns to teaching.

“The university is now in the top 10 nationally for its research program,” Entwisle said. “When I started, it was 19th.”

Entwisle said she could not have done it alone. Carsey said she did a great job of doing interdisciplinary work.

“She awards and encourages collaboration and cooperation,” Carsey said.

Entwisle also made it clear that working across all fields is vital to success in this field.

“The secret recipe of Carolina’s success and one of the reasons we’re so good is because we work together across disciplines,” Entwisle said.

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