Kevin Guskiewicz has been named the next dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, according to a release from the University.
Guskiewicz, the senior associate dean for natural sciences and a distinguished professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, was one of five finalists for the position — and the only internal candidate.
“Kevin is a natural fit to become the next leader of our vibrant College of Arts and Sciences, which provides students with a critical foundation for learning and discovery every day,” Chancellor Carol Folt said in the release.
“An extremely accomplished teacher and researcher renowned for his expertise in injury prevention, Kevin represents the very best of Carolina.”
Guskiewicz will take over for current dean Karen Gil, who announced she would step down from the position last November. Gil originally planned to step down in May, but said she would stay on until January of 2016 to give the search committee enough time to find her replacement.
Gil will return to teaching in the psychology department.
Guskiewicz will assume the position on Jan. 1, according to the release.
“I am excited to lead the College of Arts and Sciences at the University I have grown to love over the past 20 years,” he said in the release. “I look forward to introducing initiatives to bridge the gap between research and teaching so that our students can benefit from the world-renowned research of our faculty.”
Guskiewicz, who is internationally known for his research on concussions, has been linked to UNC’s ongoing academic-athletic scandal.
In March, emails revealed that Guskiewicz, in his role of graduate studies director for the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, pushed for a former UNC football player be admitted to his department’s graduate program on the behalf of a request from the athletic department.
Michael Waddell, the former football player, was admitted to the graduate program in the fall of 2003, but he failed many of his classes and was expelled after the football season ended.
“Four months later, we now look foolish,” he wrote in 2004 to former athletic department official John Blanchard, who made the request to get Waddell into the graduate program.
Guskiewicz told The Daily Tar Heel in the spring that he has no issues with how the graduate program’s admissions were conducted.
“I am highly confident that our department’s admissions committee has always carefully considered every admissions case before making a recommendation to the Graduate School,” he said in his statement, which was given to The Daily Tar Heel through Rick White, a spokesperson for UNC.