Following "safety-related incidents" over the past year, the University has named George E. Battle III to serve as its first vice chancellor for institutional integrity and risk management. This position will act as a central office to functions that were previously spread out over multiple administrative areas, according to an email sent by interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz on Monday.
This office's functions will include central compliance, risk management, public safety, emergency management, ethics education and more. Guskiewicz said in the email that this new reporting structure is a step toward "putting a greater emphasis on a comprehensive approach to campus safety."
Some recent high-profile campus safety topics in North Carolina have included the presence of Silent Sam-related protests, gun safety procedures following a shooting at UNC-Charlotte and various other incidents that have generated concern over the past couple months.
Battle has a background as an attorney in litigation, regulatory compliance and enterprise risk management. He has served as general counsel to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education for the past nine years, and previously provided legal counsel and advisory services for Carolinas Healthcare System.
"George brings a wealth of experience in health and education law, corporate governance, employment law, commercial contracts and government," Guskiewicz said in the announcement.
Battle also ran a campaign to represent North Carolina's 12th District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, but was defeated in the Democratic primary.
According to the email, part of Battle's role will be to help address the national issue of safeguarding research and educational activities from threats of influence by foreign governments and outside entities.
Battle's new position marks his return to the University, as he graduated from UNC with a bachelor's degree in 1995, and completed a JD degree in law in 1999. He served as student body president during his time at the University, as well.
“My experience as a student at UNC-Chapel Hill put me on a path to pursue law and public service, and I look forward to serving the institution that has served me so well," Battle said in a statement. "I am eager to shape this new role, to connect much of the great work that is already being done across campus, and support the University’s mission of teaching, research and service.”
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