The Daily Tar Heel

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Sunday June 4th

Meet UNC's new vice chancellor for student affairs

Contrib from Media Relations
Buy Photos Contrib from Media Relations

Amy Johnson will be the University’s new vice chancellor for student affairs, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced Thursday. 

“She brings the experience of a seasoned faculty member in higher education administration and a passion for connecting students’ academic and co-curricular learning experiences,” Guskiewicz said in a campuswide email. 

The email stated that Johnson will start Aug. 1 and will oversee 17 reporting units and over 330 employees. 

In a statement from UNC Media Relations, Johnson said she is eager to work with the Student Affairs team to develop student learning and foster an inclusive environment.

 "I am ecstatic to join the Tar Heel family,” Johnson said. 

The three finalists for the position were presented in March, after the vice chancellor for student affairs search committee held multiple open Zoom forums for those nominated. 

Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, dean of the School of Education and chairperson of the search committee, said that although the committee moved many of the forums and interviews online, it still completed a thorough search for the position.

“What the committee wanted is to find the best candidate that will deliver on all the expectations and responsibilities for such a crucial position for the University,” Abd-El-Khalick said. 

Abd-El-Khalick said the search process started with gathering applications and recruiting candidates from “every corner of the U.S.” UNC’s committee then narrowed down applicants based on experience and through multiple rounds of interviews.

The committee worked to review and analyze the finalists, then prepared a report with their findings to campus leadership.

According to Guskiewicz’s email, Johnson has more than two decades of leadership experience in higher education and has worked at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Southern California and Eastern Washington University.

Jonathan Sauls has served as interim vice chancellor for student affairs for the past 10 months and will continue working through July. 

Sauls said his main priorities in the upcoming months will be to plan for different fall semester scenarios and maintain high student engagement virtually.

His office will also be focused on the question of building community during uncertain times, he said.

“How do we continue to perfect some of the ways that we deliver our services, but in particular, look for ways to build community for incoming students — who may not be able to engage in all the same activities in the same way that previous cohorts of students have been accustomed to?" Sauls said.

Sauls said that those working in higher education are “in new territory” as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

He said although Johnson will be entering a new position during uncertain times, the Student Affairs staff has been proactive about taking action for the fall semester.

“This is a historic time for our global community and for higher education,”Johnson said. “I look forward to partnering with students and colleagues to pave a successful path through the pandemic and extend UNC-Chapel Hill’s long tradition of excellence.”

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