Pruitt started at UNC in January 2018 after working for the UNC System for 11 years as senior vice president and chief financial officer. As vice chancellor for finance and operations, Pruitt led UNC's financial planning and budgeting, managed the treasury and oversaw operations, including facilities planning, construction, real estate development and public safety.
In his time at UNC, Pruitt created a new University budgeting process, led the development and approval of the campus master plan and contributed to UNC's strategic initiative Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good. Guskiewicz also credited Pruitt for his role in developing UNC's COVID-19 response plan, the Roadmap for Fall 2020.
"With his deep expertise, sound judgment, and calm demeanor, Jonathan will be an asset to incoming UNC System President Peter Hans. Fortunately, for us, Jonathan has put an excellent senior leadership team in place, which will report to me until an interim vice chancellor is appointed," Guskiewicz said in the email.
The Daily Tar Heel reported in February 2020 that Pruitt terminated Brad Ives, the former chief sustainability officer, in August 2019, after it was first announced that Ives was leaving his role to "pursue other opportunities."
Also during his time as vice chancellor, Pruitt denied allegations that multiple violations had taken place with the University's coal plant in a letter. Pruitt stated that the cogeneration plant was crucial to operating the University and UNC Hospitals, that there were few instances of errors in record-keeping and that UNC had cut coal use in half in the last 20 years.