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UNC School of Government dean to step down at end of year

Dean Mike Smith. Photo courtesy of UNC Media Relations.

Mike Smith, the dean of UNC School of Government, will be stepping down in December of 2022, according to a campus-wide email sent Wednesday afternoon.  

Smith, who has worked at the University since 1978, is one of the longest-serving deans in recent UNC history, the email read. He has served as the dean of the School of Government since its inception in 2001. 

“Under Mike’s leadership, the school has expanded its expertise with new programs in public technology, public leadership and governance, environmental finance, development finance, data-driven policy analysis, criminal justice, and more,” the email read. 

During his time at UNC, Smith has helped with several initiatives, like fundraising for Campaign for Carolina and expanding academic departments. 

“During his tenure, Mike has championed the school’s values of neutrality, nonadvocacy and responsiveness in its mission to improve state and local government for North Carolinians,” according to the email. 

Smith will join the list of other top University leaders who have recently announced they would retire or depart from UNC, including Gillings School of Global Public Health Dean Barbara Rimer, Hussman School of Journalism and Media Dean Susan King and Adams School of Dentistry Dr. Julie Byerley. 

Some departments have hired interim directors in their place, like Hugh Morton Distinguished Professor Heidi Hennink-Kaminski to oversee the journalism school.  

The University will search for a new dean for the School of Government in the near future, according to the email. UNC School of Law Dean Martin Brinkley and Distinguished Professor William Rand Kenan Jr. will lead the search committee.