James W.C. White, an internationally recognized climate science researcher, was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, according to a campus-wide email on Tuesday. White will begin his role on July 1.
He will replace Terry Rhodes, who served two years as dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and 35 years at UNC. Rhodes announced that she would retire this summer in August 2021.
White is currently the dean of the University of Colorado Boulder College of Arts and Sciences, where he has served for over four years. He also served as a professor at the university.
During his time at CU-Boulder, White focused on the recruitment of in-state students from underrepresented groups. White also created the first-ever associate dean for inclusive practices at the university and launched a partnership between CU-Boulder and Native American institutions in the state.
Additionally, White improved the university's faculty diversity, with more than half the faculty identifying as being from an underrepresented group during his tenure.
White's research has been focused on evidence for rapid climate change historically. At UNC, White will take over in the department of earth, marine and environmental sciences.
White will begin leading the College of Arts and Sciences as it launches its new IDEAS in Action curriculum in the fall, which will help students design their own academic journey.
"White's leadership experience, commitment to research and innovation and staunch advocacy of the importance of a liberal arts education make him well positioned to lead the college into its next era," the email said.
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