UNC System President Peter Hans named Lee Roberts as the University's interim chancellor on Friday. Roberts will begin in the role on Jan. 12 when Kevin Guskiewicz steps down to lead Michigan State University.
Roberts is a member of the UNC Board of Governors, a position he's held since 2021, and previously served as budget director for former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. He is the co-founder and managing partner of North Carolina investment firm SharpVue Capital.
During his time as budget director, Roberts worked on Connect N.C. Bond, which allocated $2 billion for infrastructure improvements and construction on UNC system campuses and community colleges.
With a bachelor’s degree in political science from Duke University and a law degree from Georgetown University, Roberts has also taught at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy since 2020. He has served on the State Board of Community Colleges, the State Banking Commission, the Board of Visitors at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the Golden LEAF Foundation Board.
Roberts has no previous professional administrative experience in higher education.
“Public higher education is one of North Carolina’s greatest strengths, and I’m honored to play a role in serving the nation’s first and finest public university,” Roberts said in the statement. “Chancellor Guskiewicz and his team have done extraordinary work, and I’m excited to continue supporting the dedicated scholars, staff, and students at Carolina.”
Roberts has four steps planned for his time as interim chancellor, according to The Well: Do no harm, ensure a smooth transition, make sure students and faculty and staff have what they need and to leave campus better than he found it.
Robert's appointment follows concerns expressed by some in the campus community about "political meddling" in University governance decisions. In a Dec. 13 petition, the Coalition for Carolina called upon Hans and the BOG to stop "improper interference" from the Board of Trustees and ensure that the University's interim chancellor will maintain stability and trust while resisting improper overreach.
"Make no mistake: Kevin Guskiewicz is leaving Carolina – for Michigan State – because he had enough of political meddling," the organization said in the petition.