UNCW trustees approve three finalists for chancellor

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Today, the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Wilmington approved a list of three finalists to recommend to UNC President Thomas Ross for the post of UNCW chancellor. The slate of candidates had been recommended by the UNCW Chancellor Search Committee to the Board of Trustees for its approval.

The search committee has been working for the past five months to help identify a successor for Rosemary DePaolo. Chancellor at UNCW since 2003, DePaolo announced last fall that she planned to step down as chancellor and retire from UNCW June 30, 2011.

While the committee’s work is now complete, the search process continues. Each of the finalists will be invited in the near future to meet with President Ross and members of the UNC leadership team. Once a final candidate has been selected, he or she will be recommended to the UNC Board of Governors for its approval. It is anticipated that final approval and an announcement of the new UNCW chancellor will occur sometime in May.

Search committee chair Wendy Murphy, who is also chair of the UNCW Board of Trustees, said she is pleased with the committee’s recommendations and excited that the search has reached this stage in the process.

“It has been my pleasure to serve as chair of this committee and to help guide the selection of a new chancellor for UNCW at this critically important point in our university’s history,” she said. “While we do not yet know who will take on this exciting and challenging role, let me assure you that I and the members of the search committee feel confident that any of the three recommended candidates have the skills, experiences, knowledge and leadership qualities to take UNCW to its next level of achievement.”

After interviewing a number of top candidates during a series of “airport interviews” March 18-20 in Chapel Hill, the search committee narrowed its search to five candidates, and each one was invited to spend a day on the UNCW campus and interact with selected members of the faculty, staff and student body. Candid feedback was solicited by the search committee on each of these candidates and, as a direct result of that feedback, the committee recommended three outstanding candidates to the UNCW Board of Trustees.

Murphy said the committee could not have completed its work without the input and participation of many people on campus and in the community. She indicated that the suggestions, ideas and comments from many people were extremely valuable in guiding the search committee’s deliberations. “I want to take this opportunity to thank the members of the search committee, along with countless other individuals at UNCW and throughout the greater Wilmington community who were an integral part of our process,” Murphy said.

The 16-member UNCW Chancellor Search Committee, which included representation from UNCW faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees and community members, held its first meeting Nov. 12, 2010. At that time, President Ross officially charged the committee and provided them with the characteristics and qualifications he wanted to see in the next leader of UNCW.

The committee scheduled a series of open forums designed to solicit input in the process from the campus community and the general public. They listened for several hours Dec. 1 as faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members shared their thoughts about the attributes they felt were important for the university’s next chancellor and the future direction of UNCW.

Committee members used what they learned during those sessions and from responses received online to develop a detailed position description and leadership statement designed to attract highly qualified candidates to the job. Throughout the process, the committee worked with Dan Parker of Parker Executive Search, a national search firm with offices in Atlanta, as well as with Ann Lemmon, associate vice president for human resources for the UNC system.

For more information on the UNCW chancellor search process, go to: http://uncw.edu/chancellorsearch/index.html

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