UNCW Names Paul Townend Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Friday, March 04, 2016

The University of North Carolina Wilmington has named Paul Townend as the Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, the university announced today. Townend, associate professor and chair of the UNCW Department of History since 2008, will assume the role on April 1, 2016.

“Paul is an exceptional leader who has demonstrated collaboration in everything that he does,” Provost Marilyn Sheerer said. “He has served very successfully as the chair of the Department of History; and he has been significantly involved in undergraduate curriculum development, particularly with university studies. UNCW will continue to benefit from his effective leadership in this new role.”

In his new role, Townend will provide leadership for UNCW’s engagement in undergraduate education and oversee several academic programs, including ETEAL, General Education Assessment, Honors Scholars College, the Center for the Support of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CSURF) and Undergraduate Studies. He replaces Martin Posey, who was appointed director of the Center for Marine Science in January 2016.

When Townend moves into his new position, he will also oversee University College as part of the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. University College serves all first-year students through advising, the common reading program, learning communities and other programs.

“I am honored by this opportunity to collaborate with my colleagues in ensuring that UNCW remains dedicated to its principle mission of offering all of our undergraduate students a place where they can grow and thrive as learners,” Townend said. “I particularly appreciate this chance to work closely with our fantastic faculty across all our schools, colleges and programs, and our leadership team under Provost Sheerer and Chancellor Sartarelli. UNCW has a great tradition of undergraduate education; I look forward to an even better future.”

Townend joined the UNCW faculty in 2001. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate University as well as a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in British and Irish history from the University of Chicago. His academic involvement on campus includes supporting the university’s living and learning communities; previously serving as his department’s undergraduate coordinator; participating on academic boards for, and supporting programs offered by, the University College, Honors College and CSURF; and actively collaborating with colleagues across campus to advocate for UNCW’s comprehensive applied learning initiative.

This position reports to the provost and works collaboratively with the vice provost and deans. College of Arts and Sciences Dean Aswani Volety and the history department have worked collaboratively to select a new chair, and Townend will handle some transition duties between now and the end of the semester in May.