Chancellor Sartarelli Outlines UNCW's “Trajectory of Success” in Meeting with UNC System Board of Governors

Friday, March 23, 2018

With a clear emphasis on results, Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli detailed UNCW’s “trajectory of success” in a presentation to the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors and President Margaret Spellings on Thursday.

“We want to achieve excellence in everything we do,” Sartarelli said at a luncheon also attended by members of the UNCW Board of Trustees, administrators and other invited guests. “Goals, objectives and vision without measures don’t work. We stress metrics, and we’re following those metrics very closely.”

Sartarelli didn’t ask the group to take his word for it. Rather, they heard from five employers who regularly hire UNCW graduates, as well as three students whose UNCW education prepared them to compete for prestigious national scholarships – the NOAA Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship, the U.S. State Department’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the Fulbright Scholarship.

Among the employers who said they often hire UNCW graduates was Dr. Yousry Sayed, founder of Quality Chemical Laboratories, who said about half of his employees are UNCW alumni. Sayed, a former UNCW faculty member, has pledged $5 million over five years to support the development of master’s and doctoral programs in pharmaceutical sciences.

Representatives of other employers – Live Oak Bank and independent spinoffs nCino and Apiture, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, New Hanover County Schools and PPD – said UNCW graduates are well-prepared to meet the challenges of today’s workplace.

The presentation included a progress report on how UNCW is meeting or moving toward the priorities outlined in its Strategic Plan. “Growth with quality” is the key to UNCW’s successes and its future, Sartarelli said, pointing to numerous examples of the university’s improvement:

  • As UNCW grew from 5,000 students in 1980 to a record 16,487 in fall 2017, SAT scores also improved. The average SAT score for entering freshmen in 2017 was 1248.
  • UNCW’s graduation rates are 3rd in the UNC System, with a six-year graduation rate of 78 percent.
  • The university ranks 1st in the UNC System in undergraduate degree efficiency, meaning degrees awarded per 100 full-time students.
  • UNCW continues to attract and retain increasingly diverse high-achieving students, as well as faculty with strong teaching and research expertise.

The university’s performance plan through the 2021-22 academic year includes enrolling nearly 8 percent more low-income students and 5 percent more students from rural areas, cutting the achievement gap among low-income students by half, increasing research funding by 134 percent and producing 35.6 percent more graduates with critical workforce credentials.

To make that happen, UNCW also is planning for new programs and academic and residential buildings to accommodate continued enrollment growth, Sartarelli said. 

UNCW is the second stop on President Spellings’ 2018 State of the University Tour, and the BOG is holding its March meeting on campus.

-- Tricia Vance