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UNCW Provost Names Five to New Leadership Roles, Announces Plans to Transition to Faculty

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

UNCW Provost Marilyn Sheerer has shared the following message with faculty and staff: 

As we prepare for a new academic year, we will be welcoming colleagues into new leadership roles. The importance of each of these leadership positions cannot be overstated, and as such, a lot of time has gone into making decisions that will move us forward in our academic mission while causing the least amount of disruption for our faculty, staff and students. We will also be bidding farewell to a long-serving Seahawk, whom we will miss dearly. 

I should also officially share that I plan to step back to faculty next summer. This was something I’d always planned to do after serving in the provost role for 5 years, and I am eager to begin my “second life” at UNCW as a Watson College of Education faculty member. I am certain that my experience as your provost for the past several years will help inform my work moving forward. I am grateful to all of you for the lessons I’ve learned about what it means to be a UNCW faculty member, and I am eager to be shoulder to shoulder with you at the 2020-21 convocation! 

I am pleased to announce the following appointments: 

Dr. Stuart Borrett has been named Associate Provost for Research and Innovation, effective immediately. Dr. Borrett has served as Interim Associate Provost for Research and President of the UNCW Research Foundation since last year. In his new role, Dr. Borrett will be UNCW’s chief research officer, assisting the university leadership in developing, coordinating and growing research activities. He will also oversee the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He came to UNCW in 2007 and brings to his new role a record of academic research accomplishments and leadership experience, as well as enthusiasm for helping UNCW continue to build its research capacity. 

Senior Associate Provost Rich Ogle will become Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, effective Aug. 1, as Dean Volety departs for his new role at Elon University. Dr. Ogle has been an invaluable member of my team since 2017, serving a dual role as deputy provost and the senior enrollment officer. He began his career as faculty in the Department of Psychology in 2002.  He served as Graduate Coordinator from 2009-2011 and Department Chair from 2011-2015. Dr. Ogle also served as CAS Associate Dean for Faculty Policy and Enrollment Management from 2015-17. 

The CAS leadership team has worked tirelessly to bring the College to its current position of strength. It is vital to maintain this position and to move forward with stability. I believe that Dr. Ogle’s leadership experience at the institutional level and knowledge of both the administrative and academic aspects of CAS will help ensure this strength and stability. As much as it creates a hole for me at the Academic Affairs level, the need to maintain the strength of CAS takes precedent. Rich will continue to oversee enrollment management (Admissions, Registrar and Scholarships and Financial Aid), and I will absorb many of his other current duties.     

Graduate School Dean Chris Finelli  will take on additional duties as Executive Director of Marine Sciences, overseeing the Center for Marine Science, the Shellfish Research Hatchery and MARBIONC on the Myrtle Grove campus, as well as the finfish mariculture center on Wrightsville Beach. Dr. Finelli is a former chair of the Department of Biology and Marine Biology and a former interim chair of Mathematics and Statistics, and has the breadth of experience to lead the continued growth and prominence of marine sciences at UNCW. His appointment is effective Aug. 1. 

Dr. Lynn Leonard will serve as the Director of the Center for Marine Science, effective Aug. 1. As a member of the Ten Million Dollar Club and former chair of the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Dr. Leonard brings to her new role a reputation for leadership and advancement of research. As Dr. Martin Posey returns to the faculty to devote more time to teaching and research, I would like to thank him for his service and leadership as CMS Director for the past three-and-a-half years. 

Dr. Christine Pesetski has been named Interim Director of University College. She has served as associate director since 2018. Dr. Pesetski brings energy and leadership experience to her new role, as well as a deep and growing understanding of UC personnel and practices. She will work closely with Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Paul Townend while the university conducts a search for a new director. 

Please join me in congratulating each of these individuals on their new leadership roles. I am confident that their expertise, experience and passion for education and research will help UNCW fulfill the priorities laid out in the 2016-21 Strategic Plan

Finally, I would like to thank Campus Space Planner Woody Sutton for his nearly 30 years of service as he prepares to retire from UNCW. His last day will be July 26, after which he will relocate to Texas to become Director of Space Management and Analysis at the University of Houston. As most of you know, on top of the rest of his accomplishments here, Woody had the challenging task of finding space on campus to relocate faculty and staff who were displaced by Hurricane Florence, and did so in a way that allowed us to reopen and recover much more effectively than we could have otherwise. Plans are underway for a reception (look for the invitation in SWOOP), and in the meantime, we wish him well in his new position. 

We will begin national searches for a provost and a dean of the College of Arts and Sciences this fall, and, of course, your input and participation in that process will be critical. Thank you for your continued passion, support and collaboration as we head into 2019-20! 

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