Cynthia Demetriou Named Associate Provost for Student Engagement, Enrollment and Retention

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

After a national search, Cynthia Demetriou has been appointed the associate provost for student engagement, enrollment and retention at UNCW, the university announced today.

Demetriou, who will begin her new role on Oct. 4, is joining UNCW from a similar position at the University of Arizona, where she served as vice provost for student success and retention innovation.

The associate provost of student engagement, enrollment and retention is a newly created position that will provide comprehensive leadership for the student recruitment, undergraduate admissions operations and graduate admissions processing; registrar operations; financial aid and scholarships; student advising; student retention; student-athlete support services; and military-affiliated student support functions.

Demetriou will report to the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs and is a member of the provost’s cabinet.

“Dr. Demetriou brings a robust set of experiences to UNCW that will ensure our enrollment and retention efforts are driven by institutional values and excellence in the student experience,” said Provost James J. Winebrake. "I am confident under Dr. Demetriou's leadership, we will be able to integrate enrollment, engagement and retention functions in innovative new ways that best serve the needs of our students."

Retention efforts are increasingly important as part of an effective enrollment management plan.

“Enrollment and retention are not separate, individual steps; rather, they are part of a continuous process that must occur repeatedly until a student crosses the finish line to degree completion,” said Demetriou. “The goal is to provide an integrated roadmap supporting students throughout their collegiate journey.”

Demetriou held several positions at UNC-Chapel Hill, including associate dean and director of retention, retention coordinator, The Finish Line Project executive director, interim coordinator of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars, and director and founder of Carolina Firsts.

Her research focuses on student success, including positive development and student retention, a sense of belonging and microaffirmations. She earned a Ph.D. in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, an Ed.M. from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree in English at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

“This is an exciting time of growth for the university, as UNCW aspires to reach the next level of excellence in education and research while maintaining its authentic commitment to keep students first and at the heart of all that they do,” said Demetriou. “I am looking forward to advancing the educational mission and institutional performance measures for enrollment and retention as well as the academic and personal success of all students at UNCW.”

 --Venita Jenkins