UNC System President Peter Hans Charges Chancellor Search Committee

Monday, November 01, 2021

University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans met for the first time today with the newly appointed UNCW chancellor search committee to kick off the selection process for Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli’s successor. Sartarelli plans to retire on June 30, 2022. 

Hans opened the in-person meeting in Burney Hall with remarks of appreciation for the chancellor’s accomplishments during his tenure. 

“Thank you to my dear friend for a truly extraordinary job leading this institution,” said Hans. “Since Zito has been on the job, UNCW has grown stronger and weathered some of the toughest crises that Mother Nature has ever thrown at a public university. From hurricanes to pandemics, you name it, this leader has seen it all. He has stayed focused on a vision of UNC Wilmington as a highly competitive powerhouse institution for the region and the state and increasing national recognition for UNCW.” 

Hans then delivered his charge to the committee, reminding them of the gravity of their role.  

“The chancellor search is an important moment in the life of any institution,” said Hans. “Done right, this is a moment to solidify UNCW’s standing in the community, in the state and in the wider world of higher education. People are paying attention right now, and that's an opportunity to showcase the very best of UNCW. I know each of you is up to the task, and I’m in your corner. We will be in this together.” 

The 18-member committee discussed a proposed timeline, suggested by members of Hans’s UNC System Office, which guides the process for developing a strategy, selecting and interviewing candidates and ultimately making a minimum of three candidate recommendations to the UNCW Board of Trustees. Upon approval, the board will submit three candidate finalists to Hans, and he will conduct the finalists’ interviews. The final decision to elect and appoint a chancellor rests with the UNC Board of Governors based on Hans’ recommendation. 

Immediate next steps for the search committee include creating a leadership statement that will be used to advertise the position and convey points of pride and priorities for UNCW, as well as job description details and candidate qualifications. 

A series of listening forums for students, staff, faculty and community members will also be planned in the next few weeks. Feedback from these sessions will be used to help craft the leadership statement and vet applicants. Forums will be in-person and virtual to allow for as much input as possible. 

Committee chair Gidget Kidd ’91, also UNCW Board of Trustees chair, said the committee would like to have a new chancellor named before Chancellor Sartarelli leaves. She expressed the importance of shared Seahawk values and urged the committee to be a united front to move UNCW forward.  

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community can follow the progress of the selection process and submit feedback by completing a survey at the UNCW Chancellor Search website. 

“We are going to find a worthy successor to our great chancellor and move UNCW onward and upward,” said Hans.

-- Krissy Vick