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Message from Chancellor Volety: State Budget Support

Dear Faculty and Staff: 

As I have often said, UNCW’s people are our most important asset. Our “Soar Higher” Strategic Plan clearly conveys our intention to invest in priorities that support faculty, staff and students and our community. Thanks to generous support included in the General Assembly’s recent state budget, UNCW is soaring into the future with much-needed funding to enhance our commitment to people, our region and the State of North Carolina. 

The budget includes well-deserved raises for faculty and staff. The budget references a 7% increase for employees across the biennium (4% this year, retroactive to July 1, 2023, and 3% next year). As exciting as this news is, please remember it will take time for our university and others to implement the Annual Raise Process. Please be patient with us as we work through guidance from the UNC System Office for the raises and other opportunities funded by the budget. 

Overall, the entire UNC System received strong support, as President Peter Hans said. Recurring funding from the General Assembly for UNCW will exceed $198 million this year and over $200 million next year. Newly designated UNCW projects include, but are not limited to:

  • $8 million recurring to develop programs and services in critical workforce and research areas;
  • $14 million in repair and renovation (R&R) funds over the next two years for Cameron Hall, DeLoach Hall and Kenan Auditorium (reaching nearly $80 million over the next four years);
  • $14 million this year and $12 million next year for smaller R&R projects across our campus;
  • $500,000 recurring annually for a comprehensive transfer collegiate experience program to serve students with intellectual and developmental delays; and
  • $8 million in planning funds for a new academic building.

I want to thank our legislators for their commitment to public higher education across North Carolina, including our region of the state. By investing in UNCW, the General Assembly is investing in people, programs and a place that is committed to transforming lives for the better. 

UNCW has many advocates in Raleigh. I appreciate the support we received at the General Assembly from the leadership of both the House and Senate, the UNC System Office, the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, alumni, faculty, staff and community partners. 

I want to specifically thank two fierce advocates for our university who made a tremendous difference during this budget process: Mark Lanier and Marion R. Warren. 

As many of you know, Mark Lanier is the longtime assistant to the Chancellor and assistant Secretary to the UNCW Board of Trustees. Mark has worked tirelessly on behalf of UNCW for more than 30 years and his impact on our university can be seen across our campus and among our alumni and students. I know you join me in thanking Mark for all he has done for our university. 

With Mark’s transition to retirement underway, I brought in Marion R. Warren, an experienced judge, administrator and former dean, to serve as assistant to the chancellor and executive director for government and external relations. In this role, Marion will help oversee, coordinate and implement interactions between the university and statewide partners and supporters, including the General Assembly, the Governor's office, the UNC System Office, the UNC State Relations Council and other state agencies. I want to thank Marion for all he did in this budget cycle to move our university forward. 

Marion and Mark collaborated to effectively engage our legislative delegation, resulting in a very successful budget session for UNCW. The salary increases, combined with funding for many UNCW priorities, will help our community continue soaring high, soaring far and soaring together as Seahawks. If you have questions about any legislative action, please reach out to my office at

Yours in Seahawk Spirit,

Aswani K. Volety