Academic Affairs

Text: Provost's Perspectives, An Update from Provost Sheerer

February 16, 2018                                       NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

Dear Colleagues,

The spring semester is well underway despite the many cold spells we have experienced! I have enjoyed all the special events that have occurred during January and now February. Faculty and staff continue to do their excellent work as the university moves forward with changes on a number of fronts. 

Thanks to everyone who helped make Homecoming such a fantastic success. We had wide participation from all over campus – the colleges, Student Affairs, Advancement, Alumni, etc. And we won the men’s basketball game! 

Chancellor's Absence

The Chancellor has returned home from Duke Hospital and is recovering well. In my interim role, I have been meeting frequently with the leadership team as we work through the “must do” list and those items that can wait for the Chancellor’s return. Everyone is pitching in and covering all the important things.

We are fortunate to have a strong administrative team, very capable deans and department chairs, and competent faculty and staff. This university will remain strong and vital despite any disruptions that may occur.

Graduation Exit Survey Report

The Office of Institutional Research and Planning, under the direction of Dr. Andy Mauk, has produced a report with the above title. Below are the significant findings based on a survey given to our graduating seniors.

  • Demographics for the spring 2017 survey – 1,731 undergraduates
  • Nine out of 10 graduates would choose UNCW again
  • 87% agreed that the availability of courses was sufficient to complete their degree requirements on time
  • 82% agreed that they received academic advising that supported their academic progress
  • 85% agreed that they experienced at least one mentoring relationship with a faculty or staff member
  • 95% agreed that faculty were adequately available to support their academic development
  • 93% agreed that UNCW provided sufficient programs and activities that foster the development of interpersonal skills
  • Nine out of 10 graduates agreed that UNCW provided sufficient programs and activities that develop essential life skills for engaged citizenship
  • 97% agreed that their UNCW experience led to enhanced intellectual development and critical thinking
  • 89% agreed that UNCW’s institutional climate is embodied by mutual respect
  • 80% agreed that the UNCW experience promoted the value of cultural awareness and diversity

Space Planning

We continue to take all requests for space allocations or reallocations through our space planning process under the Office of Institutional Research and Planning. This process, chaired by Woody Sutton under the supervision of Dr. Andy Mauk, then makes connections to Facilities to lay out the costs involved with the requests.

Since this process has now been approved and signed by Chancellor Sartarelli, no individual unit or college should orchestra space changes in their own areas. The coordinated allocation process tries to ensure that there is equitable use of all available space.

Board of Governors

On March 22, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors (BOG) will be meeting on our campus. This is their regular meeting. Committee meetings are held throughout the day on Thursday, and the full board meets on Friday morning, March 23.

One of our alumna, Wendy Murphy, is now a member of the BOG. She is a graduate of the Watson College of Education.

Five Trends in Higher Education in 2018

Education DIVE has proposed the following five trends upon which to reflect:

  1. Blurred lines: nonprofit and for-profit providers will work together toward new business models. Purdue-Kaplan’s New U is an example of this blended model. (See the winter issue of Converge from the Center for Digital Education for more information.)
  2. U.S higher education as a top international export – mirco-campuses in other countries are on the rise!
  3. Re-imagining physical campus space – As teaching delivery models have evolved, so have the spaces needed for learning. The integration of technology and smaller, more collaborative classroom models are getting focused attention.
  4. More unbundling and microcredentials – students are looking for shorter programs that specifically target skills and competencies needed to fill vacant jobs.
  5. Continued focus on accelerating mobile apps. Technology will be called upon to deliver a comprehensive student experience.

Expansion of Honors College

As our university continues to grow, so will the Honors College. The longer term goal is 200 students in that program by 2020. You may be aware that Dr. Kate Bruce has announced her plans to return to faculty in the Department of Psychology. Consequently, a search for the new Associate Dean and Director of the Honors College has been initiated. We hope to have the new person hired by June.

Here's to a continued productive spring semester!


Marilyn Sheerer signature

Marilyn Sheerer
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

The content of this publication was created by the Office of the Provost, Academic Affairs Division. Questions? Contact Paula Cameron at