The UNC System
History of the University
In North Carolina all the public educational institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees are part of the University of North Carolina. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the constituent institutions of the multicampus state university.
The University of North Carolina, chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1789, was the first public university in the United States to open its doors and the only one to graduate students in the 18th century. The first class was admitted in Chapel Hill in 1795. For the next 136 years the only campus of the University of North Carolina was at Chapel Hill.
In 1877 the North Carolina General Assembly began sponsoring additional institutions of higher education, diverse in origin and purpose. Five were historically black institutions, and another was founded to educate Native Americans. Several were created to prepare teachers for the public schools. Others had a technological emphasis. One is a training school for performing artists.
In 1931 the North Carolina General Assembly redefined the University of North Carolina to include three state-supported institutions: the campus at Chapel Hill (now the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering at Raleigh (now North Carolina State University), and the North Carolina College for Women (Woman’s College) at Greensboro (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro). The new multicampus University operated with one board of trustees and one president. By 1969 three additional campuses had joined the University through legislative action: the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
In 1971 the General Assembly passed legislation bringing into the University of North Carolina the state’s 10 remaining public senior institutions, each of which had until then been legally separate: Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina School of the Arts, Pembroke State University, Western Carolina University, and Winston-Salem State University. This action created a 16-campus University. In l985 the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a residential high school for gifted students, was declared an affiliated school of the University, and it became the 17th constituent institution.
The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body legally charged with “the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions.” It elects the president, who administers the University. The 32 voting members of the board are elected by the North Carolina General Assembly for four-year terms. Former board chairs and board members who are former governors of North Carolina may continue to serve for limited periods as nonvoting members emeriti. The president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, or that student’s designee, is also a nonvoting member. The UNC System Office is in Chapel Hill, NC.
Each of the 17 institutions is headed by a chancellor, who is chosen by the Board of Governors on the president’s nomination and is responsible to the president. Each institution has a board of trustees, consisting of eight members elected by the Board of Governors, four appointed by the governor, and the president of the student body, who serves ex officio. (The North Carolina School of the Arts has two additional ex officio members.) Each board of trustees holds extensive powers over academic and other operations of its institution on delegation from the Board of Governors.
The UNC System Office
Margaret Spellings, B.A.
Meredith Didier, B.A.
Chief of Staff
Steven Hopper, M.S.
Interim Vice President and CIO
Senior Associate Vice President and Secretary of the University
Camille Barkley, M.B.A.
Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications
Matthew Brody, M.S.
Vice President for Human Resources
Sean Bulson, Ed.D.
Interim Vice President for University and P–12 Partnerships
Joanna Carey Cleveland, J.D.
Vice President for Legal Affairs and Deputy General Counsel
Dan Cohen-Vogel, Ph.D.
Vice President for Data and Analytics
Scott Daugherty, J.D.
Interim Vice President for International, Community and Economic Engagement
Karrie Dixon, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
Josh Ellis, B.A.
Associate Vice President for Media Relations
Junius J. Gonzales, M.B.A.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Associate Vice President for Safety and Emergency Operations
Cameron Howell, Ph.D.
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
Kevin Howell, J.D.
Interim Vice President for Federal Affairs,
Senior Vice President for External Affairs
Andrew P. Kelly, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy
Vice President for Financial Planning and Analysis
Timothy Minor, M.P.A.
Vice President for University Advancement
Drew Moretz, B.A.
Vice President for State Government Relations
Shun Robertson, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Policy Development and Analysis
Lynne Sanders, B.A.
Vice President for Compliance and Audit
Thomas Shanahan, J.D.
Senior Vice President for Governance, Legal, and Risk and General Counsel
Brian Sickora, B.S.
Executive Director and General Manager, UNC-TV
Kim van Noort, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Programs, Faculty and Research
Rick Whitfield, Ed.D.
Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Budget
Vice President for Business Federal Affairs
Vice President for Digital Learning
Vice President for Communications