I apologize for sending a second message in as many days, but have important news to share with the university community. With appreciation for his service to the University, I write to share that Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Anderson has decided to retire and step down from his role at the end of June 2021. I am grateful for Mark’s wisdom, leadership, and friendship.
During his tenure as Provost, Mark has strived to elevate the profile of UNC’s academic programs and research enterprise. He has also played a significant leadership role in articulating priorities and effecting initiatives that honor UNC’s commitments to be a ‘Students First’ institution. Most notably, this has included his work on the development of the university’s vision and first phase of the Rowing, Not Drifting 2030 strategic plan, which outline shared priorities and first actions that influence the ways our institution supports and shapes the lives and education of our students; creates a more inclusive environment that values the diverse backgrounds and contributions reflected across the university; facilitates critical inquiry, discovery, and creation among our faculty and students; supports the continuous growth and development of our people; and, builds vital connections to our local community and state.
Mark also made important contributions and difficult decisions throughout his time here that have helped to put UNC on a more sustainable financial footing, which will help us to make new investments in our future in the years to come. In recent months, his thoughtful leadership throughout the pandemic helped to ensure that UNC sustained delivery of its mission and, most importantly, that our students could continue to make progress toward the completion of their degrees. I know how much it means to Mark to see our students thrive and am so glad that he was able to celebrate the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 with us in person before he retires.
We will conduct a national search for UNC’s next Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and formally begin that process in the fall. As that process unfolds, we will seek input from our faculty and staff about our shared priorities in identifying candidates for the position. In the meantime, I have begun to take steps to retain an interim provost with executive experience to bridge the leadership of Academic Affairs between Mark’s retirement and the selection of a new, permanent provost. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
Please join me in thanking Mark for his leadership to UNC.
Rowing, Not Drifting,