UNC – Chapel Hill is adding a new position that will report directly to Chancellor Carol Folt.
The creation of the vice chancellor for public affairs & secretary to the university was approved by the UNC System Board of Governors at its meeting on Friday.
Folt wrote in a letter advocating for the position that the new hire would report directly to the chancellor and serve as a member of Folt’s “senior team.” The new vice chancellor would be charged with monitoring and advocating “for opportunities across state and federal resources for critical University programs.”
UNC – Chapel Hill brought in $755 million in federal funding and $481 million from the state over the last fiscal year to fund research and initiatives at the institution, according to Folt’s letter. She said the “sheer size of UNC – Chapel Hill’s portfolio” warranted the creation of the new position.
Folt also wrote that the new position would allow the university to better align priorities with the UNC System after its newly created senior vice president of external affairs was announced last month.
Joel Curran has been serving as the vice chancellor for communications and public affairs at UNC over the last two-and-a-half years – a newly created job as of 2013. Folt wrote that Curran came on board “at a time when our well-chronicled academic issues were re-escalating,” referring to the Wainstein Report into the university’s paper-class scandal. Folt said that she also asked Curran to take over management of the Office of Public Records at UNC – Chapel Hill earlier this year, pointing out the university is “easily one of the highest-volume processors nationally among our peer institutions” in regards to public records. That status is very closely connected with the Wainstein Report; Folt noted the university has posted more than one million pages of the five million-page investigation over the last nine months. These reasons are another factor as to why the university needs the new vice chancellor position, according to Folt.
The new position will also serve as the secretary of the university’s Board of Trustees.
The newly approved vice chancellor will be responsible for a four-person staff, according to materials submitted with the request for the position approval.
The proposed salary range for the position is between $171,026 and $342,052. There is no word yet on when Folt would like to have the new vice chancellor in place.