UNC Charlotte has begun the search for the University’s fifth chancellor to replace Philip Dubois, the longest serving chancellor in the entire University of North Carolina System, holding his position at UNC Charlotte since 2005.

UNC Charlotte has completed the first of many steps in order to find the school’s next chancellor, naming the official search committee. The search committee includes 16 representatives, seven of who currently serve on the institution’s Board of Trustees, the highest governing body of the institution. 

UNC Charlotte said in a statement that Michael L. Wilson ’93, chair of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees, will oversee this committee.

Wilson commented saying, “The search committee is a diverse and accomplished group of leaders who are passionate about UNC Charlotte’s mission and values.” 

Wilson went on to add, “Since Chancellor Dubois announced his intention to retire a year in advance, it allows the search committee ample time to recruit and recommend high quality, visionary candidates to lead the next chapter of this great university.”

The next two steps include selecting an outside search firm to do background checks and seeking out qualified candidates to add to a candidate pool. At the same time, the third step — the campus community giving insight into what they want in the University’s next chancellor — has already begun. UNC Charlotte has opened an online public forum where students, staff, alumni and any member of the public can provide comments about what they want in UNC Charlotte’s next chancellor.

After these steps are complete, UNC Charlotte will begin drafting a leadership statement in coordination with a third-party search firm which will list what they are looking for in the school’s next chancellor and a candidate pool of nearly two dozen candidates will be initially chosen by the search committee and search firm. That list of candidates will then be reviewed, evaluated and narrowed to a smaller pool of candidates.

At this point, the process becomes confidential so as to not compromise the selection process or identities of candidates. “Airport interviews” are done often in a hotel near a local airport to protect the identity of candidates.

Once the Search Committee identifies ideal candidates, they will submit those to the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees who will then vote on candidates to recommend to UNC System Interim President Bill Roper.

Upon receiving the three candidates, the president of the UNC System will conduct extensive background checks and interviews to identify one final candidate to submit to the Board of Governors or send the process back to the Board of Trustees for further consideration. 

The Board of Governors will review the candidate and the terms of appointment to office and vote to elect or deny the nominee to the position of chancellor, thus eventually approving the next chancellor of UNC Charlotte.

The policy of selecting chancellors was recently revised after failed searches at Western Carolina and East Carolina. The search at Western Carolina was compromised when a board member revealed candidate information to the outside consulting firm. Additional problems arose at the state level, when a Board of Governors member requested to be named acting chancellor. The search at East Carolina failed when the outside search firm faced various challenges during the selection process and opted to return or refund the payment it received from the UNC System. 

UNC Charlotte is expected to attract candidates from across the nation as it is one of the fastest growing and largest universities in North Carolina at almost 30,000 students. 

The new chancellor will join Bonnie Cone, who served as the director of the Charlotte Center from 1946-1949, President of Charlotte College from 1949-1965 and acting chancellor from 1965-1966, followed by Dean W. Colvard, who was the first official chancellor of UNC Charlotte serving from 1966-1978, followed by the second chancellor E.K. Fretwell who served from 1978-1989, followed by James H Woodward who served 1989 until 2005, to the current Chancellor Philip Dubois, who has served UNC Charlotte as chancellor since 2005 as well as provost from 1991-1997.

The next leader of UNC Charlotte will be charged with the adoption of a new “master-plan” for UNC Charlotte’s facilities, addressing the safety at UNC Charlotte following the on-campus shooting in April 2019 and addressing additional fields of growth including a medical school, law school and other programs that have been discussed in recent years.

Philip Dubois will officially leave his post at UNC Charlotte on June 30, 2020. Dubois shared this summer that he and his wife will retire in Georgia.

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