With President Tom Ross having stepped down in early January and President-elect Margaret Spellings not set to begin her new role until March 1, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Junius J. Gonzales will serve as Interim UNC President during the intervening two-months. The UNC Board of Governors elected Gonzales for the temporary leadership role at its December meeting.
While assuming the president’s responsibilities along with his normal leadership duties, Gonzales is focused on setting the stage for Spellings to hit the ground running when she arrives this spring.
“I’m honored to have been selected by the board to shepherd the University during this transition,” Gonzales said. “We are all very fortunate that President Ross is leaving the University in outstanding shape. My commitment is to maintain that current level of progress and momentum so that President-elect Spellings has the smoothest transition possible.”
As the senior vice president who is focused on the system’s educational and research missions, Gonzales is in a perfect position to assist Spellings in her objective to make the University a national model for access and quality.
Gonzales’ normal duties include monitoring academic achievement, faculty support, overseeing academic planning and improving retention and graduation rates. He and his staff work closely with chancellors and chief academic officers on each campus to ensure UNC undergraduate and graduate students have a robust set of opportunities with regards to research, internships and mentoring.
“President-elect Spellings and I share many of the same goals for academic achievement for our system, and I look forward to working with her to continue to increase the level of degree attainment in our state,” Gonzales said.
Written by Phillip Ramati