WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- James Moeser, chancellor emeritus and professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will become interim chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts on August 1. Moeser, who led UNC-Chapel Hill from 2000-2008, will succeed John Mauceri, who last fall announced that he would step down as chancellor on June 30 after seven years in the post. UNCSA Provost David Nelson will serve as acting chancellor from July 1 until Moeser’s arrival.
In announcing Moeser’s appointment, President Ross said: “James Moeser’s vast administrative experience and his demonstrated love of and commitment to the arts and humanities make him uniquely qualified to lead the School of the Arts during a time of transition. He understands the many challenges and opportunities before this very special campus of the University, and I am grateful that he has agreed to accept this important assignment. UNCSA will be in very capable hands during this interim period.”
A native of Lubbock, Tex., Moeser earned a bachelor of music degree in organ performance and a master’s of music in musicology from the University of Texas at Austin, completed advanced study in Berlin and Paris as a Fulbright scholar, and holds a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Michigan.
In 1966, at the age of 27, Moeser joined the faculty of the University of Kansas as an assistant professor and chair of the Department of Organ. After rising through the academic ranks, he was named dean of the School of Fine Arts in 1975. In 1984, he was named Althaus Distinguished Professor of Organ, becoming the first academic dean at KU ever to hold an endowed chair.
In 1986, Moeser joined Pennsylvania State University as dean of the College of Arts and Architecture. During his six-year tenure at PSU, he maintained an active concert schedule in the U.S. and Europe and served as president of the American Guild of Organists. In 1992, he played his last recital and was named vice president for academic affairs and provost of the University of South Carolina system, a post he held until being named chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1996.
Moeser became chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000. During his eight-year tenure at Carolina, he established the Carolina Covenant, a program to provide a debt-free education to talented students from low-income families. He was also credited with defending the University against attacks on academic freedom, overseeing the most successful capital campaign in the university’s history, supporting critical investments in scientific research, expanding globalization efforts, and creating the Carolina Performing Arts program.
Since leaving the chancellor’s office, Moeser has maintained an active role on Carolina’s campus. He co-teaches a first-year seminar in the Department of Music and leads a Faculty Learning Community on Leadership and Strategy for faculty members who have significant institutional leadership assignments. His many honors include the American Council on Education’s Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Duke University.
David Nelson has served as UNCSA Provost since 2010. He came to UNCSA from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he served as senior vice president of academic administration and dean of the faculty. He has taught at the collegiate level in varied disciplines, including music, religious studies, and cultural studies.
The UNCSA Board of Trustees has a search committee of trustees, faculty, students, and alumni working to help identify a permanent successor to Chancellor Mauceri. The Board of Trustees will forward a slate of finalists to President Ross for consideration. The new chancellor, upon nomination by the President, must be elected by the UNC Board of Governors.