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Press Release

The interim chancellor and former interim provost has extensive academic and administrative experience in North Carolina and Texas

RALEIGH, N.C. – Dr. Kimberly van Noort was elected the ninth chancellor of the University of North Carolina Asheville today in a unanimous vote by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

UNC System President Peter Hans recommended van Noort, the university’s interim chancellor and former interim provost, to the board. Her election followed a national search that began with more than 130 applicants and resulted in three finalists recommended by a 13-member search advisory committee and the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees.

She will begin the role on Jan. 1, 2024.

Van Noort said she was “thrilled, honored, humbled and excited” to be named chancellor. She said UNC Asheville was the first campus she visited when she came to North Carolina in 2016.

“I remember vividly how it struck me as a very special place with incredible potential,” she said. “Seven years later, after serving first as interim provost and now interim chancellor since the start of the new year, I can easily report that my first impression has been confirmed ten-fold.”

Before her interim leadership roles at UNC Asheville, van Noort held high-level academic positions at the UNC System for six years, where she was senior vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer since 2018, and before that, vice president for academic programs, faculty and research. She led efforts to improve student success and mental health support, launched initiatives to ease the path for transfer students, and oversaw a team that developed online courses and a digital institute for faculty development during the pandemic.

At UNC Asheville, van Noort has focused on enrollment, financial aid, and fostering a proactive, student-friendly approach, Hans said. The university saw a 25% increase in first-year students this fall, and a 90% retention rate among all students.

“UNC Asheville is an extraordinary place with a unique role among public universities,” Hans said. “It deserves a chancellor who can celebrate and expand the mission of a public liberal arts and sciences university, and Dr. van Noort is absolutely the right leader for the job. Her deep background in the humanities and her wide-ranging skills as an administrator are the perfect combination for strengthening UNC Asheville and putting a fantastic education within reach of more students.”

Roger Aiken, chair of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees, said van Noort’s experience on the campus and within North Carolina made her stand out among a talented pool of candidates. He said she was the right person to carry the university forward.

“The UNC Asheville Board of Trustees has been very impressed with what Dr. van Noort has been able to accomplish in a very short period of time in her interim role, and we have every confidence that she will position the university for continued success and growth in the years to come,” Aiken said. “We are equally impressed with the strong senior leadership team in place, which will provide key support to fulfill her vision for the university’s future.”

“Dr. van Noort has proven herself to be a leader full of passion, creativity, and vision for the future of UNC Asheville,” said UNC Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey. “During her time as interim chancellor she worked closely with faculty, staff, and administrators, stabilizing UNCA’s enrollment and working to meet the institution’s strategic goals. I can’t think of anyone more suited to the job, and I wish Dr. van Noort all the best in the role.”

A scholar of French literature, she previously served 20 years as a faculty member and academic leader at the University of Texas at Arlington, a public Research 1 university with 37,000 students. During her time at UT Arlington, she was an associate vice provost for undergraduate studies, director of University College, associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and a professor of French.

A native of Nebraska, van Noort earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska and a doctorate in French Language and Literature from Boston University.