UNC Asheville Provost Joseph Urgo Named Interim Chancellor, University Begins Search Process for Eighth Chancellor

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Joe Urgo

UNC President Margaret Spellings has appointed UNC Asheville Provost Joe Urgo to serve as interim chancellor upon Chancellor Mary K. Grant’s departure at the end of the year. President Spellings’ decision comes with the unanimous and enthusiastic support of the entire UNC Asheville Board of Trustees.

The appointment of an interim chancellor follows the announcement last month by Mary K. Grant, UNC Asheville’s seventh chancellor, that she is embarking on a new chapter of her professional life. Chancellor Grant has served the university since January 2015.

“I’m thrilled that Provost Urgo will assume the role of interim chancellor at the end of the year,” said UNC President Margaret Spellings. “Dr. Urgo has partnered with Chancellor Grant to develop and lead innovative new endeavors over the past three years—in line with the University’s Strategic Plan. Ensuring the continuity of leadership during this time of transition is critical for UNC Asheville, and there’s no doubt that the institution will be in great hands.”

In addition to the appointment of Provost Urgo as interim chancellor, President Spellings also approved the appointment of the members of UNC Asheville’s chancellor search committee.

The members of the search committee are:

Kennon Briggs (Search Committee Co-Chair), Chair, UNC Asheville Board of Trustees

Rick Lutovsky (Search Committee Co-Chair) Vice Chair, UNC Asheville Board of Trustees

Trey Adcock, Assistant Professor, Department of Education

Roger Aiken, Senior Vice President- Complex Manager, Wells Fargo

Karen K. Brown ’81, Board of Trustees

Leslie Casse ’86, Chair, Foundation Board / Co-Owner, AsheVillain LLC

Josh Cavanaugh, Chair, Staff Council / Payroll Manager, Administration and Finance

Michael Davis ’19, Executive of Diversity Initiatives, Student Government Association

Melodie Galloway, Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Music

Tim Hussey ’18, Student Trustee / President, Student Government Association

Lakesha McDay ’09, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Mission Health

Ted Meigs, GlaxoSmithKline Professor of Molecular and Chemical Biology, Department of Biology

Stacey Millett, Executive Director of Community Engagement

Ellen Pearson, Professor, Department of History

Mike Roach ’02, Chair, National Alumni Council / Legal Counsel, Novozymes

Robby Russell, Board of Trustees

Wilma Sherrill, Secretary, Board of Trustees

Micheal Stratton, Chair, Faculty Senate / Associate Professor, Department of Management and Accountancy

Paul Vest, President and CEO, YMCA of Western North Carolina

Al Whitesides, Buncombe County Commissioner

Bill Web, Board of Governors

Oscar Wong, Board of Trustees

 “There is no doubt that UNC Asheville will be well served by Dr. Urgo and these well-qualified, diverse search committee members,” said Briggs. “Over the past three years, the strong partnership between Chancellor Grant and Dr. Urgo has been a key ingredient in the success, excitement, and momentum we have been experiencing at UNC Asheville. We are delighted to have the benefit and experience of Dr. Urgo’s leadership, knowing that he will continue to work in partnership and collaboration with all members of the campus community.”

The search committee’s role is to recommend final candidates for chancellor to the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees, who will in turn recommend at least two candidates to UNC System President Margaret Spellings, who will forward her nomination to the UNC System Board of Governors. The chancellor search committee will hold its first meeting on Friday, October 27 on the campus of UNC Asheville.