Local News

New Leader Of Pack: James Oblinger Becomes 13th NCSU Chancellor

Posted October 8, 2004

— On Friday, the UNC Board of Governors unanimously voted to select James Oblinger as the new chancellor at North Carolina State University.

"N.C. State has a unique place in the history, quality of life and economic development of North Carolina," Oblinger said. "N.C. State takes seriously the public's trust and our role in addressing the relevant needs of the state. Our university can and will continue to be one of North Carolina's greatest resources. I'm honored to be chosen to lead this great institution."

Oblinger replaces Marye Ann Fox, who left N.C. State to become the chancellor at the University of California at San Diego. Dr. Robert Barnhardt took over on a temporary basis following Fox's departure.

Oblinger has been at North Carolina State University for the last 18 years. In 2003, he was named provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs.

"For one thing, he is a dedicated, hard worker. He has been with the university for a long time. He is a known quantity," said Wendell Murphy, of the N.C. State Board of Trustees. "I think, maybe the most important thing, is that he is what I would call a concensus builder. He brings people to the table and gets us all marching onto the same page."

The search committee said Oblinger's people skills is one reason he was selected as chancellor.

"This past year, we let him know which classes needed more sections offered and things like that, and he listened and really made sure he was able to do as much as possible," said N.C. State junior Jennifer Crutchfield.

"He came in and did an interview that was so much better than anybody else. He was just the perfect person at this time," said Bob Jordan, chairman of the search committee.

In recommending Oblinger, Broad said, "During nearly two decades of service to N.C. State University, Jim Oblinger has developed a deep understanding of the institution, its special relationship with the citizens of this state, and its vast potential for even greater service to the state and nation. While rising through the administrative ranks from associate dean to chief academic officer, he has proven himself to be a collaborative, consultative leader, one who has earned the trust and respect of his colleagues, the students, and other key campus constituencies."

Oblinger is N.C. State's 13th chancellor. He will be expected to keep the university's forward momentum going. Centennial Campus, the school's public and private research campus, is expected to double in size over the next five years. In 2005, N.C. State will announce the public portion of its capital campaign. Officials hope to raise $1 billion.

Oblinger made the announcement to his staff on Thursday. Staff members describe Oblinger as well-liked and well-connected within the community.

At $274,000, Oblinger's salary is higher than Marye Anne Fox's. It is also tied for the highest in the UNC system. UNC-CH Chancellor James Moeser also gets $274,000. By comparison, East Carolina University's newly named chancellor Steve Ballard makes $215,000. The lowest-paid chancellor in the state system is Elizabeth City State's Mickey Burnim, who makes $156,000.

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