UNC system President Molly Broad nominated Moeser as she brought the selection committee's recommendation to the board.
The Board of Governors had to move quickly to get Moeser, who was also in the running to head up the University of Florida.
"Because of the great support for higher education in the state of North Carolina, and because of the momentum of that tradition, because of the support that has been gathered and the leadership that has been brought to bear previously, this university does stand on the precipice of being the very best. That is both an enormous challenge and a great vision, and one that I would relish. That's what attracted me. It was the audacity, if you will, of that vision," Moeser told the board.
At a news conference, Moeser called for more private support to the university.
"One of the things that you can identify as a potential weakness is the fact that the endowment is not of the stature that it ought to have," Moeser says.
Moeser will have to face other challenges such as building needs and the intellectual climate. Though they know little about him, students are getting a good impression.
"The students have been worried about the increasing tuition and I think there will be concerns that have already been voted on so he will have to work with that," says UNC student Ann Hughes.
Richard Stevens, chairman of the search committee, says they wanted the best person to lead the university.
"First and foremost, we wanted the best leader, and I believe that's where we are today," Stevens says. "I absolutely believe that's where we are today."
The 61-year-old Moeser will take over as chancellor on August 15, earning a salary of $255,000.
Former UNC vice president William McCoy has been interim chancellor sinceMichael Hooker died of cancer last June.