Local News

UNC-CH Chancellor Stepping Down With Class of '08

Posted September 26, 2007 3:18 p.m. EDT
Updated September 26, 2007 11:22 p.m. EDT

— UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser received a standing ovation Wednesday after announcing he plans to leave the top post to become a professor at the university.

His voice cracking, Moeser said he'll relinquish the chancellor's job on June 30, 2008, the end of the academic and fiscal year.

UNC System President Erskine Bowles said they have already formed a committee and the search is on for a new chancellor.

As of Aug. 14, Moeser was making an annual salary of $337,800, according to public records.

Moeser said his decision to step down did not signal his retirement. After a year's research leave, Moeser said, he would return to teach freshmen. He also wants to teach faculty about leadership, he said.

The announcement came during his annual "State of the University" speech. Moeser said that making his announcement now gives the UNC Board of Trustees time to begin a search so a successor could begin July 1, 2008.

"He has done an extraordinary job, and he never once settled for less than best," Bowles said.

At 68, Moeser is Carolina's longest-serving chancellor since Christopher Fordham, who retired in 1988 after more than eight years in office.

The UNC Board of Governors unanimously elected Moeser April 14, 2000, and he started Aug. 15. He succeeded Interim Chancellor William McCoy, tapped after Michael Hooker's 1999 death.

Moeser championed a program to provide a Carolina education debt-free to deserving low-income students. He oversaw the most successful private fund-raising campaign in university history and an unprecedented physical transformation of the main campus.

Moeser also managed growth in faculty research funding, adoption of an academic plan, enhancements to undergraduate education and extensive globalization efforts.

A concert organist, he previously served as chancellor of the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, dean of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Kansas, dean of the College of Arts and Architecture at The Pennsylvania State University, and vice president for academic affairs and provost of the University of South Carolina.

A native of Colorado City, Texas, Moeser earned bachelor's and master’s degrees in music from the University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate from the University of Michigan.