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December 2007

Chancellor Sullivan to retire

Dr. Patricia A. Sullivan, who became UNCG's first woman chancellor in 1995, will retire from the position, effective July 31.

Chancellor Patricia Sullivan at the December Board of Trustees meeting shortly after her announcement.

Chancellor Patricia Sullivan at the December Board of Trustees meeting shortly after her announcement.


“It has been the greatest privilege and honor to lead this university,” Sullivan said, making the announcement at the Dec. 6 Board of Trustees meeting. “UNCG is teeming with great people working together to make great things happen.

“As chancellor, I have been able to work closely with those who share a deep sense of purpose and dedication for seeing UNCG evolve to be a prestigious, top-tier university.”

Although she is stepping down from the chancellor's position, Sullivan will not be leaving the university. After a year's research leave, she plans to return, possibly in a faculty position or to handle special projects.

The UNCG Board of Trustees will soon form a broadly representative search committee to locate a successor. Once its search is completed, the Board of Trustees will forward a slate of finalists to President Erskine Bowles for consideration. The new chancellor, upon nomination by the president, must be elected by the UNC Board of Governors, the policy-making body of the multi-campus University of North Carolina.

Sullivan is UNCG's ninth chief executive. She took over as chancellor on Jan. 1, 1995, succeeding Dr. William E. Moran.

UNC President Erskine B. Bowles praised Sullivan's years at UNCG.

“For the past 13 years, UNCG and the larger Triad region have benefited enormously from Pat Sullivan's leadership and vision,” Bowles said. “She is now the most senior chancellor within our university, and she has earned the respect and admiration of colleagues across our state and nation.

“Through word and deed, she has kept campus decision-making clearly focused on the needs of our students, even as she sought to expand and strengthen academic offerings, promote research, modernize campus facilities and increase diversity.

“Under her quiet but forceful leadership, UNCG has also helped set the gold standard for engaged public service and collaborative partnerships that support economic and community development efforts. As an academic leader and private citizen, she offers living proof that real success comes from doing what's right and in the public interest.”

Under her guidance, UNCG's Students First Campaign has become the most successful fundraising initiative in UNCG history, and it is expected to exceed $100 million when it concludes in 2009. Through Nov. 30, the campaign had raised more than $87.5 million. Early success was so great that the original goal of $78.2 million million was increased to $100 million in September of 2006.

“Pat's tenure at UNCG will long be remembered as a period of growth, expansion, and new visions,” said Linda Arnold Carlisle, '72, trustee and co-chair of the Students First Campaign. “From day one, she has outworked and outpaced everyone with whom she works.

“We all marvel at her capacity to get things done, provide insightful leadership and still be attentive to people's needs. She is one of the most compassionate and caring people I have ever known. While Pat will be missed as chancellor, we are both grateful and blessed to have had her talents and dedication for these 13 years — the Sullivan Years.”

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