Dear Carolina Community,
I am writing to let you know that Barbara Entwisle – whose leadership and commitment over the past five years have helped Carolina’s research program thrive – has decided to conclude her service as Vice Chancellor for Research and return to her role as a Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the College of Arts & Sciences following the current academic year. I want you to know how much I appreciate all she has done during her appointment, and I am excited about all that she will continue to contribute to our University when she returns to her research and teaching.
Barbara has been a member of Carolina’s faculty for 30 years, rising from assistant professor to associate professor to full professor – and being named Kenan Distinguished Professor in 2007. She served for eight years as director of the highly successful Carolina Population Center, and she has received numerous awards for her mentoring and teaching.
Since she became Interim Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development in 2010 – and then accepted the appointment to Vice Chancellor for Research in 2011 – Carolina’s research program has grown in size and stature. Under her leadership, UNC-Chapel Hill joined the ranks of the nation’s top ten research universities in 2015 and was credited with its biggest year of research activity ever.
Barbara’s leadership has been marked by an emphasis on increased interdisciplinary research, diversification of our research portfolio and strengthened support for crucial research infrastructure. She recently established a new Office of Industry Contracting to support businesses investing in UNC-Chapel Hill research. She has made important investments in UNC’s Office of Clinical Trials, put our Office of Technology Development on a sustainable path and is currently leading a transformation of our Office of Sponsored Research.
Research centers and institutes in particular have thrived under her leadership. Today the pan-university centers she oversees attract nearly eight dollars in external funding for each dollar of state funds they receive. Last year they experienced their best year ever, administering $167 million in new research awards – 21 percent of all awards Carolina received that year.
I know Barbara is looking forward to returning to her research and to teaching, and her colleagues and students will be fortunate to have her again in the faculty ranks. We will soon begin plans for a search process to identify the very best candidates for the vice chancellorship.
Please join me in thanking Barbara for her years of successful leadership as a vice chancellor. She has been a valued member of my senior leadership team and key to helping us remain one of the top public research universities in the nation.
Carol L. Folt