Dear Carolina Community:
We are very pleased to share with you that the UNC Board of Governors today appointed Dr. William L. Roper, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health Care, as interim president of the UNC System, effective January 1, 2019. As interim president, Dr. Roper will oversee 16 university campuses across the state and the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics. Dr. Roper will succeed current President Margaret Spellings, who recently announced her resignation.
Dr. Roper has devoted his life to improving the health and welfare of the citizens of our state and nation. He joined UNC-Chapel Hill as dean of the School of Public Health in 1997. In 2004, he became CEO of UNC Health Care, dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs. In those roles, he has expanded the reach of the health care system and medical school and helped improve the health of all North Carolinians. He has also been a passionate advocate for health issues that affect residents of North Carolina at the state and federal levels. Under Dr. Roper’s leadership, UNC Health Care has expanded into a statewide system with more than a dozen hospitals, more than 30,000 employees and nearly $5 billion in annual revenue. His commitment to teaching and training the next generation of physicians has improved access across the state, especially in rural areas.
Prior to his time at Carolina, Dr. Roper was director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a senior member of White House staff and an administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration. He held leadership positions in the White House for both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
His intimate working knowledge of the UNC System makes him well positioned to take advantage of the strategies and initiatives put in place by President Spellings to make higher education in our state more affordable and accessible. It has been a privilege to work with him at Carolina, and we have deep admiration for all he has accomplished in the health care field. We look forward to continuing those efforts on behalf of the nation’s top public higher education system.
We have also greatly enjoyed working with President Spellings over the last few years and share her deep commitment to access and affordability. Her contributions to public higher education for North Carolinians have been a force for good in our state. We wish her the very best in her next endeavor.
With Dr. Roper assuming his new position in January, we will move quickly to appoint an interim medical school dean and vice chancellor for medical affairs as the national search continues for the permanent role.
Carol L. Folt
Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost