WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The University of North Carolina Wilmington is welcoming its fourth chancellor as former Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo starts her life in retirement.
Gary Miller officially began his term at UNCW Friday, July 1. One of his first actions was to appoint a Chancellor's Transition Committee to make sure the leadership transition goes smoothly.
According to UNCW, the committee will:
• Assist the Board of Trustees and university leadership in introducing Gary and Georgia Miller to the university and Wilmington communities and the state of North Carolina;
• Provide an avenue for the university and the community to reflect on the future of UNCW as a prelude to the development of a new strategic vision;
• Plan and execute university activities surrounding the official installation of Chancellor Miller in spring 2012.
"I am thrilled to begin my term as chancellor of UNCW, and to work with its brilliant and dedicated faculty, staff and students to take the university to its next level of achievement," Miller said. "It is very important to my wife, Georgia, and me that we interact with as many members of the university community, Wilmington and the surrounding area as possible during our first months here. The transition is also an excellent opportunity for us to reflect on the record of success you already have achieved and the promising future of UNCW."
The chancellor spoke with WECT Wednesday morning about everything from tuition hikes to new construction on campus.
"Tuition is something we're always concerned about," said Miller. "You have to remember that it's one of the best deals in America when you look at the tuition, the benefit of a college education – it's enormous in terms of earning power and quality of life."
Miller said university officials are concerned about access, and they want to make sure everyone who is qualified has a chance to gain higher education.
Miller said some new buildings will be built in the next year that had already been planned when he arrived, but other groundbreakings are uncertain because of the economy.
"There was really good planning going on before I came and I was briefed many times before I actually showed up," said Miller. "I want to be on the forefront of helping other people understand how important this enterprise is."
With budget cuts and this struggling economy, Miller assures students will get a quality education at UNCW, even if it means the university goes about education a different way.
"We have people who are also as passionate about higher education, and that's what their career is all about," said Miller.
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