CHAPEL HILL – The UNC System’s interim president has tapped Kevin Guskiewicz – a rising star in concussion research both at UNC-Chapel Hill and nationally – to serve as interim chancellor following the departure of Chancellor Carol Folt.
“As I’ve said, UNC-Chapel Hill needs its interim chancellor to be a leader of stature – someone who knows the institution, knows the state, and is ready to drive the university forward,” said Interim UNC System President Bill Roper. “Kevin is that leader.”
“Kevin is an outstanding researcher, innovator, and strategic thinker, and I look forward to working with him over the coming months, along with the strong leadership team at Carolina,” Roper said.1
In addition to research that has influenced concussion guidelines adopted by the NFL and NCAA, Guskiewicz has established a reputation as an able administrator.
Since 2016, he has served as Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill’s largest academic institution, with more than 17,000 undergraduates, 2,400 grad students and 70 academic departments.
As dean, he has emphasized interdisciplinary teaching and research, promoting the development of courses that span disciplines across the arts and sciences.
Guskiewicz is a neuroscientist and nationally recognized expert on sport-related concussions. He maintains an active research portfolio and is principal or co-investigator on grants totaling more than $16 million.2
In 2011, he was awarded a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” for his innovative work on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sport-related concussions. In 2013, Time named him a Game Changer, one of 18 “innovators and problem-solvers that are inspiring change in America.”3
“It is an honor to be asked to lead the nation’s first public university into the next chapter of its storied history,” Guskiewicz said.
“When I became dean, I pledged to be ‘strategic, bold and student focused,’ and those imperatives will continue to guide me in this role. I am excited and energized by the possibility and promise of the things the Carolina community can accomplish together.”4
In an appearance with Roper on Thursday, Guskiewicz told reporters he will launch a two-month listening tour on campus, where he hopes to hear from faculty, staff and students.
“While I’ve been here for 24 years, I still have a lot to learn,” he said.
“Carolina embodies a culture of collaboration that I think is unique to any other university in the nation with unwavering commitment to educating the next generation of leaders to serve the people of North Carolina and beyond,” he said. “We’re going to do great things together.”5