Campus News

Leadership in transition

There's new leadership at Carolina. Read below to learn more about the people in leadership

Leslie Parise poses for a photo
Leslie Parise (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Leslie Parise steps down as faculty chair

Leslie Parise announced March 25 that she will step down as faculty chair by the end of this semester. Parise, who is also chair of the biochemistry and biophysics department in the School of Medicine, served as chair of the faculty for the past two years.

“In balancing the demands of this position with those of chairing my home department and running a research lab, it has become apparent that I will not be able to do justice to all these efforts in the coming year,” Parise said in a letter to the faculty. “This decision was not easy because of my desire to continue working on the faculty’s behalf, particularly given the recent transitions in senior leadership.”

Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz thanked Parise for her outstanding service to Carolina over the past two years. “I’m grateful for all the time and effort she put in to this tremendous responsibility, especially as we worked to address several challenging issues,” he said in a tweet March 26.

A new chair can’t be elected this year because ballots for the faculty election have already gone out, said Vin Steponaitis, faculty secretary. Instead, the faculty Advisory Committee will appoint an interim chair of the faculty to serve through June 2020, when a new faculty chair will be elected.

Andrew Perrin named next director of Institute for the Arts and Humanities

Andrew Perrin

Andrew J. Perrin has been named the next director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, effective July 1. He will succeed Mark Katz, who completes his IAH term at the end of the spring 2019 semester.

Perrin is a professor of sociology and special assistant to the provost and dean for accreditation and curricular innovation. He has been a member of the Carolina faculty since 2001. Perrin is also an accomplished and interdisciplinary scholar, with research focused on the cultural sociology of democracy and health messages in children’s movies, among other work.

Perrin has deep experience with the IAH. He was a faculty fellow in 2007 and 2016 and completed the academic leadership program in 2010. He was a member of the IAH faculty advisory board and external review committee and served on the Weil Lecture and the Johnston Prize selection committees.

As a professor of sociology specializing in research on the value of humanities scholarship and education for democratic citizenship, he brings a unique set of skills to support arts and humanities faculty across a spectrum of departments in the College of Arts & Sciences. He also chairs the committee overseeing the general education curriculum revision.

In addition to his curriculum work, Perrin has served as director of the Carolina Seminars since 2014, increasing both the number and scope of these interdisciplinary seminars, and he revived the Douglass Hunt lecture series. He has served on Faculty Council, the educational policy committee and the faculty athletics committee, among other duties in service to Carolina.

Katz has led the IAH since 2014. His many accomplishments helped enhance the institute’s reputation as a place of innovation and productivity. He oversaw the reorganization of the IAH leadership team and staff, furthered diversity, equity and inclusion and created new initiatives such as the Academic Excellence Award and the retired faculty program. 


Chris Clemens named new senior associate dean for research and innovation

Chris Clemens

Chris Clemens, senior associate dean for natural sciences, has been named the College of Arts & Sciences’ new senior associate dean for research and innovation.

The new position was created to drive strategic planning and provide guidance across the College’s academic divisions and research programs, fostering new models of innovation, new initiatives and new collaborations.

Some of the oversight areas that Clemens will have arose from his responsibilities in his previous position, in which he co-led the Science Complex Working Group and its feasibility study for the Institute for Convergent Science building. One of his primary responsibilities will be to help the College and the campus build an Innovation Framework that will help guide teams of researchers through the process of translating basic research into innovations with commercial or social impact. The Innovation Framework is being developed in close collaboration with Innovate Carolina and UNC Research and will be launched next year.

Clemens will also work closely with Terry Magnuson, vice chancellor for research. He will provide executive management advice to the interdisciplinary research and scholarship enterprises within the College, in coordination with Judith Cone, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepeneurship and economic development, as well as Innovate Carolina and the Office of Technology Commercialization to more seamlessly integrate research and innovation enterprises.

As senior associate dean for natural sciences, Clemens’ accomplishments included drafting a plan and funding proposal for the pilot of the Institute for Convergent Science; working with Jaye Cable to launch the new Environment, Ecology and Energy program; collaborating with chairs to build the research enterprise and developing the curriculum in the College’s newest departments (applied physical sciences and biomedical engineering); assisting in the search for a new director of the Institute for the Environment; and leading the College’s distinguished professor selection committee.

Clemens, who also continued his physics and astronomy research, co-taught a new interdisciplinary first-year seminar, Time and the Medieval Cosmos, last semester with history professor Brett Whalen and a new Burch Honors Field Seminar in London last summer.