Campus News

Charlotte attorney George Battle III named first VC overseeing campus safety

A Carolina alumnus ’95, ’99 (JD) and former student body president, Battle will begin his position as vice chancellor for institutional integrity and risk management in January 2020.

George Battle III (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)
George Battle III (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Carolina’s first vice chancellor for institutional integrity and risk management will be Charlotte attorney George E. Battle III, Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz announced Oct. 14. Battle, a Carolina alumnus ’95, ’99 (JD) and former student body president, will start his new position in January 2020.

This new senior leadership position will coordinate functions that have historically been decentralized at Carolina. These critical functions include central compliance; risk management and enterprise risk management; public safety; environment, health and safety; emergency management; and ethics education and policy management.

“Safety-related incidents — both recent and in the past year — have made it clear that we need a central office to coordinate public safety and risk management across the entire University. This new reporting structure is a significant step in putting a greater emphasis on a comprehensive approach to campus safety,” Guskiewicz said.

Battle has an extensive legal background in litigation, regulatory compliance and enterprise risk management. For the past nine years, he has served as general counsel to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, one of the largest public school districts in the country, overseeing the district’s legal department and leading organizational risk management efforts. In this role, he has elevated the district’s legal outcomes, expanded in-house capacity and supervised the development and implementation of board policies.

Before that, he worked for Carolinas Healthcare System, providing legal counsel and advisory services for one of the nation’s largest public health care systems. In that role, he led a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance program implementation and provided counsel for the Institutional Review Board, the Institutional Ethics Committee and the Administrative Policy Committee. Butler has experience in health and education law, corporate governance, employment law, commercial contracts and government.

“This position is critical to meeting important University needs and follows a year-long strategic analysis of risk management and campus safety functions. My decision to appoint George to this role came with the support of my senior leadership team. I am confident that he has the right mix of skills and expertise to quickly succeed in making a positive impact at our University,” Guskiewicz said.

One important part of Battle’s new role will be to help Carolina further address the emerging national issue of safeguarding academic research and educational activities from the threat of improper influence by foreign governments and outside entities.

Battle also will help establish a University-wide enterprise risk management operation that will position the University to identify, assess, manage and mitigate risks that may impede its academic mission or strategic objectives. In addition, Battle will be responsible for conventional risk management functions, including insurance and emergency planning, and all aspects of campus safety.

“My entire leadership team and I are deeply committed to ensuring that our campus, as well as the surrounding areas, are safe for our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Guskiewicz said.