University News

Campus leaders reflect on chancellor’s departure

Fellow Tar Heels wished Kevin M. Guskiewicz well as he leaves Chapel Hill to become president of Michigan State University.

Kevin M. Guskiewicz
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Kevin M. Guskiewicz announced Friday he will step down from his post as chancellor after leading UNC-Chapel Hill for nearly five years. His last day will be Jan. 12. He will become president of Michigan State University on March 4, 2024.

“I have been privileged to serve as your chancellor since 2019 with the steady and strong commitment from our world class faculty, visionary leadership team, dedicated staff, talented student leaders and thousands of passionate alumni and donors who have supported Carolina and our shared values,” Guskiewicz wrote in a campus email. “You are Carolina’s legacy and its future, and I know you will continue to be passionately public and committed to our vision. You will prepare our students to tackle the grand challenges facing our world. For 230 years, our University has been a shining light and an example of the promise of public education in this country. I am confident that together, our students, faculty, staff, alumni and the amazing supporters of our University, will continue to accomplish great things in the years to come.”

Read more from Guskiewicz’s note.

Other campus leaders issued statements Friday as well.

“Chancellor Guskiewicz has led UNC-Chapel Hill with grace and goodwill through some very difficult moments, and he’s leaving the University in stronger shape than when he arrived,” said Peter Hans, UNC System president. “I join faculty, staff, students and alumni at Carolina in deep appreciation for his leadership. Kevin is a brilliant researcher, a kind colleague and a mentor to many young people. The Guskiewicz family have been good friends to me, and I know that Kevin and Amy will remain devoted Tar Heels.”

“Our board has collaborated successfully with Chancellor Guskiewicz on a range of important initiatives, including campus budget reform, student advocacy, career services, free speech, academic freedom, and the new School of Civic Life and Leadership,” said John P. Preyer, chairman of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. “We thank Kevin for his long and notable service to the University, and we wish him and his family well in their new pursuits.”

Beth Moracco, chair of the faculty, wrote in a note to faculty that Michigan State’s “gain is our great loss.”

“I hope you will join me in expressing our deepest gratitude to him for his nearly three decades of outstanding service to our campus, and in wishing the best for him and his family,” she said.

Student Body President Christopher Everett and Lauren Hawkinson, graduate and professional student government president, issued a joint statement.

“We send our congratulations to Chancellor Guskiewicz and his family on this new opportunity,” they wrote. “Carolina is fortunate to have experienced over two decades of his service and leadership. The chancellor is a man of great accomplishments and accreditations, both in academia and university administration. But most importantly, he is a man with immeasurable amount of love for Carolina – a place many of us call home. His departure is a massive loss for our university. While we are deeply saddened by this news, we wish him all the best on this new journey.”

Hans will name an interim chancellor to lead UNC-Chapel Hill upon Guskiewicz’s departure.