UNC Wilmington Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli Announces Retirement – UNCW News

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Friday, September 24, 2021
After steering the University of North Carolina Wilmington through extraordinary growth with quality, spearheading development of innovative new degree programs, successfully navigating multiple hurricanes and a global pandemic, Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli announced today that he will retire effective June 30, 2022.
During his leadership, the university earned national recognition for achieving excellence amid adversity. UNCW set records for annual enrollment and graduation; publicly launched Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW, which is closing in on its $100 million goal; increased community, military and international partnerships; enhanced on-campus and online educational offerings; and achieved a new research designation. For the past three years, UNCW has been one of only three UNC System institutions ranked among the “Top 100 Public National Universities,” according to U.S. News & World Report. The university community also has worked together to overcome significant challenges in the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Dorian, to navigate the campus impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to focus more fully on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.  
“The success that our students, faculty, staff and alumni have achieved in recent years has been nothing short of outstanding,” Chancellor Sartarelli said. “I am immensely proud to have served UNCW during such a pivotal time in history, and I want to thank the Seahawk community for making this great university so special. Leaving UNCW and the City of Wilmington will not be easy for my wife Kathy and me, but we are looking forward to a new adventure.” 
The Chancellor took office July 1, 2015, after previously serving West Virginia University as chief global officer and Milan Puskar Dean of the College of Business and Economics. Including his service at WVU, he is among the most experienced leaders in the UNC System. Before transitioning into higher education, Chancellor Sartarelli spent three decades in international marketing and management with three global pharmaceutical companies – Eli Lilly and Company, Bristol Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson.  
“Chancellor Sartarelli has taken UNC Wilmington to new heights, leading with ambition all while handling serious challenges posed by hurricanes and the pandemic,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “UNCW has increased its student population by nearly 40 percent in the past decade under the Chancellor’s direction, providing quality educational opportunities to more North Carolinians and expanding campus facilities to meet that growth. I’m so grateful for his steady and visionary leadership, and I know all Seahawks join me in thanking him for his service to UNCW and the state.” 
Sartarelli said that announcing now will give the UNCW Board of Trustees, President Hans and the UNC System Board of Governors approximately nine months to conduct a national search for the next Chancellor. He noted that the university will celebrate its 75th anniversary at the beginning of the fall 2022 semester, an optimal time for a leadership transition. President Hans will work with Gidget Kidd, Chair of the UNCW Board of Trustees, on next steps in the search. 
“Thanks to my predecessors, UNCW already was a strong university when I arrived,” the Chancellor said. “I have had the privilege of working alongside dedicated Boards of Trustees, my leadership team, faculty, staff, students and countless alumni, donors and community partners to open new doors of opportunity for the university, the region and North Carolina. I have no doubt that the university’s trajectory of success will continue to soar far into the future.” 
Kidd, a graduate of the Class of 1991, has worked with Sartarelli from the outset of his tenure at UNCW. “Chancellor Sartarelli thrives on turning challenges into opportunities,” she said. “When Hurricane Florence significantly damaged Dobo Hall, our main science building, he and his leadership team used the renovation funds to reconfigure the building, upgrading the roofing and drainage systems to withstand more powerful storms in the future and installing state-of-the-art labs while maintaining the much-loved character of a nearly 30-year-old campus landmark. The Chancellor has inspired the UNCW community to pursue excellence at every level, and the Board of Trustees is very grateful for his service.” 
During his tenure, Chancellor Sartarelli was recognized by Business North Carolina as one of the state’s most influential leaders. Wilmington Biz Magazine included him among the “Power Players – businesspeople and officials having the greatest impact on the region’s business and economic landscape.” A native of Brazil, Chancellor Sartarelli received a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing from the São Paulo School of Business Administration (Fundação Getulio Vargas) in São Paulo, Brazil. He then attended Michigan State University as a Fulbright Scholar, earning an MBA in marketing and a Ph.D. in business administration. 
Many of the university’s major accomplishments during Chancellor Sartarelli’s leadership:
“What an exciting experience this has been for me and my wife Kathy, and my service to UNCW isn’t finished yet,” Sartarelli said, reflecting on his tenure thus far. “There’s more to be done this year, and I am eager to be a part of helping our great university continue to focus on achieving excellence in everything we do. Go Seahawks!”
A PDF of this message can be found here.
About UNCW 
The University of North Carolina Wilmington is dedicated to learning through the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. Guided by our 2016-2021 Strategic Plan, the university is committed to nurturing a campus culture that reflects its values of diversity and globalization, ethics and integrity, and excellence and innovation. A public institution with more than 18,000 students, the university is focused on supporting and enhancing the student-centered learning experience that has been a hallmark since its founding in 1947. UNCW offers an array of programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and doctoral programs in marine biology, educational leadership, psychology and nursing practice.
Jose V. Sartarelli


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