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Carney to Step Down As UNC Provost

Bruce Carney, the University’s provost for the past three years, will leave South Building and return to the astronomy faculty at the end of June 2013.

Carney, who also holds the position of executive vice chancellor, put off a scheduled research sabbatical in August 2009 to serve in the interim as the University’s top academic officer after Bernadette Gray-Little left the post.

Calling him a “true citizen of the University,” Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86 said, “For the past three years, he has admirably steered the University’s academic operations through an extremely difficult economic period in which we have maintained our standing as a top public university and continued to offer students an outstanding education in the face of unprecedented budget cuts.”

Thorp added, “Bruce has played a vital role in the University’s efforts to retain our top faculty members, and we are seeing positive results from that commitment.”

Carney, a member of the faculty since 1980, became chair of the department of physics and astronomy in 1999 and served as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for a year after Thorp was named chancellor in 2008.

He had been a member of the College of Arts and Sciences dean’s senior administrative team since 2004. He was involved in planning for the new physical sciences complex, the largest construction project in the University’s history, and was instrumental in shaping the vision and raising funds for the SOAR Telescope in Chile.

Carney was chosen for the provost’s job after a national search had found four candidates, three of whom made widely publicized public lectures in Chapel Hill in January and February 2010. None of them was chosen. Carney initially had said he didn’t want the position beyond the interim, but he reconsidered.

Carney is a scholar of optical and infrared photometry and spectroscopy, stellar populations, and globular cluster ages, with many publications to his credit, including a book, Star Clusters, published in 2001.

He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University and his undergraduate degree at the University of California-Berkeley.

Kristen Swanson, dean of the School of Nursing, will lead the search committee for a new executive vice chancellor and provost.


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