Faculty Member Named Vice Chancellor for Research

Barbara Entwisle, Kenan Distinguished Professor of sociology who has been a leading researcher at UNC for 26 years, has been appointed the vice chancellor for research.

The appointment, effective today, was approved Thursday by the Board of Trustees. Entwisle has been the interim vice chancellor for research and economic development since August.

Entwisle succeeds Tony Waldrop ’74, who served as vice chancellor until leaving last summer to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Central Florida.

As vice chancellor, Entwisle leads a campuswide research program that attracted $803 million in contract and grant funding in fiscal 2010 – more than double the amount from a decade ago. Helping spur that growth has been the construction, made possible in recent years by public and private investments, of key research facilities including the Carolina Physical Science Complex. The vice chancellor leads efforts to connect academic units across the campus with University priorities and manages research support offices as well as select centers and institutes.

Entwisle, a social demographer who studies population, health and environment, joined Carolina’s department of sociology in 1985. From 2002 until last summer, she directed the Carolina Population Center, and within the last decade she assumed additional faculty appointments in the department of geography, curriculum for the environment and ecology, curriculum in international and area studies, and department of Asian studies.

“Barbara has been a great addition to our administrative team and already has effectively championed the University’s research enterprise in her interim role,” said Chancellor Holden Thorp ’86. “She brings extensive experience in leading the Carolina Population Center, one of our most distinguished research units. She understands multidisciplinary research – a hallmark of this University – extraordinarily well and has the skills and insights we need to help keep Carolina competitive nationally.”

The Carolina Population Center routinely attracts funding from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies and helps drive related social science and health research projects across campus. Last year, the center was engaged in more than 43 active research projects, and brought in more than $47 million in external support. Faculty, staff and students affiliated with the center work in 85 countries around the world.

Entwisle won Carolina’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction in 2003. In addition, she has been honored several times for excellence in mentoring, teaching and research training by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Sociology Graduate Student Association.

She is a past president of the Population Association of America, a former editor of Demography (the PAA’s flagship journal) and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has been elected to serve as president of the Sociological Research Association in 2014-15. Entwisle also serves on numerous advisory and review groups for the National Academy of Sciences, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency and NASA.

A native of Springfield, Mass., Entwisle grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Swarthmore College. She earned master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from Brown University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. She served as assistant professor of sociology at Dartmouth College before moving to UNC.

Entwisle was one of three finalists identified for the vice chancellor post as part of a national search. Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, chaired the search committee.


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