James Moeser, chancellor emeritus and professor of music at Carolina, will become interim chancellor of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts on Aug. 1. Moeser, who led UNC from 2000 to 2008, will succeed John Mauceri, who announced last fall that he would step down as chancellor on June 30 after seven years. UNCSA Provost David Nelson will serve as acting chancellor from July 1 until Moeser’s arrival.
“James Moeser’s vast administrative experience and his demonstrated love of and commitment to the arts and humanities make him uniquely qualified to lead the School of the Arts during a time of transition,” said Thomas Ross ’75 (JD), president of the UNC System. “He understands the many challenges and opportunities before this very special campus of the university, and I am grateful that he has agreed to accept this important assignment. UNCSA will be in very capable hands during this interim period.”
During his eight-year tenure at Carolina, Moeser established the Carolina Covenant, a program to provide a debt-free education to talented students from low-income families. He also is credited with defending the University against attacks on academic freedom, overseeing the most successful capital campaign in the University’s history, supporting critical investments in scientific research, expanding globalization efforts and creating the Carolina Performing Arts program.
Since leaving the chancellor’s office, Moeser has maintained an active role on Carolina’s campus. He co-teaches a first-year seminar in the music department and leads a Faculty Learning Community on Leadership and Strategy for faculty members who have significant institutional leadership assignments. His honors include the American Council on Education’s Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award, election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary doctor of letters degree from Duke University.
A native of Lubbock, Texas, Moeser earned a bachelor of music degree in organ performance and a master’s of music in musicology from the University of Texas at Austin, completed advanced study in Berlin and Paris as a Fulbright Scholar and holds a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Michigan.
In 1966, at age 27, Moeser joined the faculty of the University of Kansas as an assistant professor and chair of the department of organ. After rising through the academic ranks, he was named dean of the School of Fine Arts in 1975. In 1984, he was named Althaus Distinguished Professor of organ, becoming the first academic dean at Kansas ever to hold an endowed chair.
In 1986, Moeser joined Pennsylvania State University as dean of the College of Arts and Architecture. During his six-year tenure at Penn State, he maintained an active concert schedule in the U.S. and Europe and served as president of the American Guild of Organists. In 1992 he was named vice president for academic affairs and provost of the University of South Carolina system, a post he held until being named chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1996.
The UNCSA board of trustees has a search committee of trustees, faculty, students and alumni working to help identify a permanent successor to Mauceri.