The University of North Carolina Wilmington, the state’s coastal university, is dedicated to the integration of teaching and mentoring with research and service. Our commitment to student engagement, creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression, and responsible citizenship is expressed in our baccalaureate and masters’ programs, as well as doctoral programs in areas of expertise that serve state needs. Our culture reflects our values of diversity and globalization, ethics and integrity, and excellence and innovation.
The faculty, staff, administration and students of UNCW are committed to achieving excellence and to placing UNCW in a position of preeminence among midsized, public universities in the South. UNCW will maintain an intimate learning environment for undergraduates, integrating teaching and mentoring with research and service. UNCW will promote and engage in high-quality scholarship and in master’s-focused graduate education, as well as in selected doctoral programs. UNCW will provide a secure and attractive campus, encourage intellectual and cultural diversity, foster regional engagement, and value individual growth and development. In these ways, UNCW will prepare its graduates for a lifetime of learning, achievement and service for the betterment of self and community.
These seven goals form the foundation of UNCW’s strategic plan, which serves to guide the University in fulfillment of its mission.
- Create the most powerful learning experience possible for our students.
- Recruit, retain and develop quality faculty, administration and staff in appropriate numbers.
- Embrace and enhance diversity throughout the University’s constituencies, culture, curriculum and outreach activities.
- Create an educational environment that prepares our students to be global citizens.
- Strengthen the University’s regional engagement and outreach activities.
- Enhance the quality of UNCW’s environment and provide a campus that is attractive, functional and, above all, safe.
- Ensure adequate resources to achieve University goals by increasing public financial support and private giving.
University of North Carolina Wilmington Board of Trustees
Ronald B. McNeill, Chair
Henry L. Kitchin, Jr., Vice Chair
Gidget Kidd, Secretary
Class of 2019
Class of 2021
Agnes R. Beane
Wilma D. Daniels
Ronald B. McNeill
Henry E. Miller III
Dennis P. Burgard
Michael R. Drummond
H. Carlton Fisher
Henry L. Kitchin, Jr.
Robert S. Rippy
Maurice R. Smith
Nicholas Pianovich, Student Government Association President
History and Background
Education on the college level first came to Wilmington in 1946 when a college center was established under the direction of the North Carolina College Conference and under the administration of the Directorate of Extension of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The center offered courses on the freshman level to some 250 students during the academic year 1946-47. In 1947 a tax levy was approved by the citizens of New Hanover County, and Wilmington College was brought into existence as a county institution under the control of the New Hanover County Board of Education. In 1948 Wilmington College was officially accredited by the North Carolina College Conference and became a member of the American Association of Junior Colleges. In 1952 the institution was accredited as a junior college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
In 1958 New Hanover County voted to place the college under the Community College Act of the state of North Carolina. By virtue of this vote, the college became a part of the state system of higher education, and control passed from the New Hanover County Board of Education to a board of 12 trustees, eight of whom were appointed locally and four of whom were appointed by the governor of the state. At the same time the requirements for admission and graduation and the general academic standards of the college came under the supervision of the North Carolina Board of Higher Education, and the college began to receive an appropriation from the state for operating expenses in addition to the local tax.
On July 1, 1963, by an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina, Wilmington College became a senior college with a four-year curriculum, authorized to offer the bachelor’s degree.
By vote of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina in late 1968, with subsequent approval by the North Carolina Board of Higher Education, and by an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina in 1969, Wilmington College became, on July 1, 1969, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. It, and the institution in Asheville previously designated as Asheville-Biltmore College, became the fifth and sixth campuses of the University of North Carolina.
On October 30, 1971 the General Assembly in special session merged, without changing their names, the remaining ten state-supported senior institutions into the University. Thus, the University of North Carolina now comprises 16 institutions.
On August 22, 1977 the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina authorized the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to offer its first graduate programs at the master’s level.
In the spring of 1985 the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina elevated the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to a Comprehensive Level I University.
The programs offered by the University include four-year programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science degrees within the College of Arts and Sciences, the Cameron School of Business, the Watson College of Education, and the College of Health and Human Services; graduate programs leading to the Master of Arts, the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Business Administration, the International Master of Business Administration, the Master of Education, the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of School Administration, the Master of Science, the Master of Science in Accountancy, the Master of Science in Nursing degrees, and Master of Social Work; a Ph.D. in Marine Biology, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership; several post-baccalaureate and post-master’s certificate programs, a variety of pre-professional programs, and special programs in a variety of areas, including marine science research, and continuing education.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of UNC Wilmington. The Watson College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The Cameron School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. The University also holds membership in the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities, the American Placement Council, the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Council of Graduate Schools, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. It is on the list of schools approved by the American Chemical Society and is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The parks and recreation management curriculum is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Recreation, Park Resources, and Leisure Services. The athletic training education program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education. The master’s degree in psychology concentration in applied behavior analysis is designated as an approved course sequence by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc., and the concentration in substance abuse treatment is designated an approved course sequence by the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board. The Master of Public Administration program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. The bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in social work are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
Those wishing to review accreditation and certification documents should contact the provost’s office.
The University seeks to attract and maintain a faculty of outstanding individuals who are capable of contributing to the enrichment of its diverse and comprehensive instructional and research programs. Its faculty members come from all geographic sections of the United States and several foreign countries, bringing to this campus a rich variety of educational experiences, training and scholarship. Of the more than 960 instructional and research faculty, more than 86 percent of full-time faculty hold doctoral or other terminal degrees.
Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching
As part of its ongoing efforts to underscore the importance of teaching and to encourage, identify, recognize, reward, and support good teaching within the University, the Board of Governors in 1993 created the annual system wide teaching awards which are designated Board of Governors Awards for Excellence in Teaching. Sixteen awards are given annually, with one recipient selected from each of the constituent institutions. The first awards were given in the 1994-95 academic year.
Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award
The Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, in recognition of this institution’s commitment to teaching excellence, has established the Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award. Recipients of the award manifest excellence as a way of life and stand out among the faculty as persons who have made and continue to make a significant contribution to higher education through their dedication and service to students. The award carries with it both an honor and a responsibility: it identifies a member of the faculty as a person of excellence, and it calls upon the person so honored to share that excellence with colleagues and students.
Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award
The Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award recognizes all aspects of excellence in teaching and in teaching-related activities that foster students’ desire for lifetime learning and success. Up to six awards are given annually, three for the College of Arts and Sciences, one for the Cameron School of Business, one for the Watson College of Education and one for the College of Health and Human Services.
Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award
The Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award is designed to underscore this institution’s continuing commitment to scholarship and creative work. Recipients of the award stand out among the faculty as persons who have made, and continue to make, a significant contribution to the university and the academic community through their commitment to scholarship, research and creativity. Up to two awards are given annually.
Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Award
The Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Award recognizes excellence in addressing crucial local, regional, national, or global issues through scholarly activity directed towards persons and groups outside UNCW. The university confers one junior and one senior award each year. The recipient of the senior award is the UNCW nominee for the Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Public Service.
Excellence in e-Learning Award
The annual Excellence in e-Learning Award recognizes faculty members for outstanding online and/or web-enhanced course design and delivery. Interested faculty apply for the award, and the recipient is chosen by a group of faculty course reviewers and the Office of e-Learning.
J. Marshall Crews Distinguished Faculty Award
The UNCW Alumni Association began annually awarding the J. Marshall Crews Award to an outstanding faculty member in the academic year 2002. The award is in honor of Dr. J. Marshall Crews for his leadership at Wilmington College and UNCW. The recipient receives a $500 stipend and a bronze medallion from the association in recognition of stellar academic accomplishments.
Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award
The Distinguished Teaching Professorship Awards exemplify UNCW’s commitment to excellence in teaching and in teaching-related activities by recognizing faculty members who have made a profound contribution to higher education through their dedication and service to students. Three awards are given each year, and each recipient holds the award for three years.
Graduate Mentor Award
The Graduate Mentor Award recognizes members of UNCW’s graduate faculty who have excelled at teaching at the graduate level and who have an established record of mentoring graduate students. The latter includes not only guiding the research activity of students during their tenure at UNCW but also helping students become established as independent scholars and professionals.
The UNCW Award for Faculty Scholarship
The UNCW Award for Faculty Scholarship is designed to underscore this institution’s continuing commitment to scholarship and creative work. Recipients of the award stand out among the faculty as persons who have made, and continue to make, a significant contribution to the University and the academic community through their commitment to scholarship, research and creativity. Up to three awards are given annually.
The Community of Scholars at UNCW
The Community of Scholars at UNCW is a network of collaborative resources aimed at enhancing the pursuit of the life of the mind. Its mission is to:
- support academic innovation and educational initiatives within the university community,
- provide resources for faculty development in teaching, research, and service,
- support the participation of the wider university community in the intellectual endeavor,
- represent in action and form the basic values of the life of the mind, and
- facilitate communication among all university departments, offices, and divisions.
All resource units promoting this mission are welcome to participate in the Community of Scholars at UNCW. Collaboration of these resources is enhanced by the Community of Scholars Council which brings together on a regular basis the directors of the resource units with representatives from Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Randall Library, Information Technology Services, Faculty Senate, University College, Honors Scholars College and Student Government. Its charge is to review the activities of the resource units and to consider strategies for enhancing the intellectual growth of our community.
Current Community of Scholars Resource Units:
The Center for the Support of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
The Center for the Support of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships (CSURF) is a resource to coordinate opportunities and information related to UNCW undergraduate research and scholarship. In addition, CSURF coordinates the application and nomination process for national competitive scholarships and fellowships for undergraduates. The center is housed in the Honors Scholars College Office.
The Center for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Leadership
The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) provides workshops on a variety of teaching issues, encourages innovations in teaching through awarding stipends for course development, and supports continued education in the scholarship of teaching by subsidizing travel to teaching conferences. Its mission is to foster a campus-wide climate where teaching is highly valued, as well as provide leadership in the application of scholarship to teaching. CTE encourages efforts to achieve excellence in teaching by running programs for course development and improvement, implementing new instructional technologies, and providing support services. CTE will also conduct orientations for new faculty and work to integrate them into the university community.
The Center for Faculty Leadership
The Center for Faculty Leadership (CFL) is dedicated to developing and sustaining the high quality of academic leadership central to supporting the mission of the university and achieving the goals outlined in its strategic plan. The center serves as a resource for individuals with aspirations for academic leadership; as a training center for newly appointed department chairs, division coordinators, and program directors; and as a retooling center for current, mid-level academic leaders interested in improving the quality of their academic programs and/or advancing their professional careers in university administration. Information and assistance emphasize exploration, experimentation, and networking with programs presented in a variety of formats: informal discussions, formal workshops, guest lectures, conferences, networking and alliance building, mentoring and shadowing. The center’s mission encourages collaborative initiatives by the faculty. Thus, the center also serves as a resource for faculty-generated initiatives that require institutional support beyond the departmental or program level.
Centro Hispano creates a responsive educational, scholarly and social environment for Hispanic Latino/a students, faculty and others interested in Hispanic culture. Primarily, the goal of Centro Hispano is to support the rapidly growing number of Hispanic students applying, attending and completing degrees at UNCW. The center supports the research, teaching and service components necessary for the training and preparation of global citizens. It also informs, guides and champions UNCW’s engagement with the region on issues critical to Hispanic constituencies.
The LGBTQIA Resource Office at the University of North Carolina Wilmington supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and allied students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our office works to create a safe and inclusive environment for the LGBTQIA community and contribute to a culturally rich campus. Additionally, the office works both to raise awareness and inclusion of sexual and gender minorities and to provide information, referral, support, and programming to the UNCW Community. We do this through community building, advocacy, social justice and diversity education and the development of global citizens. All members of the UNCW campus are welcome, regardless of gender identity or other factors.
The Office of e-Learning
The Office of e-Learning, a unit of the Academic Affairs division, provides support to faculty through individualized instruction and assistance in a variety of formats. Resources are allocated to support the development of online courses using the most current, pedagogically sound and dynamic learning strategies. Working collaboratively with the Information Technology Services division, the office sponsors workshops and initiatives which focus on helping faculty design quality online courses and on increasing faculty expertise in employing cutting-edge instructional technology.
Upperman African American Cultural Center
The Upperman African American Cultural Center (UAACC) provides UNCW students, faculty, staff, and others interested in African and African American culture a central location from which they can experience the rich heritage of African diaspora through scholarly and cultural workshops, presentations, exhibits, performances, lectures, and print and visual media. Working collaboratively with campus and community partners, the UAACC works to positively impact the recruitment, retention, and academic achievement of black students at UNCW, and contribute to the preparation of all UNCW students to excel in an increasingly diverse world.
Women’s Studies and Resource Center
The Women’s Studies and Resource Center is an interdisciplinary and intersectional community of students, scholars, and advocates committed to social justice and equity for marginalized peoples. Our intellectual framework stems from gender and sexuality studies. The Center works with campus, local, and wider community partners through online teaching, research support, programming, and service activities that further social justice and work to combat social inequality at every level. In addition, we offer professional workshops and leadership opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and community members as we strive for solutions to address gender-based discrimination and develop inclusive communities at UNCW and across the globe. The Center also provides physical space for gathering, resources, and referrals for the UNCW and Wilmington communities.