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Dr. Aswani Volety named as new Chancellor of UNCW

Rachel Keith
Dr. Aswani Volety at the press event announcing his hiring as UNCW's next chancellor on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

On Thursday, May 26, the University of North Carolina Wilmington announced its newest Chancellor-Elect — Dr. Aswani Volety. He will take over for Chancellor Jose Sartarelli on July 1, who announced his retirement in September 2021.

The tenth leader of the institution was elected by the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System. According to a press release from the university, UNC System President Peter Hans nominated Volety during the board meeting on May 26, 2022, after a national search process for the position.

Board of Trustees Chair Gidget Kidd gave openings remarks at the press event for his hiring.

“I am very proud of the comprehensive national search that we conducted. As chair of the UNCW Chancellor Search Committee, I commend the committee members’ integrity and collaboration throughout the process. Both the Board of Trustees and the Search Committee unanimously approved the finalists we recommended to President Hans. All that effort by all those people brought us together as a campus community to this special day,” said Kidd.

The Chancellor-Elect is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Elon University.

And he’s no newcomer to UNCW — he previously served as its Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from July 2014-August 2019 and as the Executive Director of the Center for Marine Science from May 2018-August 2019.

Volety, in his first speech as chancellor to a crowd gathered in front of Hoggard Hall, said he’s a first-generation college student — and an American by choice.

Crowd at Volety.png
Rachel Keith
The crowd gathered at Dr. Volety's press event.

“I moved to the United States from India when I was 23 on a doctorate from the College of William and Mary. I started out with a little more than $500 dollars and a dream. The opportunity is available through higher education; this great country of ours transformed my life as today so clearly demonstrates,” said Volety.

Volety said he’s returning to the university to enhance its research capabilities and economic development initiatives.

He also said he hopes to be a consensus builder — one who will strengthen connections between the campus and the community it serves.

Volety ended his speech by saying he looks forward to working with students and staff for years to come: “Soar higher Seahawks – thank you so much.”

UNCW press release on Volety's hiring