New chancellor chosen for UNC Greensboro

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.
Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

A public policy dean at the University of California, Los Angeles will be the next chancellor at UNC Greensboro.

Franklin Gilliam Jr., dean of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, was elected Friday as UNCG’s next leader. He follows Acting Chancellor Dana Dunn, who stepped in for the retiring Linda Brady after her medical leave for heart surgery. Gilliam, 60, who will be the first African American chancellor at UNCG, will start in September at an annual salary of $375,000.

In a statement, UNC system President Tom Ross said Gilliam is a proven leader “who promotes openness and collaboration, strategic thinking and creative problem solving.” Ross was not at Friday’s announcement; he is recovering from shoulder surgery Thursday at UNC.

Gilliam joked that he wouldn’t miss the traffic in L.A. and described UNCG as a campus with a tremendous upside.

“It has several extraordinarily well-regarded programs and continues to push for academic excellence,” Gilliam said. “Secondly, it’s been a really innovative campus. It has done really well with online education, it’s done really well with civic engagement and has done really well with the arts.”

He said the UNC system is much like the California university system and called Greensboro “a warm and lovely city.”

Gilliam has been dean of the public policy school at UCLA since 2008 and last year secured a $50 million gift that attached a name to it. The school includes research centers on regional policy, transportation, aging, innovation and a new Institute on Inequality and Democracy, which launches this summer.

He joined the UCLA faculty in 1986 after teaching at Grinnell College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the effects of strategic communications on public policy, electoral politics, and racial and ethnic politics. He has been frequently interviewed about politics in the national media.

Besides his role as dean, Gilliam has also been a special adviser to UCLA’s chancellor on Los Angeles, as the university sought to better engage with the community. He had previously been an associate vice chancellor for community partnerships.

Gilliam is a native of Bloomington, Minn., and holds an undergraduate degree from Drake University and master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Iowa.

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