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UNC President Appoints UNCW Interim Chancellor

By Jenny Callison, posted Jun 6, 2014
(Bill Sederburg)
University of North Carolina Wilmington now knows who will serve as its interim leader when chancellor Gary Miller steps down July 31 to become the chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Miller's selection was announced by UW-GB on Monday.
 
UNC system president Tom Ross on Friday announced the appointment of William A. Sederburg, a veteran of higher education leadership, to assume the interim role at UNCW.

Sederburg, who now lives in Asheville, is a former Michigan state senator and university president who retired as Utah’s commissioner of higher education, according to a news release.
 
“Bill Sederburg has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in public service, always with a focus on public higher education,” Ross said in the release. “He is known and respected throughout the nation as a skillful administrator and an expert on education finance and policy, institutional leadership, and facilitating university change. I can think of no one who is better qualified to lead UNCW during this time of transition, and I am grateful that he has accepted this assignment. The campus will be in very experienced and capable hands in the months ahead.”

Sederburg said in the release that one of his primary goals will be to “position the university to attract outstanding candidates for the position of permanent chancellor.” He has told Ross he will not be a candidate for that position, according to the release.
 
A Nebraska native, Sederburg earned his undergraduate degree from Mankato State University in Minnesota and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Michigan State University. For three years afterward he served as director of research and then executive director of the Michigan House Republican Caucus, the release stated.  
 
In 1978, Sederburg was elected to the Michigan State Senate, serving in the legislature until 1991. For seven of his 12 years there, he chaired the Senate Subcommittee on Higher Education Appropriations, the release stated. 
 
From 1994 to 2003, Sederburg served as president of Ferris State University in Michigan, a regional state university that enrolls more than 12,000 students and offers professional doctorates in optometry and pharmacy. 
 
Sederburg then moved to Utah to become president of Utah Valley State College, where he remained for five years before becoming commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education, eight degree-granting two- and four-year public institutions with a combined enrollment of 173,000 students, according to the release.

After retiring as commissioner, Sederburg was named a senior scholar with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), an organization that represents 430 regional state colleges and universities, including UNCW, the release stated. In that role, he currently chairs a national task force focused on making higher education a state policy priority.
 
Sederburg currently serves on the board of the UNC Asheville Foundation and is working with a leadership group to devise an economic plan for Asheville, according to the release.
 
Ross’s announcement also outlined plans for a search for UNCW’s next permanent chancellor. The UNCW Board of Trustees will be asked to form a search committee of trustees, faculty, students and alumni, according to the release.
 
Based on the work of the search committee, UNCW’s trustees will forward a slate of at least three finalists to Ross for consideration, the release stated. The new chancellor, upon nomination by the UNC system president, must be elected by the UNC Board of Governors.
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