After closing out a particularly difficult year, UNC Charlotte’s leadership has gone through some major adjustments. The end of the 2018-2019 school year has brought a rash of new hires and retirements over the summer. Here is a brief rundown of some notable changes.
First, the most noteworthy: at the end of July 2019, Chancellor Philip Dubois announced his imminent retirement. The news came exactly 3 months after the April 30 shooting, which Chancellor Dubois called “the worst day in the history of UNC Charlotte.” In a press release, Chancellor Dubois recounted his 20-year-long tenure at UNC Charlotte. He served as provost for five and a half years, then became the chancellor upon James Woodward’s retirement. When he retires on June 30, 2020, he will have served as chancellor for fifteen years. In the meantime, the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees, the UNC Board of Governors, and the UNC Interim President William Roper will be conducting a national search for his successor.
The UNC Board of Governors recently appointed three new members to the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees: Christine Katziff, Carlos Sanchez and alumnus David Mildenberg were all sworn in over the summer. Each new trustee has a background in business: Katziff works for Bank of America, Sanchez works for AT&T and Mildenberg is the current editor of Business North Carolina magazine. Three other trustees, Sharon Decker, Fred Klein and alumna Susan DeVore, were reappointed to the Board as well.
As of Aug. 19, 2019, Colleen Penhall will be the new associate vice chancellor for University Communications and chief communications officer. Penhall’s 20-year career includes positions with Lowe’s Companies Inc., Bank of America and Philip Morris USA. She will spearhead UNC Charlotte’s brand strategy and oversee public relations, news and information, issues management and other communications tasks.
After an exhaustive search, the recently restructured Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement hired Chelsea Ortiz as the new Assistant Director for Sexual and Gender Diversity. Her first day was July 1, 2019. A native of Ohio, Ortiz received both her bachelor’s in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and masters in Higher Education from Grand Valley State University in Michigan. She will be working primarily with queer, transgender and nonbinary students at UNC Charlotte as well as fostering a more accepting campus environment.
Charlotte 49ers Athletics is also seeing some new faces. In June 2019, Tommy Langford joined Charlotte 49ers football as a nickelback coach. Langford is the former head coach of the Christ School Greenies in Arden, North Carolina. Prior to that, he worked at IMG Academy in Florida. In a press item on Inside UNC Charlotte, head football coach Will Healy praised Langford, calling him “a great fit for our staff.”
Nikki West has joined the women’s basketball team as an assistant coach. West, who is a former N.C. State associate coach, started over the summer. In the five years she spent at N.C. State, she helped the Wolfpack to three NCAA tournaments, including the 2018 Sweet 16. Prior to that, she coached at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and at the University of South Carolina Upstate. She also played for Clemson’s women’s basketball team from 1996-1999 and assisted her team in winning a school record of 26 games (and four NCAA appearances, including the 1999 Sweet 16).
On July 1, Shayna Stahl began her new position as associate director of bands and director of athletic bands. Stahl will be leading the Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band. Stahl is completing a Doctor of Musical Arts/Instrumental Conducting at the University of Washington, where she previously served as graduate assistant director of the Husky Marching Band, conductor of the UW Concert Band, assistant conductor for the UW Wind Ensemble, and director of the Husky Basketball Band. Prior to that, she worked with the athletic band program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook for ten years.