Students Apathetic to Chancellor DePaolo’s Resignation

Tyler Roberts | Staff Writer

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No one can deny the tremendous growth UNC-Wilmington has experienced over the past seven years. Educational quality has increased, on-campus housing has nearly doubled and new educational facilities have popped up around campus. All of these strides can be attributed to our chancellor, Rosemary DePaolo.

Students’ reactions to DePaolo’s resignation were not as I expected. Most of my peers were neither saddened nor excited about the change. Senior Jason Lindser said Chancellor DePaolo is “an invisible hand, and I do not really feel affected by her position.” There are no feelings of resentment, no anxiety of the future; rather there seems to be a regrettable, overwhelming sense of apathy.

This is not to say that DePaolo’s significant contributions have gone unnoticed. Just consider the awards and rankings UNCW has received or the brand-new, state-of-the-art nursing building and you can see how this “invisible hand” has shaped the university.

Still, DePaolo has received undue criticism for not focusing her efforts in other aspects of the school. While great strides have been made academically, there are those who are quick to point out the lack of school spirit and the little attention granted to the athletic department. Nevertheless, the university recently hired Jimmy Bass as the new athletic director, a move that demonstrates UNCW’s desire to strengthen athletic programs.

UNCW needed an academic vision. Though athletics are an important part of collegiate life, the university was in need of academic growth when DePaolo took office. By raising academic expectations, UNCW is now able to attract a larger pool of applicants and compete for their educational interests.

DePaolo is stepping down at a critical moment for the university. Her resignation comes at the end of a university renewal period. During this time, graduation rates have increased and SAT scores for entering freshmen have risen. Furthermore, the school has experienced a significant increase in private funding which has gone to scholarships and professorships.

UNCW has also received national notoriety from Princeton Review, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report. It is safe to say that UNCW has become one of the best schools in North Carolina, but now that the university’s goals have been met, it is time for a new vision to lead the university to the next level of achievement.

A new chancellor may be the breath of life UNCW needs. After years of striving for achievement in one aspect of the university, it may be time to give attention to other areas.

Students want to see more school spirit. They want more attention given to sports. They want to live in a collegiate setting that gives them a well-rounded college experience. Now that our academic priorities have been settled, it is time for a new direction and a new chancellor may be what we need.