Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs
Located within the state’s largest and most dynamic city, UNC Charlotte is the fastest growing institution and second largest university within the 17-campus UNC System. The University’s mission is to leverage its location to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity; exemplary undergraduate, graduate and professional programs; and a focused set of community engagement initiatives. As the state’s urban research university, UNC Charlotte maintains a particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health and social needs of the greater Charlotte region.
In fulfilling its mission, the University’s vision is to provide accessible and affordable quality education that equips students with intellectual, professional, and critical-thinking skills; ethical principles and an international perspective; a strong foundation in liberal arts and opportunities for experiential education to enhance the personal and professional growth of students; a robust intellectual environment that values social and cultural diversity, free expression, collegiality, integrity and mutual respect; and a diverse, team-oriented, ethically responsible and respectful workplace environment that develops the professional capacities of faculty and staff.
UNC Charlotte is in sound financial standing. Of its total operating budget of $748 million, $427 million are general funds, $167 million, or 22% is through the auxiliaries and athletics, and $154 million, or 21 %, is generated through contracts, grants and other funds. The main campus contains more than 7 million square feet of facilities and the university’s capital expansion has exceeded $1 billion over the past 12 years.
A proud history:
The history of the institution is important to understand its mission and evolution. Founded in 1946, the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina served the educational needs of returning World War II veterans. Three years later, the institution formally became the two-year Charlotte College, responding to the need for public higher education in the city. Later in 1965, an act of the State General Assembly transformed Charlotte College into UNC Charlotte, the fourth campus of the University of North Carolina System. The later addition of master’s degree programs and in 1994, doctoral programs, allowed UNC Charlotte to become the city’s only research and doctoral granting institution. This fall the University enrolled 30,146 students and experienced record growth with its graduate programs, enrolling the largest class in UNC Charlotte’s history. True to its origins, UNC Charlotte continues to serve veterans and remains the largest transfer institution in the state; the recently established 49erNext program provides seamless transfer from participating North Carolina community colleges. In fact, UNC Charlotte was awarded the APLU 2019 Degree Completion Award in recognition for its innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion. Enrollment growth is attributed to UNC Charlotte’s expanding reputation as an outstanding university that recruits faculty and staff who are truly committed to student success; offers prodigious opportunities in academics, research, community engagement, the arts and athletics; and delivers an unparalleled college experience.
UNC Charlotte is recognized as a key partner in the growth and success of the Charlotte region. The Chancellor of the University plays a leadership role in the region’s economic, civic and social life.
A welcoming campus:
UNC Charlotte’s main campus is in University City, approximately eight miles from uptown Charlotte and accessible via light rail. The picturesque campus sits on nearly 1,000 wooded acres with 10 acres of outdoor botanical gardens, hiking trails, the McMillan Greenhouse and a tropical plant courtyard.
Approximately one quarter of UNC Charlotte students choose to live on campus and within walking distance to classes, labs, libraries, light rail, theaters, concerts, art galleries and sports facilities. Students have a choice of 17 residence halls, including Greek organization housing and learning communities. Personalized dining options offer the ultimate in choice and convenience with traditional dining halls and specialty restaurants.
UNC Charlotte has a permanent presence in Charlotte’s Center City, a 143,000-square-foot facility with 25 classrooms and design studios, meeting and performance spaces, and an art gallery, adjacent to a four-acre city park. UNC Charlotte Center City is the only University of North Carolina building conceived and designed specifically to serve the people, organizations and businesses of an urban center. UNC Charlotte is an active participant in the city’s business and cultural district, bringing the University’s considerable intellectual resources to the heart of the Charlotte community.
To support and foster academic inquiry, research collaboration, executive education and other campus activities, the UNC Charlotte Marriott Hotel and Conference Center will open in April 2021 adjacent to the main campus. This 226-room full-service hotel will also house a 15,000 square foot, state-of-the-art conference space. The UNC Charlotte Foundation is the developer of the project and Sage Hospitality, a Denver-based hotel management firm, will serve as hotel operator.
The Queen City:
The third-fastest growing city in the United States, Charlotte is currently the country’s 15th most populous city and the second largest in the Southeast. Serving as a major center for the finance industry (Charlotte is the nation’s second-largest center for banking and finance) as well as for the motorsports and energy industries, the region hosts headquarters for six Fortune 500 companies and 14 Fortune 1000 companies. Among them are Bank of America, Lowe’s, Honeywell International, Duke Energy, Nucor, Sonic Automotive and Sealed Air. Equally significant is the commitment of more than 200 additional Fortune 1000 companies that have placed one or more facilities within the Charlotte region.
Charlotte also is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and six major professional sports teams, including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the 10th largest airport in the United States based on passenger totals, provides easy access to domestic and overseas destinations.
The city also offers a range of cultural amenities, including the Charlotte Symphony, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum, Harvey Gantt Center, McConnell Center for Art, Innovation, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, a growing landscape of outstanding restaurants, and a dynamic, thriving private art gallery scene. For those who enjoy exploring the outdoors, The U.S. National Whitewater Center provides a range of activities, and Charlotte offers easy access to mountainous terrain to the west, as well as the Atlantic coast to the east.
UNC Charlotte is one of 17 constituent institutions comprising the University of North Carolina System. The System is overseen by a 24-member UNC Board of Governors, elected by the North Carolina General Assembly to four-year terms. The Board has responsibility for the policy-making, planning, management, and overall governance of the UNC System, and elects the System’s president to serve as the chief administrative and executive officer. The Board also elects each institution’s chancellor, upon the nomination of the president.
Each institution within the System also has its own Board of Trustees, which is delegated extensive authority and power over operations and academics on campus. UNC Charlotte has a 13-member Board of Trustees. Eight members are elected to four-year terms by the UNC Board of Governors, four members are appointed by the North Carolina General Assembly, and the president of the student body serves a one-year term as an ex officio member.
UNC Charlotte recently completed a comprehensive process to develop its 10-year strategic plan. Led by a 22-member Strategic Planning Committee composed of faculty, staff, administrators and students who worked diligently and intentionally over a six month period to shape the thousands of ideas, suggestions and feedback received from nearly 4,000 stakeholders into the four focus areas that serve as the foundation of the strategic plan.
Student success is central to UNC Charlotte’s mission. As the first strategic focus, the university will provide students with access to a high-quality and affordable educational experience, support them to ensure they are successful in their educational pursuits and prepare them to excel in their career and life choices.
Research and discovery
Expanding and strengthening our research is the second strategic focus. UNC Charlotte aspires to achieve national prominence as an emerging, top-tier research university as well as foster signature institutional research areas of national and international relevance.
North Carolina’s urban research university
The third strategic focus is to fulfill its role as North Carolina’s urban research university to advance solutions for cultural, economic, social, educational, environmental and health issues as well as to be a talent developer to address workforce and community development needs.
Diversity and engagement
The fourth strategic focus is to ensure that UNC Charlotte’s campus is diverse, equitable and inclusive as well as to increase the visibility and reputation of the University through the use of its externally facing assets and programs.
Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D., is the fifth chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and began her tenure in July 2020. Officially the first woman to serve as chancellor of UNC Charlotte, Gaber follows the trail blazed by founding educator Bonnie Cone, who led the institution from 1946-1966 through several stages of growth.
An academic with a background in city and regional planning, Gaber was named by Education Dive one of five higher education leaders to watch in 2018 and beyond. She is recognized nationally for her efforts as president of the University of Toledo to increase enrollment, improve graduation and retention rates, keep education affordable, increase research funding, improve connection to the surrounding metro region and make the campus environment diverse and inclusive. Prior to her five years in Toledo, Gaber served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas. She has also been an interim provost at Auburn University and a faculty member and administrator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The VCBA serves as the primary advisor to the Chancellor on all financial and operational issues and works collaboratively with the other members of the Chancellor’s Cabinet to plan, manage and optimize resources to achieve the university’s strategic priorities. The VCBA oversees the Division of Business Affairs. The VCBA also serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the University and is a responsible steward of human and fiscal resources.
Lead the Division of Business Affairs
The Division of Business Affairs plans for and provides essential customer-focused, results-oriented, fiscally-sound, and integrity-bound human, financial, facility, and administrative support services to the University. The VCBA provides overall leadership and is the chief officer for the Business Affairs division. Areas of oversight include human resources, business services, safety and security, facilities management, and financial services. The position has 7 direct reports, as well as a strong team of more than 630 employees. The division’s annual operating budget is approximately $158 million.
Financial and Operational Innovation and Best Practices
In this strategically important role, the VCBA will drive innovative approaches and solutions for funding and operational challenges and opportunities in order to support the University’s mission and strategic plan. The VCBA will have a deep understanding of higher education and be well-versed in best practices to optimize resources. Working with the Chancellor, the VCBA will play a pivotal role in keeping the Board of Trustees informed about the University’s finances and operations, as appropriate. The VCBA will also represent the campus at the UNC System and with other relevant external administrative and financial organizations and state agencies, playing a critical role in informing, collaborating, and influencing them about UNC Charlotte and its strengths, challenges, and opportunities. The VCBA will be expected to play a leadership role in the greater Charlotte community, developing relationships with local policymakers and corporate and civic leaders who can serve as important partners to the Institution.
Serve as the Chief Financial Officer
The VCBA will serve as the Chief Financial Officer of the University. This responsibility includes the preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the ability to provide additional accurate analytical, financial, and accounting information that will allow the Chancellor and members of the administration to make informed decisions and select appropriate courses of action.
• The successful candidate will have a master’s degree or advanced degree in a relevant field and 10 or more years’ experience in senior management in at least one of the areas relevant to the division: financial administration, administrative services, business administration or facilities management. Additional competencies and qualifications include:
• Demonstrated strategic leadership experience in driving innovation and developing and executing fiscal and operational plans in a complex organization.
• Demonstrated ability to be an active, senior-level participant in university planning and policy-making.
• A proven track record in working collaboratively and effectively with executive leaders and other administrators across the university.
• A commitment to diversity, including individual action and institutional leadership to advance diversity and inclusion.
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills coupled with experience building a culture of trust, mutual respect, and transparency in decision-making across multiple stakeholders.
• An understanding of public state systems of higher education and how it interacts with the university campus, and the nuances of the state budget process preferred.
• An understanding of higher education as an industry, including the issues, organizational structures, and funding models.