University of North Carolina System President Margaret Spellings has appointed Provost Alison Morrison-Shetlar to serve as acting chancellor of Western Carolina University effective Jan. 1, 2018. The official announcement is available at the UNC System website.Dr. Morrison-Shetlar will serve in this role while Chancellor David O. Belcher is out on medical leave.
Chancellor Belcher issued the following statement in response to the announcement by President Spellings: “I am very grateful to Alison for her willingness to act in my stead while I am on medical leave. I know that she shares my commitment to ensuring that students at Western Carolina University receive a high-quality education and a life-changing experience. She understands our institutional values and mission, and she has the passion necessary to keep this university focused on its primary purpose – our students and their success – during this time of transition.
After accepting the appointment, Provost Morrison-Shetlar issued this statement: “It is an honor to be asked to step forward to do my part to continue the good work of Chancellor David O. Belcher. I have pledged to President Spellings that I will endeavor to live up to his inspiring legacy of leadership and will, in fact, seek his wisdom and counsel on a regular basis. I also have informed her that I do not plan to seek the permanent position and will help her in any way to select the best possible successor for Chancellor Belcher. My experience serving as primary officer-in-charge when Dr. Belcher is away for extended periods of time will help provide a natural and smooth transition during this difficult time. I know the campus and community join me in sending warm thoughts and prayers to David and Susan.”