Western Carolina University Chief of Staff Receives Trustees’ Award


Dianne Lynch recieves the Trustees' Award from Board Chair Joan MacNeill

Dianne Lynch recieves the Trustees’ Award from Board Chair Joan MacNeill

Dianne G. Lynch, a member of the Western Carolina University administrative staff since 1995 and Chief of Staff for the Chancellors office since 2006, is recipient of one of the university’s highest honors. Lynch, who will be retiring from WCU at the end of May, is only the 10th person in university history selected to receive the Trustees’ Award. The Board of Trustees bestowed the award upon her as part of the board’s quarterly meeting Friday, March 1. Chair of the Board of Trustees, Joan MacNeill, said at the award ceremony, “The Trustees’ Award is presented only on rare occasions in recognition of exemplary service to the university.” “Dianne more than meets the criteria for this award,” MacNeill said. “Any time that Dianne Lynch is involved in a project, you can rest assured that it will be done to perfection. She makes it all look effortless, but we all know the large amount effort that she puts into everything she does.” As chief of staff, Lynch has overseen a variety of high-priority university events and projects, including numerous commencement ceremonies, the Chancellor’s Speaker Series, Fall Opening Assembly activities and chancellor’s installation events in March 2012. Lynch has served as a liaison between the chancellor and elected officials at the local, state and federal level and to the University of North Carolina General Administration. She also oversaw the renovation of the Chancellor’s Residence and the H.F. Robinson Administration Building lobby, and co-chaired the university’s organizational structure review process. Lynch announced in December her plans to retire in the spring after a 37-year career with the state of North Carolina, including leadership roles for nearly 20 years with the Jackson County School System. She joined the administration at WCU in 1995 as director of the university’s Equal Employment Opportunity Programs before becoming assistant to the chancellor in January 2003. Lynch was promoted to the role of chief of staff in July 2005. A seven-member committee has begun the process of searching for a successor to Lynch. Reporting directly to the chancellor, the chief of staff is a member of the university’s senior leadership team, is a member of the Executive Council and provides coordination for the achievement of strategic directions, goals and initiatives for the Chancellor’s Division. Chancellor David Belcher spoke highly of Lynch’s contributions to the University. At Friday’s ceremony he said, “Dianne has incredible institutional memory, but she also has a keen vision of where this institution can go. She has been a marvelous asset to this university, and she will be impossible to replace.”