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Office of the Chancellor

Board of Trustees Chair, Pat Kaemmerling announces the selection of WCU's 12th Chancellor

A portrait of Chancellor-Elect Kelli R. Brown


Dear Campus Community,

Please join me in welcoming Western Carolina University’s new chancellor.

Upon the recommendation of University of North Carolina System Interim President Bill Roper and following approval earlier today by the UNC Board of Governors, the WCU Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Kelli R. Brown as our 12th chancellor.

Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, Dr. Brown distinguished herself as a top candidate in what I would characterize as an extremely deep pool of exceptionally well-qualified potential leaders for our university. Her appointment concludes an extensive national search that included opportunity for public input from all of Western Carolina University’s various constituencies – students, faculty, staff, alumni, community members, and fellow members of the Board of Trustees.

In addition to her considerable senior leadership experience in academic affairs, Dr. Brown served as interim president of Valdosta State University for much of 2016. Prior to joining Georgia College and State University in 2013, Dr. Brown was interim dean and professor in the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida, where she also served for six months as associate dean for academic affairs. She has previously served as interim dean of the graduate school, associate provost, and professor of community and family health at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Her 30-year career in academics also includes stops at Illinois State University and at Western Illinois University.

She holds a doctorate in education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; a master of science and education in public health degree and bachelor of science degree in public health services, both from the University of Toledo; and an associate of arts in applied sciences degree in dental hygiene from Michael J. Owens Technical College in Toledo, Ohio.

Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar will continue as interim chancellor of WCU until Dr. Brown arrives July 1. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I wish to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Morrison-Shetlar for her willingness to step forward to ensure that our university continued its incredible forward trajectory during this critical time of transition. She will remain a vital part of campus leadership upon her return to her role as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

I also commend and thank the members of the search committee for their tireless work and dedication throughout the search process. The future for Western Carolina University is bright, and I look forward to working with Dr. Brown – and with all members of our university family – to continue the wonderful upward momentum of Western Carolina University.

Let’s all extend a warm Catamount welcome to Dr. Brown and her husband, Dennis. And, as always, Go Cats!

Patricia B. Kaemmerling
Chair, Western Carolina University Board of Trustees

Office of the Chancellor Staff

A portrait of Acting Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar


Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar

Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar has served as Interim Chancellor of Western Carolina University since July of 2018. She previously served as Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.

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Office Staff

Melissa Wargo - Chief of Staff

Claire Collins - Assistant to the Chancellor
and Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees

Julie Mathis - Administrative Support Associate

Jessica Woods - Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff

Karen Woody - Business Officer

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