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WNC Business

Kimberly van Noort named Chancellor of UNCA

Nov 30, 2023 01:42PM ● By WNC Business

Kimberly van Noort has been named the ninth Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Asheville, following a vote by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors on November 29, 2023. The nationwide search attracted more than 130 applicants and nominees from 28 states and the District of Columbia. 

A scholar of French literature with extensive administrative experience, van Noort said, “I am thrilled, honored, humbled, and excited” when reacting to her appointment.

“UNC Asheville was my very first campus visit after arriving at the UNC System Office in 2016,” she reflected, “and I remember vividly how it struck me as a very special place with incredible potential.”

She added, “Seven years later, after serving first as interim provost and now interim chancellor since the start of the new year, I can easily report that my first impression has been confirmed ten-fold.”

Van Noort has served as interim chancellor of UNC Asheville since January 1, 2023, succeeding Nancy Cable. Since assuming her leadership role, van Noort quickly developed a solid operational model to align the size and mission of the University in order to ensure its long term health. 

A key component of this effort was shifting the existing enrollment model to a student-centered approach that resulted in the largest incoming class of new first-time students in the last four years, as well as crucial increases in applications over previous years. 

The University also saw significant gains in new first-generation and Pell-eligible students, in addition to reaching its highest-ever overall enrollment of students from underrepresented populations.

Already underway, the current recruitment cycle has seen even more aggressive applicant development, improved marketing, more efficient admissions processing, and data-driven strategic financial aid deployment, all targeted at addressing successive enrollment declines over the past five years.

Related, van Noort led efforts to launch the new Access Asheville financial aid program, which expands UNC Asheville’s long standing commitment to affordability by guaranteeing full tuition and fees to qualifying students from North Carolina whose family income is less than $80,000.

Looking ahead to the centennial celebration of UNC Asheville in 2027, van Noort said she is excited to partner with all campus stakeholders on planning for what she sees as a very bright future.

“The people, the location, the support from the community, the generous donors who keep coming back to give more, and the potential of campus assets all position the University to be very successful moving into its second century,” she said.

A native of Nebraska, where she first attended a one-room schoolhouse in the small farming community of Overton, van Noort earned her undergraduate and master's degree in French at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before pursuing her Ph.D. in French literature at Boston University. 

In her spare time, van Noort enjoys spending time with her two children and three step-children, as well as cooking and gardening. She and her husband, Dale, also care for nine goats, three cats, and several chickens on a farm in Hillsborough with the help of their dog, Cash.

Van Noort’s official appointment as the ninth permanent chancellor of UNC Asheville begins January 1, 2024.

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Source: University of North Carolina Asheville