After 15 years at the helm of UNC Charlotte, Chancellor Philip Dubois says he plans to retire to Reynolds Lake Oconee in Georgia. Dubois announced on Tuesday that he would be stepping down June 30, 2020, giving university officials a year to conduct a national search for his replacement.
At a press conference today, Dubois says the timing of his retirement, which came as a surprise to many, was based on personal reasons.
“It was difficult because I really enjoy the job but about 8 to 10 months ago Lisa and I started to talk about what would retirement look like and when it would occur,” Dubois said. “On March 23, our oldest son and his wife had twin boys in Atlanta and that sealed the deal. So I feel very blessed to have been chancellor for this long and I simply wanted to go out on my own terms and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Dubois says the April shooting on campus that left two students dead and four others wounded had almost no role in his decision to retire now. He says he needed to be here this year following that tragedy and continues to work with the victims’ families.
In terms of his legacy, Dubois pointed to a 43% enrollment growth since 2005 and working with the board in 2008 to add a football program to the campus.
He says his top two achievements focused on new facilities and transportation.
“First, was the building of the Center City building, my first building here,” Dubois said. “It was important that we reach out to center city Charlotte and the business community and that gave us a visible presence that we had not had. Secondly, light rail. That was a success that I worked on for 13 years and it will be more so in time, particularly with our hotel conference center now under construction at the JW Clay station.”
Dubois says if the university’s enrollment is to continue growing, the next administration will have to find ways to fund new facilities to accommodate that growth. He says he will be available to the UNC System to act as a consultant or mentor to new chancellors in the future but he has no plans to teach or take on any research projects.
As for any regrets, he says over his tenure he's still not been successful in getting people to stop referring to the university as UNCC. He prefers UNC Charlotte.