Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Longtime UNCW assistant to chancellor and trustees to retire

Mark Lanier is set to retire in December 2023. (Jeff Janowski/UNCW OUR).

WILMINGTON — UNCW’s assistant to the chancellor and assistant secretary to the board of trustees will retire after 31 years of service.

Mark Lanier will vacate his position in December 2023 after serving six chancellors.

As UNCW’s legislative liaison, Lanier increased UNCW’s annual recurring state appropriation from $31 to $181 million from his first year in 1991 to 2022. On a per-student basis, UNCW’s state appropriation increased from $4,837 to $11,338 over the same period.

Lanier has also helped secure more than $1 billion in funding to construct and enhance dozens of buildings at UNCW, including the Center for Marine Science, the Shellfish Hatchery, Leutze Hall, the Education Building, McNeill Hall, the Teaching Laboratory Building, the rebuilding of Dobo Hall following Hurricane Florence, and the current Randall Library renovation and expansion.  

“Mark Lanier has cared deeply about UNCW, our students and our community for more than three decades. He has quietly been a part of many of the university’s outstanding achievements over many years,” Chancellor Aswani Volety said in a press release.

He also served as the founding chair of the New Hanover County Partnership for Children (Smart Start), helped develop UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, assisted with the creation of the film studies and creative writing programs at UNCW, advocated for growth of the North Carolina film industry, and helped with the approval process for the university’s first doctoral degree, its first engineering degree and many other programs.

Recently, Lanier co-chaired the successful effort by UNCW to obtain the Innovation and Economic Prosperity University designation from the national Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, announced in November 2022. UNCW is one of only 80 universities to earn the designation. 

“Like many UNCW leaders before me, I value his extensive knowledge about the university’s history; his strong connections to business, government and education leaders statewide; and his unwavering confidence in UNCW’s potential for continued success,” Volety said in the release.

Lanier came to UNCW in 1991 from Hampden-Sydney College, where he was an assistant to the president and a lecturer in political science. Previously, while in graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill, he was offered the opportunity to join then-UNC System President C.D. Spangler’s staff, where he worked closely with the UNC Board of Governors.

He said he recognized UNCW’s “phenomenal potential” when he toured the university as a part of President Spangler’s staff, and he was eager to return to Wilmington as part of his mentor James Leutze’s leadership team. 


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