UNC Greensboro welcomed five new leaders this summer to help guide the University through these challenging and uncertain times.
Dr. Jim Coleman is the new provost and executive vice chancellor; Tina McEntire is vice chancellor for enrollment management; Bob Shea is vice chancellor for finance and administration; Dr. Maria Anastasiou is associate provost for international programs; and Juliette Bianco is director of the Weatherspoon Art Museum.
Each leader brings a wealth of experience and passion to the UNCG community. Read more about what brought them to UNCG – and what they hope to accomplish – below.
Dr. Jim Coleman
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Provost Coleman never imagined himself being an administrator. In fact, as a young assistant professor of biology at Syracuse University, he often challenged the administration.
“I thought our dean and provost walked around in suits and ties and tried to accumulate power and make our lives as miserable as possible,” he says now with a laugh.
But a one-year stint at the National Science Foundation – in which he managed $10 million in research funding – changed everything. He realized he enjoyed facilitating the success of other people and of organizations. And he was good at it, too.
Coleman has now worked in higher education administration for 24 years, most recently serving as provost at University of Arkansas. In many ways, he’s the perfect fit for UNCG. He’s passionate about the role of public education in propelling students up the socioeconomic ladder and on to profoundly meaningful and successful lives. He also has a strong background in building transformative student success programs, new curricular initiatives, and research across all of the disciplines at UNCG.
Since joining UNCG in July, Coleman has been helping to lead the University through the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of his work this year will be focused on managing this crisis – budget issues, student success challenges, and heightened anxiety on campus.
But looking ahead, he truly believes in Chancellor Gilliam’s vision – that UNCG is poised to become the national model for how a university can blend opportunity, excellence, and impact.
“Higher education as a whole has started to become an enforcer of social inequality as opposed to the great equalizer. It’s schools like UNCG that are still committed to that original mission,” he says. “We also have high quality research, and a deep commitment to the city and the region. I came to UNCG because it checks all of those boxes that I’m passionate about.”
Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
Coming from a similar role at UNC Charlotte where she spent 12 years heading the enrollment management unit, McEntire was drawn to UNCG for the opportunity to lead a new division and to work directly with Chancellor Gilliam – an opportunity that many enrollment management leaders don’t have.
McEntire accepted this role to serve UNCG’s mission of student success and to transform people’s perception of enrollment management.
“I want the University community to understand that enrollment management doesn’t just involve bringing students to UNCG. Enrollment management spans the entire student life cycle from admissions, to financial aid, to the registrar’s office, and beyond graduation.”
In her new role, McEntire will be reviewing the structure for the new enrollment management division and building a solid foundation for growth. Her primary focuses for the fall include improving enrollment reporting efforts, employing new strategies to enhance the recruitment and visit experience for new students, and also streamlining the “business of being a student,” which involves the processes students have to perform to remain enrolled.
“Registration, billing, scholarships, and other similar processes should be easy for students and families to navigate, not become obstacles that cause stress or hinder their progress to graduation. I want to ensure that when we onboard students, the University processes are as smooth as possible, so students can focus their time and energy on learning.”
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration
As a first-generation college graduate, Shea understands the value of higher education and knows firsthand how it can affect the trajectory of one’s life. His degree led him to become a U.S. Navy officer, serving 25 years with postings around the United States and the world, and to his last role at Elon University where he served as a member of the president’s senior staff.
The desire to give back to students by working in higher education brought him to UNCG.
“Education expands horizons. UNCG continually launches well-prepared graduates into the world of work, further education, and involved citizenship. Hard work, preparation, and education allow one to generate opportunities for socioeconomic growth, and I want to be a part of that exciting work.”
Shea feels at home in the Spartan community because, like himself, many UNCG students and graduates are also the first in their families to attend and graduate from college. He strongly believes in UNCG’s mission of enabling socioeconomic mobility.
“Socioeconomic mobility is something I have experienced in my life. Education levels the playing field in the very competitive world we live in. A UNCG education is a very powerful tool to prepare for or continue on life’s journey.”
Shea’s goals include not only handling the immediate impacts of operating in this pandemic-era “new normal,” but also positioning UNCG to thrive in the post-pandemic future with access, affordability, and excellence.
Dr. Maria Anastasiou
Associate Provost for International Programs
Anatasiou’s passion for international education is rooted in her own personal story.
A native of Cyprus, Anastasiou first came to the United States as an international student at UNC Chapel Hill. She knows the myriad of challenges – and opportunities – that come with being an international student, and she fully believes in the transformative impact of international education.
As she continued her studies as a graduate student, she worked in international education at the University of South Carolina, where she helped to organize special Fulbright programs for international faculty. That first professional experience marked the start of what has been a successful and fulfilling career in international education.
Now, Anastasiou is excited to bring her more than 15 years of experience to UNCG, a campus that stood out because of its “commitment to global learning.”
“UNCG is not just doing lip service to this idea. Global learning is imperative for this University.”
Anastasiou and the International Programs Center team face a big challenge: How can UNCG deliver global learning during a pandemic? What does international education look like without travel?
“It’s a challenging time for international education, but this is a good time for us to assess how we’ve been doing this work and create new opportunities. The mother of invention is necessity.”
Anastasiou is currently participating in a “listening tour” with campus partners and the community to assess what has been working, what can be improved, and how the IPC can meet the needs of its partners. Long term, she wants to find new ways to provide international experiences to all UNCG students – whether that’s through course curriculum, technology, on-campus exchanges with international students, engagement with Greensboro’s large immigrant and refugee populations, etc. Faculty are crucial in developing global learning experiences for students, so she looks forward to working with faculty to meet this goal and to support them in their own work as well.
“Global learning is really crucial to the success of our students. We are committed to finding different ways of doing it.”
Anne and Ben Cone Memorial Endowed Director of the Weatherspoon Art Museum
Throughout her life, Bianco has valued the power of art and education.
“Having access to public education and free museums played a central part of my identity growing up. UNCG’s commitment to excellence, student success, and community transformation really speaks to me.”
With 25 years of experience as an art museum professional, she comes to UNCG from the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College where she served in various leadership capacities.
The opportunity to transform an internationally-recognized campus museum into a hub for collaborative learning and teaching drew her to this position.
“As we work to build a more just society within the context of our actions and our responses to the pandemic and institutional racism and inequality, there’s never been a more important time for museums to contribute to public education.”
Bianco aspires for the Weatherspoon to be a catalyst for meaningful dialogue, student and faculty participation, and community connection.
“The museum is positioned at the nexus of all these opportunities to create change. Not only is it located in a vibrant and diverse city that cultivates a rich educational and cultural life, but it is also on the campus of a major university that’s dedicated to 20,000 students who will go on to be civic leaders in our communities and in the world. Learning in museums supports creative, critical, and empathetic thinking – qualities that boost success in any field.”
Bianco’s goal is to ensure that the Weatherspoon is integral to the education and everyday lives of UNCG students.
“I’d like graduates of UNCG to reflect on their time at the University and remember a meaningful experience at the museum. It’s such an opportunity to have a world-class art museum on your university campus, and I want students to feel that they are a part of making it relevant to their lives.”