Executive Director - NC Progress Board - February 1,
James R. Leutze assumed the chancellorship of The
University of North Carolina at Wilmington in July,
1990. He is the fifth chief administrator of the institution
since its founding in 1947. With a student enrollment
of 9,800, UNC Wilmington is a comprehensive university
specializing in undergraduate education. Located in
the historic port city of Wilmington, UNCW is home to
a nationally-ranked program in marine science research
and is among the top ten public southern universities
according to US News and World Report.
As a professor at Chapel Hill, he received three awards
for excellence in undergraduate teaching, the last was
the prestigious Grey Professorship. He also received
national awards for two of his four books. In the area
of service he chaired the Curriculum in Peace, War and
Defense; on the faculty senate he chaired the Minority
and Disadvantaged Committee; he also held several gubernatorial
appointments. His career at Chapel Hill was capped by
his being named as a permanent chaired professor - the
highest academic rank.
Prior to coming to UNCW he served as president of Hampden
Sydney College in Virginia. While there he helped significantly
increase the endowment, raise academic standards and
complete the historical college's first strategic plan.
In an effort to bring subjects of international interest
to N. C. Public TV, he worked to create Globe Watch,
an international series that aired for 14 years. After
coming to UNCW he used the television medium to bring
attention to environmental and water quality issues.
The first program, River Run: Down the Cape Fear
to the Sea, won national awards, but more importantly
brought legislative attention to the plight of North
Carolina's rivers. The third program, Currents of
Hope: Reclaiming the Neuse River, aired in the spring
of 1999, and there are signs that it may encourage more
cooperation in cleaning up the Neuse River. All of his
programs have sought to extend the educational reach
of The University of North Carolina. Consequently all
programs come with study guides for public school teachers
and are furnished free to libraries across the state.
Under his dynamic leadership, Chancellor Leutze spearheaded
the improvement of the institution's academic quality
so that today it ranks fourth in the UNC system in Freshman
SAT averages, behind Chapel Hill, North Carolina State
and Asheville. The university's endowment has more than
tripled and now ranks sixth in the system. The SAT scores
have increased to 1086 and the research funding increased
more than 1,000 percent. Today in exit polls, 98 percent
of UNCW students indicate that they would choose UNCW
again if they were entering college. Dr. Leutze's goal
is to have UNCW recognized as the best medium-sized
public undergraduate institution in the southeastern
He is now one of the longest serving chancellors in
the UNC system and is one of only two who has also served
in the teaching ranks for the State of North Carolina.
Between teaching and administration, he has devoted
28 years to higher education in the North Carolina system.