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|For Immediate Release
November 8, 2000
McDevitt Nominated for UNC Asheville Vice Chancellor Role
UNC Asheville Chancellor Jim Mullen announced Wednesday that he will recommend Wayne McDevitt, chief of staff to Governor Jim Hunt and UNCA alumnus, as the universityís new vice chancellor for administration and financial affairs.
In announcing that he is forwarding this recommendation to the UNC Board of Governors for consideration at their meeting this Friday, the chancellor indicated that it is backed by the unanimous concurrence of the UNCA board of trustees and of the 14-member university review committee formed to advise him on this selection. UNCAís current chief administrative officer, Arthur Foley, announced earlier this year that he will retire from the position in December to move to Colorado.
"Our university is very fortunate to have attracted a candidate of Wayne McDevittís stature and experience," Chancellor Mullen said. "Since my earliest days on the job I have sought him out for his wise guidance and counsel. His knowledge of government and his skill in administrative matters is unsurpassed. I am greatly pleased that UNCA has been able to compete for his interest.
"When I first contacted Wayne to explore his interest in this position, I never believed that I would be able to convince him to come home to UNCA. What I did not fully appreciate was the depth of his love of Western North Carolina, his passion to make a substantive difference for the good of this region and state, and his loyalty to his alma mater. Nothing could make me more excited than to announce that, pending approval of the Board of Governors, he is coming home and that he is going to join us in the senior ranks of our university. This is great for UNCA and great for the state of North Carolina."
Chancellor Mullen hailed McDevittís extensive experience and said the positionís title reflects the wide range of duties and relationships the job encompasses. In addition to oversight of the controllerís and budget offices, human resources, facilities management, facilities planning, telecommunications, and bookstore and other ancillary operations, McDevitt's broadened responsibilities would include building the university's partnerships in the region, state and nation.
"Wayne would be our senior advisor on administrative matters and would share responsibilities for building and maintaining relationships with our constituents at many levels," Mullen said. "As secretary of a major state agency and as chief of staff in a governorís administration, he has built a proven record in the oversight of budget, personnel, and other administrative functions that superbly qualifies him for this new role."
Governor Jim Hunt named McDevitt his chief of staff, charging him with implementing the Hunt agenda for the state, leading the governor's legislative efforts, and working with the State Budget Office to develop Governor Huntís budgets for 2000-2002. As chief of staff, McDevitt was also charged with oversight of the entire Hunt cabinet, including the offices of the governor, state budget, personnel, and information technology services.
McDevitt had served as Huntís secretary for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, putting in place a strong team that led the stateís effort to toughen pollution enforcement and to step up protection and improvement of air and water quality. His management skills left DENR a more focused department -- one that has become a model for excellence in government.
In addition to leading efforts to pass Governor Huntís clean air legislation in the General Assembly, he also oversaw the unprecedented expansion of the stateís three aquariums, the construction of the new state Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, and the addition of the Jocassee State Park in Western North Carolina.
Prior to his cabinet post, McDevitt was the senior advisor to Governor Hunt for intergovernmental relations, working with federal and local governments on economic development, transportation, agricultural and environmental issues. He also served previously as the general manager and associate director of the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. He led the Arboretumís development initiatives, long-range and master planning, and helped foster the creation of the North Carolina Arboretum Society, a private foundation that supports the Arboretum. At a prior period, he also served as director of the Western Office of the Governor.
McDevitt has long ties with UNCA. He graduated from the university in 1975 and completed its Leadership Asheville program in 1985. Since then, he has also received the Chancellorís Achievement Award, UNCAís Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the Chancellorís Medallion. He has served on the UNCA board of trustees and on its alumni association board.
In addition to McDevittís positions in government, he has served on the boards of numerous business, education, environmental, civic, and governmental organizations. Some of those include the Appalachian Regional Commission, the U.S. Trade Representative Advisory Board, the N.C. Humanities Council, the N.C. Partnership for Children, the N.C. Commission on Indian Affairs, the Western North Carolina Tomorrow Board, the Rural Economic Development Center, the Baptist Childrenís Home of N.C., the Conservation Council of N.C., Clean NC 2000, the Bi-Partisan Commission on Gubernatorial Succession, the N.C. Local Government Partnership Council, and the N.C. Progress Board.
McDevitt and his wife Walda reside in Marshall in Madison County. Their daughter, Kasey, is a senior at Madison High School and their son, Nicholas, is a senior at UNCA and a member of its menís basketball team.
As chief of staff, McDevitt will take a lead role in the gubernatorial transition between now and mid-January. Pending his nomination's approval by the UNC Board of Governors, he would join UNCA on February 1, 2001.
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