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Environmental Factor, May 2013

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Folt named chancellor of UNC

Carol Folt, Ph.D.

Carol Folt, Ph.D., is chancellor-elect at UNC. (Photo courtesy of Dan Sears, UNC)

On April 12, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) elected Carol Folt, Ph.D., to be its 11th chancellor. Folt is interim president of Dartmouth College and a member of the NIEHS-funded Dartmouth Superfund Research Program. She will assume her new role July 1, and will be the first woman to lead the university. A press release about Folt’s appointment is available through the UNC website.

Folt's  areas of expertise include ecotoxicology, health-environment interactions, and science education, with a research focus on metal toxicity and the effects of dietary mercury and arsenic on aquatic life and human health. Folt and her colleagues developed new technologies to assess mercury environmental exposure and its effects, and have also conducted crosscutting research on global climate change, as well as chemical signaling, restoration, and conservation of Atlantic salmon.

“It has been a great pleasure to have worked with Carol over the years as part of the Superfund Research Program (SRP),” said NIEHS SRP Director Bill Suk, Ph.D. “I am very excited that she will be the chancellor of UNC Chapel Hill. She will be wonderful in the position.”

She is also the associate director and a co-investigator of the NIEHS and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-funded Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth College.

“Over the past three decades, Carol Folt has accumulated a wealth of academic and leadership experience at one of the top 10 universities in America,” said Thomas Ross, president of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system. “At each step along the way, she has proven herself to be an engaged and effective leader who promotes openness and collaboration, strategic thinking and creative problem-solving, and an unwavering commitment to academic excellence and student success. She has also earned a reputation for great integrity, sound judgment, and the ability to face tough and complex challenges head-on.”

A faculty member at Dartmouth since 1983, Folt was named provost in May 2010 and later appointed Dartmouth’s interim president in July 2012. An internationally recognized environmental scientist and award-winning teacher, she has served the college in a series of senior academic and administrative roles since 2001.

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