Shelton first candidate to take hotseat

By Laura Ory
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, January 20, 2006

Students will have the opportunity to question and get to know one of the four UA presidential candidates today.

Robert Shelton, executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, will meet with administration, faculty, students and community members during campus forums held throughout the day.

Students can attend today's forum with Shelton at 2:15 p.m. in the Student Union Memorial Center North Ballroom.

Seth Dearmin, UNC student body president, said he believes Shelton is a candidate who is accessible and responsive to students.

"He's open to students and extremely approachable," Dearmin said.

Dearmin said one of Shelton's priorities is getting feedback from students.

"At commencement services he encourages students to stop by his office and see him," Dearmin said. "His respect for students really goes a long way in endearing students to him."

Dearmin said Shelton has ensured smaller class sizes and faculty retention since he came to UNC in 2001.

"That is just the tip of the iceberg of what he has done that has made a difference at this school," Dearmin said.

Judith Werner, faculty chair and law professor at UNC, said Shelton is also very accessible to faculty.

"He meets twice a month with our Faculty Executive Committee, is candid, shares information, follows up on issues we raise," Werner said in an e-mail.

Werner said Shelton has helped the university through fundraising, collaborating with other institutions, keeping tuition affordable for students and supporting the libraries.

Werner said Shelton is also a "broad-minded" person who values fairness and honesty.

"He really cares about high-quality education and goes out of his way to try to protect and support the teaching and research missions and the libraries and finds ways to squeeze administrative budgets instead," Werner said.

"It would be a definite loss to (UNC) but it would be your gain," Dearmin said of the possibility of Shelton becoming the next UA president.

Shelton was the vice provost for research in the University of California system office of the president from 1996 to 2001. He has also been vice chancellor for research and a physics professor at the University of California-Davis, a physics professor at Iowa State University and an assistant research physicist at University of California-San Diego.