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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carolina People: T.J. Scott

T. J. Scott

Executive assistant to the University Board of Trustees

4 years working at Carolina

What’s a typical day like in your job?

Every day is different. For instance, Board of Trustees meetings every other month require my sole focus for about three weeks leading up to the meeting. I schedule presentations, gather all of the meeting materials and reach out to the board members. I also function as the executive assistant to the vice chancellor for public affairs [Clayton Somers], so in between meetings I work with him on the governmental advocacy side of the University. It’s a different thing every day, and I enjoy that.

How does your job support Carolina’s mission?

I work behind the scenes to support the work of the board, the vice chancellor for public affairs and director of federal affairs [Kelly Dockham]. The board advises the Chancellor and the administration about the management and the development of the University. The vice chancellor for public affairs and director of federal affairs advocate for funding and connect with state and federal legislators on important issues related to the University.

What do you like most about your work?

I enjoy the ability to bring campus to the board. Each meeting, the board hears presentations about things that are happening at the University so they can see what’s happening in real time. This goes back to the advocacy part of my job, because the more they know about interesting things happening at the University, the better they are able to advocate for the University when they’re out in the community.

How did you come to work in this position?

It’s almost unbelievable that I’m in this job six years out of college. I was a first-generation college student and didn’t really know what I wanted to do when I got to Carolina. I graduated and still didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and then I happened upon a job at the University, which was obviously close to my heart. I’ve done a lot of different things here, but always stayed sort of on the same track. Being able to give back and support the University and work at the place you love the most is a dream come true. I’ve spent 10 years in Chapel Hill now, and it’s home.

What’s something about your job that others might not know?

I think most people would be surprised to learn just how much behind-the-scenes work goes into Board of Trustees meetings. My work ranges from gathering the materials, to being at the meetings, to working with people on presentations. There’s not a lot of boards like ours—they have a large responsibility. There are five committees and a full board of 13 people, and it takes a lot to organize meetings with that many people and responsibilities.

Carolina People is a regular feature in each issue of the Gazette that asks one of your fascinating colleagues five questions about the work they do for the University. Do you know someone with an interesting or unique job at Carolina? Please email your suggestions to and put Carolina People in the subject line.