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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bill Roper to step down as dean of the School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health Care in May 2019

Dear Colleagues,

With great admiration and appreciation, we write to share news that Dr. Bill Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care and dean of UNC School of Medicine, will step down as CEO and dean in May 2019.

William Roper

Dr. Roper joined the University as dean of the School of Public Health in 1997. In 2004, he became CEO of UNC Health Care, dean of the UNC School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs. In these roles, he expanded the reach of the health care system and medical school and helped improve the health of all North Carolinians. He’s also been a passionate advocate at the state and federal levels for health issues that affect residents of North Carolina.

Under Dr. Roper’s leadership, UNC Health Care has expanded into a statewide system with more than a dozen hospitals and more than 30,000 co-workers. It has become the second-largest health care system in North Carolina and one of the top academic health systems in the country. His commitment to teaching and training the next generation of physicians has improved access across the state, especially in rural areas.

Dr. Roper has spearheaded efforts to expand the School of Medicine’s footprint across the state. He has cultivated relationships with other medical leaders and opened doors for medical students to train in Asheville, Charlotte and Wilmington. Today, the medical school trains more than 2,400 inter-professional health care providers and medical students annually, including many who choose to practice in our state after their education.

At the School of Medicine, total research funding has increased more than 50 percent since 2004 to $441 million last year. During Dr. Roper’s tenure, the health care system and medical school grew and expanded significantly with the construction of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital, Marsico Hall, the Genetic Medicine Building, and the Hillsborough campus, to name a few facilities. Last year, the North Carolina Heart & Vascular Hospital opened in Raleigh, and in 2021, a new surgical tower will open in Chapel Hill. These projects and others will help ensure that the University and UNC Health Care can continue to care for this state’s aging and growing population for generations to come and can advance ground-breaking research that will improve people’s lives across the globe.

Dr. Roper is one of the most well-respected health policy and health care leaders in the nation. We have been incredibly fortunate to have him at the helm of our School of Medicine and health care system for the past 14 years.

The University and UNC Health Care will conduct a national search for Dr. Roper’s successor. Details about the search committee and process will be announced soon.

Please join us in thanking and congratulating Dr. Roper on a job extremely well done.

Margaret M. Spellings
President, UNC System

Carol L. Folt
Chancellor, UNC-Chapel Hill

A. Dale Jenkins
Chair, UNC Health Care Board of Directors


This message is sponsored by: Office of the Chancellor