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James Moeser
Credit: KPO Photography

James Moeser, chancellor emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been appointed acting director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities for academic year 2016-17 while current IAH Director Mark Katz begins a research leave.

The change takes effect July 1.

“James Moeser brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and leadership excellence to this important role,” said Kevin M. Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, in making the appointment. “His love for the arts and humanities, combined with his ability to advocate for and articulate the value of a liberal arts education, will be instrumental to the institute’s continued success over the next year.”

Moeser served as chancellor from 2000 to 2008. He led the university when the Carolina Covenant was established in 2004 as a promise to make UNC’s world-class education available to students in low-income families. Since retiring, he has served on the music faculty and as a senior consultant for special initiatives at the IAH.

“It’s a special honor to have the chancellor emeritus step into this role,” said Katz, Ruel W. Tyson Jr. Distinguished Professor of Humanities, who has led the IAH since 2013. “James Moeser has long been a champion of the arts and humanities on campus as well as nationally.”

Katz, who was recently awarded the Dent Medal by the Royal Musical Association in the United Kingdom for his work taking “musicology and hip-hop studies in bold new directions,” will use his one-year research leave to complete a book on hip-hop and diplomacy. He has received research funding from the U.S. State Department for his Next Level project.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with the talented staff at IAH and the many faculty leaders who really do the essential work of supporting the faculty culture at UNC,” said Moeser. “I have long regarded the Institute as UNC’s secret sauce. That is why I asked to have my office in Hyde Hall when I retired from the Chancellor’s Office. I feel completely at home there. I look forward to the year ahead with great excitement.”

The mission of the Institute, a part of the College of Arts and Sciences, is to serve faculty at every point in their career through support for scholarship, leadership and fellowship. The IAH was created in 1987 by Ruel Tyson, then professor of religious studies. Since 2002, it has been housed in Hyde Hall, built through private funding.

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