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Dr. Barbara Entwisle, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology who has been a leading researcher at the University for 26 years, has been appointed as vice chancellor for research, effective March 25.

The appointment was approved March 24 by the University’s Board of Trustees. Entwisle has been the interim vice chancellor for research and economic development since August.

“Barbara has been a great addition to our administrative team and already has effectively championed the University’s research enterprise in her interim role,” said Chancellor Holden Thorp. “She brings extensive experience in leading the Carolina Population Center, one of our most distinguished research units. She understands multidisciplinary research – a hallmark of this University – extraordinarily well and has the skills and insights we need to help keep Carolina competitive nationally.”

As vice chancellor, Entwisle leads a campus-wide research program that attracted $803 million in contract and grant funding in fiscal 2010 – more than double the amount from a decade ago. Helping spur that growth has been the construction, made possible in recent years by public and private investments, of key research facilities including the Carolina Physical Science Complex. The vice chancellor leads efforts to connect academic units across the campus with University priorities and manages research support offices as well as select centers and institutes.

Entwisle, a social demographer who studies population, health and environment, joined Carolina’s department of sociology in 1985. From 2002 until last summer, she directed the Carolina Population Center, and within the last decade assumed additional faculty appointments in the department of geography, curriculum for the environment and ecology, curriculum in international and area studies, and department of Asian studies.

The Carolina Population Center routinely attracts funding from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies and helps drive related social science and health research projects across campus. Last year, the center was engaged in more than 43 active research projects, and brought in more than $47 million in external support. Faculty, staff and students affiliated with the center work in 85 countries around the world.

Entwisle won Carolina’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction in 2003. In addition, she has been honored several times for excellence in mentoring, teaching and research training by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Sociology Graduate Students Association.