Gilliam Named Chancellor of UNCG

GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 22, 2015) – Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), was elected Chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) by the Board of Governors of the 17-campus University of North Carolina today. Gilliam, 60, will assume his new duties September 8.

Acting on behalf of UNC President Tom Ross, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, UNC Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Junius Gonzales placed Gilliam’s name in nomination today during the board’s regular May meeting. Gilliam succeeds Acting Chancellor Dana Dunn, who has led the institution since Linda Brady began medical leave in March following heart surgery. Brady served as chancellor of the university for seven years. Dunn returns to her previous position as Provost and executive vice chancellor of UNCG.

In recommending Gilliam to the Board of Governors, Ross said in a prepared statement: “In a stellar career that spans three decades, Frank Gilliam has distinguished himself as a faculty member, researcher and top-notch administrator. He has taught and held senior leadership positions at one of our nation’s best known and most respected public universities. And at each step along the way, he has proven himself to be an engaged and effective leader who promotes openness and collaboration, strategic thinking and creative problem-solving, and a real-life commitment to academic excellence and community partnership. UNC Greensboro is fortunate to gain a leader with this wealth of talent, passion and commitment.”

Since 2008 Gilliam, a longtime UCLA professor of public policy and political science, has been Dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs. As dean, Gilliam has focused on establishing UCLA Luskin as a leader in finding solutions to society’s most pressing problems – from juvenile justice to drug policy, from child welfare and health care reform to transportation and the environment. He also secured a $50-million naming gift for the school and has launched new campaigns to elevate its mission of public service. Under his leadership, it has launched major administrative and educational initiatives ranging from an ambitious centennial fundraising campaign and strategic planning initiative to programs in global public affairs, leadership, digital governance, and inequality. The school’s active research centers include the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, the Institute for Transportation Studies, the Center for Policy Research on Aging, the Luskin Center for Innovation and, coming August 1, the new Institute on Inequality and Democracy.

“During the university’s comprehensive search process, Frank emerged as a committed and determined leader who holds the special combination of skills, talents and experience required to effectively guide UNCG’s future growth,” said Susan Safran, UNCG Board of Trustees chair and chair of the Chancellor Search Committee.

A native of Bloomington, MN, Gilliam earned a bachelor’s degree in political science (1977) from Drake University and holds master’s (1978) and doctoral (1983) degrees in the field from the University of Iowa. Early in his academic career, he taught at Grinnell College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the UCLA faculty in 1986 as an assistant professor of political science. Twice nominated for UCLA’s Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award, Gilliam also has taught at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and was a Visiting Scholar at Brandeis University. In addition, he taught at Fisk University, Middle Tennessee State University, and with former Vice President Al Gore at Columbia University.

“Frank Gilliam is an accomplished higher education leader whose experience at a highly regarded public research university positions him well to move UNC Greensboro forward along its trajectory of success and accomplishment,” said Acting Chancellor Dana Dunn. “His background demonstrates that he is an inclusive collaborator, a focused visionary and an engaged leader.  I’m very excited about UNCG’s future under Frank’s leadership.”

Gilliam’s research interests include strategic communications and its effects on shaping public policy; electoral politics; and racial and ethnic politics. He is married to Jacquelean Gilliam, executive director of Scholarships & Student Support Initiatives and Campus-wide Initiatives at UCLA. They have two children: Ariel Gilliam, 22, who will graduate from UCLA in June with a degree in history; and Franklin D. “Trey” Gilliam, III, a junior at University High School in West Los Angeles.


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About The University of North Carolina at Greensboro


The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a high-research activity university as classified by the Carnegie Foundation. Founded in 1891 and one of the original three UNC system institutions, UNCG is the most diverse university in the state with 18,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff members representing more than 90 nationalities. With 82 undergraduate, 63 master’s and 28 doctoral programs, UNCG is consistently recognized nationally among the top universities for academic excellence and value, with noted strengths in education, health and wellness, the performing arts, business and the arts and sciences, among others. For additional information, please visit



About the University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina is a multi-campus university dedicated to serving our state and its people through world-class teaching, research and scholarship, and outreach and service. The oldest public university in the nation, UNC traces its roots to the state’s 1776 constitution, which held that “All useful Learning shall be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more Universities.” Today, more than 220,000 students are enrolled on 16 university campuses across the state and at the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the country’s first public, residential high school for gifted students.