Joe Urgo prepares to become interim chancellor in January

By Peyton Sheehan
News staff writer
[email protected]
Chancellor Mary Grant was appointed to her position at UNC Asheville in August 2014, and in just a matter of days, she will depart Asheville  to begin her new job as president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.
Joe Urgo, who currently holds the position of provost, will become the interim chancellor at the start of the Spring 2018 semester.  Urgo started his position as provost under the leadership of former Chancellor Anne Ponder in July 2014 and has served as UNCA’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.
“I started here in the fall of 2014 and Mary came in January of 2015,” Urgo said.
Urgo mentioned that they knew each other before both came to UNCA a few years ago, serving in different committees together. This helped give them an established working background.
While things will be slightly different without Chancellor Grant, Urgo hopes to keep things moving forward in the way that she has done.
“This is such a strong university that most students won’t notice,” Urgo said. “We have had enough advance time that it will be a smooth transition.”
Urgo wants to continue to enhance the good work the university has done so far and keep working with the community, downtown and the surrounding area. Urgo mentions how the idea of a liberal arts education has been misunderstood in the media, and wants spread the word out about how practical a liberal arts education is.  Urgo also wants others to know about the close relationship between the faculty and students at UNCA.
Urgo also said he would like to get the word out about the practicality of a liberal arts education.
“It’s an ideal education for the right student,” Urgo said. “I think as well as making it clear what kind of careers a liberal arts leads to over time.”