Western Carolina University's Provost will serve as the school's acting chancellor when the current one goes on medical leave. Alison Morrison-Shetlar will assume the role at the school in Cullowhee on January 1. Morrison-Shetlar has been with WCU since 2014.
She also serves as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and as a tenured biology professor. Before that, she was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Elon University.
WCU Chancellor David Belcher announced he’s going on medical leave because of the brain cancer he’s been battling since April 2016. He says he doesn't expect to return to the job.
In a statement sent to the university on Monday, Belcher said the effects of his brain tumor have worsened and have impacted his speech and communication skills.
“I am grateful to Alison Morrison-Shetlar for her willingness to act in my stead while I am on medical leave. I am confident she shares my commitment to ensuring that students at Western Carolina University receive a high-quality education and a life-changing experience,” said Belcher.
Belcher has been chancellor of WCU since July 2011.
UNC System President Margaret Spellings says she'll work with the chairman of the university's board of trustees to begin a search for a permanent chancellor.