UNC Health Care CEO, Medical School Dean Bill Roper Plans to Step Down in 2019
Dr. Roper led expansion efforts in education, research, and clinical care that improved health for all North Carolinians
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – May 31, 2018 – Dr. William L. Roper, who has helped transform UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine into one of the nation’s top academic medical institutions, plans to step down as CEO and dean in May 2019.
“It has been a high honor to serve with so many talented and committed people. I know that our team is well equipped to continue taking on the challenges of a rapidly evolving medical and health care landscape,” Roper said. “Our mission, our patients and our providers are in good hands.”
Roper joined UNC-Chapel Hill as dean of the School of Public Health in 1997. In 2004, he became CEO of UNC Health Care, dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs. In those roles, he has expanded the reach of the health care system and medical school and helped improve the health of all North Carolinians. He’s also been a passionate advocate for health issues that affect residents of North Carolina at the state and federal levels.
“Dr. Roper has championed a broad range of innovative teaching, treatment and patient-care initiatives that have expanded and rippled across our state to provide patients with quality, accessible and affordable health care,” said UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Bill has provided a remarkable record of leadership, always with the people of North Carolina in his heart and on his mind.”
Under Roper’s leadership, UNC Health Care has expanded into a statewide system with more than a dozen hospitals, more than 30,000 employees and nearly $5 billion in annual revenue. His commitment to teaching and training the next generation of physicians has improved access across the state, especially in rural areas.
“Without question, Dr. Roper has a proven track record of service to our state, our people and to our future health,” said Dale Jenkins, chair of the UNC Health Care Board of Directors. “Throughout a long career of public service, he has made an impact on health care nationally, but most importantly, he has elevated health care to new levels here in North Carolina.”
At the UNC School of Medicine, total research funding has increased more than 50 percent since 2004 to $441 million last year, making it one of the preeminent medical research programs in the country. Roper has spearheaded efforts to expand its footprint across the state. He has cultivated relationships with other medical leaders and opened doors for medical students to train in Asheville, Charlotte and Wilmington. Today, the medical school trains more than 2,400 inter-professional health care providers and medical students annually, including many who choose to practice in our state after their education. Roper also has helped expand and add numerous medical, teaching and research facilities at UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Health Care.
“Since Dr. Roper arrived at UNC, he has leveraged his expertise, experience and political acumen to guide this institution’s medical program and the state’s health care system into the 21st century,” said UNC System President Margaret Spellings. “His robust vision has ensured that we will be ready to meet the needs of our state’s aging and growing population.”
Roper, who turns 70 this summer, plans to step down on May 15, 2019. The University and UNC Health Care soon will begin a national search for his successor.