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Good afternoon,

This month, OE is highlighting Stephanie Schmitt in our campus partner spotlight. Stephanie serves as the vice dean of The Graduate School. As vice dean, Stephanie plays an integral part in the administration and overall management of The Graduate School. Her experience as a champion for transformative positive change in graduate education has been vital to the progress and success of the credit bearing certificates project. Read below about Stephanie’s time at Carolina and her involvement with OE.

  1. What is your current role and how long have you worked at UNC?

I currently serve as the vice dean of The Graduate School. I’ve been at Carolina as a student and staff member since the 1990s — a triple Tar Heel who is so fortunate to serve as a staff member as well! I work primarily on academic affairs issues, such as engaging with faculty to develop new graduate degrees or certificate programs, helping graduate students navigate academic issues and policies, and coordinating the program review assessment and evaluation processes for the campus.

  1. What has been your involvement with Operational Excellence?

Currently, I’m working on the credit bearing certificates project. This project aims to centralize support for our certificate programs across campus, primarily to foster growth in this area and improve the student experience. The project is complex with a lot of valuable campus partners. We wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without OE’s help, and I’m so appreciative for the chance to improve our processes to help this growing space for academic programming.

  1. What do you see as Operational Excellence’s impact on your work and/or the operations of the University?

The work that Operational Excellence does is crucial to the future success of the University. Being able to pull together functional and technical resources to brainstorm process improvements — always with an eye toward student success — is just phenomenal. We should always be in a position to improve ourselves as a campus, and OE helps us manage ideas and projects with that end goal.

  1. When you are not working, how do you enjoy spending your time?

My family and I are huge Tar Heel supporters! We try to attend sporting events for a wide range of teams — women’s and men’s basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and baseball. We also value the arts so attending art and theater shows on campus, plus the broader community through the Durham Performing Arts Center are fun ways to spend time. My second grader is also incredibly busy with sports and learning Spanish, so he keeps us jumping.

Please feel free to share this email with your colleagues. You can also visit our website to learn more about Operational Excellence, read my previous updates, and submit feedback. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at I read every email.


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