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Rick Wernoski leads the Operational Excellence team, which is focused on planning and executing executive level projects, transforming university-wide administrative operations, and developing continuous improvement competencies campus-wide. He ensures that leadership, directors, and staff from across the university work together as a team and as full partners in providing high-quality support of business operations. During his current role, he also served as Interim Executive Vice Dean of Operations at the Adams School of Dentistry from 2021 to 2022. Wernoski also currently serves as the Education Council, Chair with the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation – a national organization whose mission is to advance change and innovation in higher education.

Before joining the Office of the Chancellor, Wernoski was Executive Vice Dean and Chief Operating Officer at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, responsible for all operational and financial aspects of the school and its institutes and centers. Wernoski joined the school in 2010 as the Executive Associate Dean for Administration and Chief Financial Officer responsible for finance, faculty affairs, research administration, human resources, facilities, communications, information technology and educational technology. He also served as Interim Associate Dean of Advancement from 2013 to 2014. 

Before joining Carolina, Wernoski worked for fifteen years at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He began as a budget analyst in the Department of Pharmacology and moved up to the position of Business Manager in the Department of Molecular Genetics, Microbiology, and Immunology. After 10 years in that capacity, he was named the medical school’s Executive Director for Administration and Operations, a position he held for four years before coming to Carolina.

Wernoski earned a bachelor’s degree in financial management from Clemson University and a Master of Public Administration from Kean University.