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Neil Hawk's experience hard to replace

By Dustin Porter
Managing Editor

April 26, 2012

Photo courtesy of George Guthrie
Neil Hawk is recognized at the annual retirement dinner earlier this month. Hawk leaves UNCP as the longest-serving CFO in the 16-school UNC system after his 20 years at UNCP.

Neil Hawk, the chief financial officer and vice chancellor for business affairs, has announced his retirement after 20 years at UNCP.

He leaves the University as the longest-serving CFO in the UNC system.

When Hawk first arrived on campus in the fall of 1992, he had no intentions of spending the next two decades here.

Hawk said he had no idea how long he would be at UNCP, but he soon found out the institution and he were a "perfect fit."

UNCP is lucky Hawk fit so perfectly within its business structure because without him, the campus might not have grown so significantly.

Since Hawk arrived, the campus has doubled in size in terms of students and land.

Hawk's division was responsible for providing building blueprints for buildings to accommodate the students and arranging with architects to get things just right on campus.

For example, UNCP Director of Athletics Dan Kenney was the one in charge of bringing football to campus, but Hawk brought the construction and planning for the Grace P. Johnson stadium and the Bob Caton Fieldhouse.

Hawk meets with seven people ranging from directors to vice chancellors on a weekly basis, all of whom keep him quite busy.

"No two days are the same at work," Hawk said. "I don't have a routine."

"Whoever replaces Neil has some big shoes to fill," said Denise Carroll, director of auxiliary and business services.

"It's a complicated position that touches everything in some way," she added.

Hawk hired Carroll in 2005, and she said she could not have had a better boss.

"He lets the directors run their own show," she said. "There's no micro managing."

Carroll added the University is losing a very valuable asset, and you can't replace Neil's knowledge of the university overnight."

"Neil has a wealth of experience, and he helped guide us down the right path," said George Guthrie, assistant vice chancellor for business affairs.

"It will be impossible to replace 36 years of experience," Guthrie added.

Steve Martin vice chancellor for facilities and management said he views Hawk as a mentor.

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