Chemistry professor honored by alumni association

A chemistry professor who has been a faculty leader and is spearheading efforts to streamline operations at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was honored recently with the General Alumni Association’s Faculty Service Award.

Joe Templeton

The association’s board of directors presented the award to Joseph L. Templeton at its quarterly meeting. The award was established in 1990 and honors faculty members who have performed outstanding service for the University or the association.

The Iowa native joined the faculty in 1976 after earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology in 1971, his doctorate from Iowa State University in 1975 and conducting postdoctoral research as a NATO fellow at the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

As Templeton — who served as chair of the chemistry department in the College of Arts and Sciences from 1990 to 1995 — has continued to teach a full course load, mentor graduate students, apply for grants and run his own research projects, he also has taken on several high-profile administrative assignments. Among them, he was appointed in 2009 by Chancellor Holden Thorp to lead Carolina Counts, a campuswide initiative resulting from a Bain & Company study to make operations more efficient. The goal is to reduce overlap in administrative functions, streamline operations and simplify unnecessary bureaucracy, thereby refocusing resources on the academic mission of the University. To date, Carolina Counts has identified and implemented $50 million in permanent administrative savings.

Templeton also served as chair of the Faculty Council from 2006 to 2009, representing the faculty to administrators and the public. Among its duties, the council determines educational policies, curriculum and student standards, recommends honorary degrees and special awards and advises the chancellor.

Among other administrative assignments, Templeton has served as chair of the Summer Reading Program Book Selection Committee and on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee and the Faculty Executive Committee. He was a member of the most recent chancellor selection committee that chose Thorp, a former faculty member of the chemistry department.

Templeton was the faculty representative on the alumni association board for 2009-10.

Other recent recipients of the Faculty Service Award include Joseph S. Ferrell, secretary of the faculty; H. Shelton “Shelley” Earp III, director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and a professor of pharmacology and medicine; business professor James H. “Jim” Johnson Jr.; and former law school dean and faculty chair Judith W. Wegner. A complete list of award winners can be found at

The General Alumni Association is a self-governed, nonprofit organization serving alumni and friends of UNC since 1843.