HANOVER - Dartmouth College's Interim President Carol L. Folt has been elected to be the next chancellor of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.<br /><br />She is succeeding Holden Thorp who is leaving to become provost of Washington University in St. Louis.<br /><br />Folt, 61, will be the university's 11th chancellor and the first woman to lead the university, which is the nation's oldest public university.<br /><br />UNC President Tom Ross placed Folt's name up for nomination Friday during a special meeting of the university's Board of Governors.<br /><br />"Over the past three decades, Carol Folt has accumulated a wealth of academic and leadership experience at one of the top 10 universities in America. At each step along the way, she has proven herself to be an engaged and effective leader who promotes openness and collaboration, strategic thinking and creative problem-solving, and an unwavering commitment to academic excellence and student success. She has also earned a reputation for great integrity, sound judgment, and the ability to face tough and complex challenges head-on. I am convinced that Carol Folt has the right mix of experience, expertise, skills, and passion needed to be a truly great chancellor for UNC-Chapel Hill, and I am thrilled that she has agreed to join our leadership team," Ross said in a UNC announcement.<br /><br />Folt became interim president of Dartmouth -- the first woman to hold the office -- last July when President Jim Yong Kim left to head the World Bank. She had been serving as provost since 2010. Folt is an internationally recognized environmental scientist and award-winning teacher. <br /><br />She earned a bachelor's degree in aquatic biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1976, then a master's degree in biology in 1978.<br /><br />She received her doctorate in ecology in 1982 from the University of California at Davis and conducted postdoctoral studies at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University. <br /><br />She joined Dartmouth staff 30 years ago as a research instructor in the department of biological sciences and has served in a series of senior academic and administrative roles since 2001.<br /><br />"Carol has an impressive record of academic leadership and innovative scientific research, and I'm thrilled that she has been presented with such a terrific opportunity to lead one of the country's premier universities," Dartmouth Board of Trustees Chair Steve Mandel said in a Dartmouth press release on Friday. "All of the trustees are grateful to Carol for her excellent leadership over the past year and for her unyielding dedication and commitment to Dartmouth.<br /><br />"We congratulate Carol on this thoroughly deserved recognition and wish her every success in her new role."