Marye Anne Fox

Marye Anne Payne Fox
Seventh Chancellor of the
University of California, San Diego[1]
Twelfth Chancellor of
North Carolina State University
Personal details
Born (1947-12-09) 9 December 1947
Canton, Ohio, U.S.
Spouse(s) James K. Whitesell
Residence San Diego, California
Alma mater Notre Dame College
Cleveland State University
Dartmouth College
Profession Chemist, administrator
Institutions University of Texas at Austin
North Carolina State University
University of Notre Dame
U.C. San Diego

Marye Anne Payne Fox (born 9 December 1947) is a physical organic chemist and university administrator. She was the first female chief executive of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. In April 2004, Fox was named Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego. In 2010 Fox received the National Medal of Science.


Early years

Fox was born in Canton, Ohio and received her B.S. from Notre Dame College and her Ph.D. from Dartmouth College, both in chemistry. She held a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Maryland from 1974 to 1976. In the later year, she joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1994 she became vice president of research there.


Fox is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has served as president of the scientific research society Sigma Xi. Fox earned a B.S. in chemistry from Notre Dame College in 1969 and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College in 1974. In 1976 she joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin, where she rose to direct the Center for Fast Kinetics Research and, in 1994, was appointed the university's Vice President for Research. Even as a university administrator, she maintained an active research program in the fields of organic photochemistry and electrochemistry.

She was appointed the twelfth chancellor of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in August 1998, succeeding Dr. Larry K. Monteith. She was the university's first female chief executive, serving until July 2004.[2] During her tenure as Chancellor, the UNC system and its Board of Governors successfully campaigned for a taxpayer-funded bond referendum leading to a significant period of growth of the physical facilities of the campus, particularly Centennial Campus.[3] Her tenure was also marked by controversy over excessive pay raises for members of her administration and the firing of two prominent vice provosts that led to the resignation of the provost and a formal censuring by the NC State Faculty Senate.[4]

In June 2003, Fox played a role in the expansion of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Reached in Switzerland at a conference, she cast an unexpected and deciding "no" vote against Boston College in the first round of Atlantic Coast Conference expansion.[5] Her unanticipated vote at the 11th hour resulted in months of turmoil in college sports. Miami President Donna Shalala delayed her university's acceptance of the ACC invitation to the last possible day explaining "We had numbers on Boston College-Virginia Tech. We had done numbers on Miami alone. But we had not anticipated that Virginia Tech and Miami would be the only two invitees."[6] The ensuing delay forced the ACC to spend the 2004-5 academic year as an 11-team conference, one shy of the dozen required by the NCAA for the ACC to hold a lucrative championship football game, and resulted in Boston College playing a "lame duck" year in the Big East.[7] Media reports suggested Chancellor Fox, a University of Notre Dame trustee, may have cast her vote against Boston College to provide time for the ACC to consider extending membership to the Fighting Irish.[8]

In 2004, Fox accepted the position of Chancellor at the University of California, San Diego. In the same year, and in spite of the faculty's censure vote, the NCSU Board of Trustees named a building after her, the Marye Anne Fox Science Teaching Laboratory. On 5 July 2011, she announced her intention to resign as Chancellor, effective June 2012, and return to her research and teaching.[9]

Fox served as a science advisor to George W. Bush during his tenure as governor of Texas. She also served on President Bush's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and was on the short list of candidates to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Bush's presidential administration.

Personal life

Fox is married to chemistry professor James K. Whitesell, with whom she has five sons from their previous marriages.



  1. "Marye Anne Fox". University of California San Diego. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  2. Historical State: History in Red and White. "Marye Anne Fox becomes the first female chancellor at NC State (1998)". Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  3. Historical State: History in Red and White. "Marye Anne Fox: Twelfth Chief Executive, 1998-2004". Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  4. Historical State: History in Red and White. "Michael David Anthony". Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  5. Vilona, Bill (13 October 2003). "Boston College accepts invite from ACC". Buckeye Buzz. Archived from the original on 23 November 2007. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  6. Svrluga, Barry (27 June 2003). "Miami on hold". The News & Observer. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  7. Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Day, Kathy (14 October 2011). "Committee named to assist in search to replace UCSD chancellor". La Jolla Light. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  9. "Havinga Medal Laureates". Havinga Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  10. Clark, Christine. "White House Names UC San Diego Chancellor Marye Anne Fox National Medal of Science Recipient" (Press release). UC San Diego. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  11. "Marye Anne Fox". The President's National Medal of Science: Recipient Details. National Science Foundation. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  12. "Othmer Gold Medal". Chemical Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  13. "Alumna to Receive Othmer Gold Medal". Notre Dame College. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  14. Gussman, Neil (30 January 2013). "Marye Anne Fox to Receive Othmer Gold Medal at Heritage Day 2012". The Business Journals. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Larry K. Monteith
Chancellor of North Carolina State University
Succeeded by
Robert A. Barnhardt
Preceded by
Robert C. Dynes
Chancellor of the University of California, San Diego
Succeeded by
Pradeep Khosla
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