UNC Greensboro Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. was recently a guest on the “To a Degree” podcast, the postsecondary success podcast of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gilliam appeared on “Episode 24: Reimagining the First Year and Beyond,” and talked with host Casey Green about student success initiatives in higher education and the role of university presidential leadership.

Gilliam discussed the importance of building a student success infrastructure and directing resources from the top down.

Specifically, he highlighted several UNCG efforts aimed at improving student success, such as participating in the Gates Foundation Frontier Set and a new $1.2 million grant for student mentoring and classroom modernization.

“What we do is we pick and choose as we look across the landscape at programs and initiatives that we think would fit our particular culture,” Gilliam said. “There’s no magic bullet. You have to build an infrastructure.”

With regard to his role, Gilliam highlighted three ways he believes presidents and chancellors can make a difference: hire the best people, promote your institution, and be present with students.

“You have to interact with students,” he said. “All of this says, ‘We care about your success. You’re not just a data point to us.’”

To learn more and to listen to the full episode, visit the podcast website. The podcast is also available on SoundCloud and the Apple podcast app.