Executive Summary

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte seeks a highly accomplished, strategic and collaborative Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Located in one of America’s fastest growing and most diverse cities, UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university and leverages its location to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and impactful community engagement initiatives. With its current enrollment of 30,448 students, UNC Charlotte is the third largest institution within the University of North Carolina system.

More than 1,100 full-time and almost 500 part-time faculty members work alongside 2,500 staff to support a campus community with low student to faculty ratios in 77 Bachelor's degrees, 66 Master's degrees, and 24 Doctoral degrees. The Provost will Play a pivotal role in implementing a new strategic plan that builds on UNC Charlotte’s strengths while articulating a vision for a top-tier university that is ready to meet new challenges.

About the Provost Position

The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (Provost) reports directly to the Chancellor and serves as the chief academic officer for UNC Charlotte. As a senior campus leader, the Provost is responsible for the academic integrity of the university and fostering an environment that supports the institution’s mission and strategic direction.

The Provost provides leadership for the University's seven academic colleges, including the College of Arts + Architecture, the Belk College of Business, the College of Computing and Informatics, the Cato College of Education, The William States Lee College of Engineering, the College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as the University-wide Graduate School, University College, and Honors College.

In addition to the colleges, the Provost also oversees the following offices, units, and departments: Academic Budget and Personnel, Office of Assessment and Accreditation, Enrollment Management, School of Professional Studies, ADVANCE Faculty Affairs and Diversity Office, Office of Institutional Research and Decision Support, Office of International Programs, J. Murrey Atkins Library, Office of Undergraduate Education, and Office of Urban Research and Community Engagement.

Direct reports to the Provost include the deans of the academic colleges, as well as the Senior Associate Provost, Associate Provost for Academic Budget & Personnel, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management, Associate Provost for Urban Research and Community Engagement, Associate Provost for Graduate Programs & Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education & Dean of University College, Dean of the Library, Associate Provost for the School of Professional Studies, Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Decision Support, Assistant Provost for International Programs, and the Assistant Provost in the Office of Academic Affairs.

Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Next Provost

Further raise the standing and impact of UNC Charlotte

The Provost will be charged with charting a vision for Academic Affairs within the framework of the new strategic plan. It is expected that the Provost will emphasize educational opportunity and excellence; power the future through inquiry, research, and creative discovery; drive progress for North Carolina and beyond; and lead in equity and engagement.

Student Success, Opportunity, and Engagement

As the Chief Academic Officer, the Provost has the unique opportunity to continue to emphasize student success across all levels of the University. In consultation with the deans and other academic leadership, the Provost will examine enrollment growth and student persistence data to further create a culture where students are fully supported in their academic journey.

Inquiry, Research, and Creative Discovery

UNC Charlotte has an ambitious goal of furthering its research mission to become an emerging top-tier research university. The Provost will work with the Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development, the Associate Provost for Graduate Programs & Dean of the Graduate School, and deans of the academic colleges to continue to align academic programs with the research mission, vision, and goals of the University. This can include, but is not limited to, identifying creative funding solutions to encourage growth in graduate program enrollment as well as the development of new and innovative graduate programs to meet the needs of a rapidly changing region, state, nation, and globe.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As a senior leader on campus, the Provost will further create a culture that values important conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. The University, as a member of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, not only has the unique opportunity but also the inherent responsibility to take the lead in issues surrounding these priorities. Further engagement with the city of Charlotte, the Piedmont region, and the state of North Carolina will be critical to the success in this area.

Resource Allocation and Budget Management

The Provost is expected to guide financial resources to align with the stated vision of the University as outlined in the strategic plan. The Provost will work with the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs to ensure transparency and accountability in the resource allocation process and clearly communicate important resource decisions. In a time of strong competition for finite resources, the Provost, along with other senior leaders, will ensure that UNC Charlotte has the financial support and resources needed to accomplish future goals and objectives. It is imperative that the Provost is a good steward of existing resources and will look for new and innovative avenues to further grow resources.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

The following duties are customary for this position, but are not to be construed as all-inclusive. Duties may be added, deleted, or assigned based on management discretion and institutional needs.

  • Provides leadership in all areas relating to academic affairs;
  • Leads, strengthens, and supports shared governance;
  • Recruits, retains, and mentors academic leadership;
  • Provides leadership in the implementation of the university's strategic plan and budget model to support the strategic, operational, and financial direction of the university;
  • Serves as the chief academic officer and liaison with local, state, and federal entities, and the UNC System;
  • Identifies and engages in activities to increase research funding opportunities through partnerships and community engagement;
  • Provides leadership for curricular development and transformation in partnership with the faculty;
  • Identifies, develops, and maintains a marketplace of ideas and interdisciplinary connections across the campus;
  • Provides leadership in the qualitative enhancement of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs;
  • Demonstrates strategic leadership for institutional initiatives that foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for faculty, staff, and students;
  • Establishes and strengthens structures to assist faculty in identifying and pursuing new extramural funding opportunities; and,
  • Leads the continuous alignment between academic affairs and student affairs and enrollment for effective and efficient student recruitment and enrollment management.

Essential Attributes

  • Proven record of academic leadership with a distinguished record of teaching, scholarship, and service;
  • Earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree in an academic discipline with qualifications meriting appointment at the rank of professor with tenure;
  • Proven record of significant academic leadership experience with a distinguished record of teaching, scholarship, and service;
  • Demonstrates a high degree of authenticity, humility, and personal and professional integrity;
  • Demonstrates exceptional interpersonal communication skills and ability to interact effectively, honestly, transparently, and decisively with academic leadership, faculty, staff, and students;
  • Demonstrates commitment to academic quality and integrity, and possesses an intimate knowledge of programmatic and institutional accrediting structures, processes, and operations; 
  • Demonstrates ability to be a strategic leader in building diversity among the student body, faculty, and staff, and to create an equitable and inclusive university community;
  • Demonstrates ability to be a strategic leader and capacity to build a resilience-informed academic affairs community and establish continuous leadership development expectations throughout the academic leadership structure;
  • Demonstrates success with strategic planning, budgeting, and an understanding of decentralized budget models; and,
  • Demonstrates the ability to exercise sound judgment, decisiveness, and to perform effectively in a leadership capacity.

About the University of North Carolina at Charlotte

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university and is located in one of America’s fastest growing and most diverse cities.  It leverages its location in the state’s largest and most dynamic city to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and impactful community engagement initiatives.

The history of the institution is important to understand its mission and evolution. Founded in 1946, the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina served the educational needs of returning World War II veterans. Three years later, the institution formally became the two-year Charlotte College, responding to the need for public higher education in the city. Later in 1965, an act of the State General Assembly transformed Charlotte College into UNC Charlotte, the fourth campus of the University of North Carolina System. The later addition of master’s degree programs and in 1994, doctoral programs, allowed UNC Charlotte to become the city’s only research and doctoral granting institution.

In the 75 years since its founding, UNC Charlotte has experienced tremendous expansion and growth. It is currently the third largest institution within the University of North Carolina system with an enrollment of 30,448 students. It comprises seven academic colleges offering 171 undergraduate majors in 77 programs leading to Bachelor's degrees, 66 Master's degrees, 24 Doctoral degrees, and 30 honors programs.

As UNC Charlotte has grown, so has the rich diversity of the student body. The campus community represents a diverse tapestry of backgrounds and cultures that help enrich the learning atmosphere and create an environment where all students feel that they belong. In fall 2021, UNC Charlotte enrollment was 30,448 students, encompassing 24,116 undergraduates and 6,332 graduate students. Students come from 47 U.S. states, with approximately 2,000 international students originating from 100+ countries and UNC Charlotte is home to many local, regional, non-traditional, returning students, and Veterans. Of the entire student body, 49 percent are female; 36 percent are racialized minorities. Seventy-two percent of students receive financial aid and 38 percent of those students receive Pell Grants.

More than 1,100 full-time and almost 500 part-time faculty members account for an average 20:1 student to faculty ratio, providing personalized attention and teaching relationships that can persist for a lifetime. The number of staff members total 2,500. UNC Charlotte faculty and staff are dedicated to academic excellence, cutting-edge research, community outreach and the growth and development of the University experience for all students.

Leadership

In July 2020, Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D. became the fifth chancellor of UNC Charlotte. Officially the first woman to serve as chancellor of UNC Charlotte, Chancellor Gaber follows the trail blazed by founding educator Bonnie Cone, who led the institution from 1946-1966 through several stages of growth.
Prior to her arrival at UNC Charlotte, she served for five years as the President of the University of Toledo. Earlier in her career, she served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas. She has also served as interim provost and administrator at Auburn University and a faculty member and administrator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

An academic with a background in city and regional planning, Chancellor Gaber has written numerous articles on regional and urban planning, public policy, and the social dynamics that affect community decision making. She is also co-author of a book on planning research methods. Chancellor Gaber was named as one of the 2021 Most Admired CEO honorees by the Charlotte Business Journal, and was also named to the Business North Carolina 2021 Power List. Chancellor Gaber was designated by Education Dive as one of five higher education leaders to watch in 2018 and beyond. 

Strategic Focus

The UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees recently approved a new 10-year strategic plan, Shaping What’s Next, 2021-31. In fall 2021, Chancellor Gaber named a 22-member Strategic Planning Committee composed of faculty, staff, administrators and students that worked diligently and intentionally for one year to shape the thousands of ideas, suggestions and feedback received from nearly 7,000 stakeholders. The emergent strategic plan is both aspirational and inspirational, setting the path for UNC Charlotte to achieve its vision to be a globally recognized, emerging top-tier research university driving discovery and innovation, while advancing student access and social mobility, nurturing talent, fostering excellence, and ensuring equity.

The four strategic focus areas that serve as the foundation of the strategic plan are as follows:

Transform Students’ Lives through Educational Opportunity and Excellence

Student success is central to UNC Charlotte’s mission. As the first strategic focus, the university will provide students with access to a high-quality and affordable educational experience, support them to ensure they are successful in their educational pursuits and prepare them to excel in their career and life choices.

Power the Future through Inquiry, Research, and Creative Discovery

Expanding and strengthening our research is the second strategic focus. UNC Charlotte intends to become a top-tier research university as well as foster signature institutional research areas of national and international relevance.

Drive Progress for North Carolina and Beyond

The third strategic focus is to fulfill UNC Charlotte’s role as North Carolina’s urban research university to advance solutions for cultural, economic, social, educational, environmental and health issues, as well as to be a talent developer to address workforce and community development needs.

Live our Guiding Commitments by Leading in Equity and Engagement

The fourth strategic focus is to ensure that UNC Charlotte's campus is diverse, equitable and inclusive, as well as to increase the visibility and reputation of the University through the use of its externally facing assets and programs. One of the major goals in this focus area is to demonstrate national leadership in diversity, inclusion, and equity.

A Vibrant Campus

UNC Charlotte’s main campus is in University City, approximately eight miles from uptown Charlotte and accessible via light rail. The picturesque campus sits on nearly 1,000 wooded acres with 10 acres of outdoor botanical gardens, hiking trails, the McMillan Greenhouse, and a tropical plant courtyard.

Approximately one quarter of UNC Charlotte students choose to live on campus and within walking distance to classes, labs, libraries, light rail, theaters, concerts, art galleries and sports facilities. Students have a choice of 17 residence halls, including Greek organization housing and learning communities. Personalized dining options offer the ultimate in choice and convenience with traditional dining halls and specialty restaurants.

UNC Charlotte has a permanent presence in Charlotte’s Center City, a 143,000-square-foot facility with 25 classrooms and design studios, meeting and performance spaces, and an art gallery, adjacent to a four-acre city park. The Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City is the only University of North Carolina building conceived and designed specifically to serve the people, organizations and businesses of an urban center. UNC Charlotte is an active participant in the city’s business and cultural district, bringing the University’s considerable intellectual resources to the heart of the Charlotte community. UNC Charlotte is connected by light rail to Center City and the Dubois Center is only 100 steps away from the train.

Governance

UNC Charlotte is one of 17 constituent institutions comprising the University of North Carolina System. The System is overseen by a 24-member UNC Board of Governors, elected by the North Carolina General Assembly to four-year terms. The Board has the responsibility for policy-making, planning, management, and overall governance of the UNC System, and elects the System’s president to serve as the chief administrative and executive officer. The Board also elects each institution’s chancellor, upon the nomination of the president.

Each institution within the System also has its own Board of Trustees, which is delegated extensive authority and power over operations and academics on campus. UNC Charlotte has a 13-member Board of Trustees. Eight members are elected to four-year terms by the UNC Board of Governors, four members are appointed by the North Carolina General Assembly, and the president of the student body serves a one-year term as an ex officio member.

The City of Charlotte

Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States and is currently the country’s 15th most populous city and the second largest in the Southeast. Serving as a major center for the finance industry (Charlotte is the nation’s second-largest center for banking and finance), as well as for the motorsports and energy industries, the region hosts headquarters for nine Fortune 500 companies and 18 Fortune 1000 companies. Among them are Bank of America, Centene, Lowe’s, Honeywell International, Duke Energy, Nucor, Sonic Automotive and Sealed Air. Equally significant is the commitment of more than 200 additional Fortune 1000 companies that have placed one or more facilities within the Charlotte region.

Charlotte also is home to six major professional sports teams, including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. It is also home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the 10th largest airport in the United States based on passenger totals, provides easy access to domestic and overseas destinations.

Rated as one of the top 25 best places to live in the U.S. by U.S. News & World report, the city also offers a range of cultural amenities, including the Charlotte Symphony, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Mint Museum, Harvey Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, McConnell Center for Art, Innovation, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte Ballet, a growing landscape of outstanding restaurants, and a dynamic, thriving private art gallery scene. For those who enjoy exploring the outdoors, Charlotte is a city known for its tree canopy and extensive system of creeks. The U.S. National Whitewater Center provides a range of activities, and Charlotte offers easy access to mountainous terrain to the west, as well as the Atlantic coast to the east. Mecklenburg County, home to Charlotte, has 21,000 acres of parks including 56 miles of developed greenway trails connecting people and places.

Nomination and Application Process

Parker Executive Search is assisting UNC Charlotte in the search for the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Search Committee invites letters of nomination, applications (letter of interest, full resume/CV, and contact information of at least five references), or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.  It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted prior to January 10, 2022. For additional information, please contact:

 

Laurie Wilder, President

Porsha Williams, Vice President

Jacob Anderson, Principal

Parker Executive Search

Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875

Atlanta, GA 30328

770-804-1996 ext.: 111

LaurieWilder@parkersearch.com || pwilliams@parkersearch.com || janderson@parkersearch.com

 

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is an equal opportunity employer and, in compliance with federal and state laws and University policy, is committed to providing equal educational and employment opportunities for all persons without regard to age, color, national origin, race, religion, disability, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Individuals from traditionally underrepresented populations are encouraged to apply.

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