A Heartfelt Message from NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White

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Dear Eagle Community,

North Carolina Central University is indeed a community where scholars soar and the genuine passion we call Eagle Pride is part of our distinctiveness. As we prepare to begin the 2016-2017 academic year, I want to provide you with an update about my health. University of North Carolina President Margaret Spellings has approved my request to take a medical leave of absence effective today, August 8, 2016, so I can fully focus on my continued recovery and care.

President Spellings is announcing that Dr. Johnson Akinleye, provost and vice chancellor of Academic Affairs, has been named as acting chancellor. Dr. Akinleye has had a successful career in higher education, serving in numerous senior administrative roles at public, private and church affiliated institutions. Since joining NCCU in 2014, Dr. Akinleye has implemented many transformational initiatives in the Division of Academic Affairs, including the development of a new 2016-2021 Academic Affairs Strategic Plan. As the university moves forward, I am confident that Dr. Akinleye’s leadership will allow us to continue building on all that is Eagle Excellence. Together, we are becoming the foremost pipeline of producing talent for our great state.

Most recently, some of our accomplishments include achieving near-record fundraising totals by creating a culture of philanthropy, starting several new campus expansion projects, including a new student center and School of Business facility, increasing enrollment in both undergraduate and graduate programs and improving our retention and graduation rates. These and so many more of our initiatives have been recognized by our higher education colleagues nationwide, including our recent award as HBCU Digest’s 2016 HBCU of the Year. (I encourage you to view our growing list of national rankings here.)

NCCU Board Chairman George R. Hamilton has expressed his continued support on behalf of the Board of Trustees for me, Dr. Akinleye and our Executive Leadership Team. I remain so grateful for your continued prayers and well wishes. To God be the glory!

In Truth and Service,

Dr. Debra Saunders-White Chancellor


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