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Indiana University Administrator Named New NCCU Chancellor

Posted June 8, 2007
Updated June 11, 2007

— An Indiana University administrator will take over as the 10th chancellor of North Carolina Central University .

Charlie Nelms, 60, who is currently vice-president for Institutional Development and Student Affairs at Indiana University, will begin his new tenure at N.C. Central, starting Aug. 1.

The UNC Board of Governors recommended Nelms at its meeting Friday and voted in favor of the recommendation.

University of North Carolina system President Erskine Bowles said Nelms is a person who understands the vital community role the university plays in Durham.

"He clearly understands the vast potential of North Carolina Central University to make a real difference in our state, and I am convinced he has the skill-set and vision to take it to the next level. I am thrilled that Charlie Nelms has agreed to join our leadership team," Bowles said.

Cressie Thigpen, chair of the search committee, said the board was looking for someone who is a visionary with leadership, with fundraising skills. Nelms, who turned down positions at Tennessee State University, Grambling State University and Florida A&M University, impressed everyone at the start of the interview process, Thigpen said.

A native of Crawfordsville, Ark., Nelms majored in agronomy and chemistry at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduating in 1968. He later earned a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs in 1971and a doctoral degree in higher education administration in 1977 from Indiana University.

Nelms said he has always wanted to be at a historically black college or university and that the chancellor position brings him full circle.

"It's the people, it's the mission, it's the potential," he said.

He also said he is ready to take N.C. Central to the next level, but he said it is a group effort.

Nelms will succeed current Chancellor James Ammons, who is leaving the university to take a similar position at Florida A&M University. His last day at the university is June 15.

At Friday's meeting, Bowles thanked Ammons, who was not present at the meeting, for his service to the university and the UNC system.

Provost Beverly Jones, who has served at N.C. Central for 30 years, will serve as interim chancellor until Nelms takes the reigns in week. She is currently provost at the university and has been there 30 years.


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  • claudnc Jun 8, 2007

    That is so not true!!!!! All of the candidates were posted even when it was a pool of about 10. Then when it was narrowed down the candidates profiles were posted. How did you guys miss that it was in the News and observer as well - or is that you have nothing good to say. I am sure if a person that is not AA applied they will be given the same opportunity. There are non African American that head HBCU's. Sometimes its the stuff inside our own heads that lead us to believe that an HBCU is not practice diversity. Again if you attend some of the HBCU's esp on the graduate level its is such a diverse group you dont even realize you are at an HBCU.

  • latanya512 Jun 8, 2007

    If a white person applied and was better qualify then the new Chancellor, I believe he would have been given the job. HBC and universities are more diversified then they have been in the past. People other than black are attending on scholarships and that is a good thing.

  • GafanOO1 Jun 8, 2007

    How come it's never a white person?

  • baileysmom3 Jun 8, 2007

    its a secret who the other candidates were its kinda hush hush. But I am guessing they just pick who they like instead of who could best do the job.

  • aquamama Jun 8, 2007

    Welcome to NC!

  • Ihatexray Jun 8, 2007

    Umm...YES. Tabbed , not tapped, is the correct wording.

  • JennyDumDum Jun 8, 2007

    Tabbed? Really, not tapped? Really?

  • JQ Public Jun 8, 2007

    An AG Man is just what is needed to lead NCCU. He does have a vision and has seen where this great institution needs to go. I concur and look forward to supporting a fellow Ag Man.

  • EagleGirl Jun 8, 2007

    Ammons will be missed. I hope Nelms is up for the task and doesn't let the Eagles down.

  • claudnc Jun 8, 2007

    The candidates were posted at one point on this website along with in the news and observer. OF course for students and alumni's information was posted on campus and on our website.... Boy does he have very big shoes to fill.... Everyone loves Chancellor Ammons and we are very pleased with his progress. Progress is always good! - However we are still as a student body past and present sorry for our lost