Local News

Indiana University Administrator Named New NCCU Chancellor

Posted June 8, 2007 7:53 a.m. EDT
Updated June 11, 2007 9:58 a.m. EDT

— 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.