FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2020
Chapel Hill, NC – University of North Carolina System Interim President Bill Roper has named Dr. Sharon L. Gaber as the fifth chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Dr. Gaber currently serves as president of The University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, and is nationally recognized for her efforts to increase enrollment, improve graduation and retention rates, keep education affordable, and make the campus a diverse, inclusive environment. Education Dive named her one of five higher education leaders to watch in 2018 and beyond.
“Sharon Gaber’s impressive career at each level of education made her standout as the ideal candidate to lead UNC Charlotte into its next phase of success,” said Dr. Roper. “Her many past achievements and future goals will benefit both the UNC System and UNC Charlotte. I have great confidence that the university will continue to grow and develop under her strong leadership.”
Dr. Gaber was selected by Dr. Roper for approval by the Board of Governors from a group of finalists. The finalists for the position were chosen by a 16-member chancellor search committee and the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees. The search committee included faculty, staff, students, alumni and other community members.
“Our board was highly impressed with Dr. Gaber from the outset. She has proven herself time and time again to be up for any challenge that she has been presented with,” said Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey. “She has won high, deserved praise from her peers and the students, faculty, staff and alumni that she has led. We wanted to find someone with a unique set of skills and background to lead one of our most important institutions. I firmly believe we have found those qualities in Dr. Gaber.”
A career educator with a background in city and regional planning, Dr. Gaber became the first female president at UToledo following six years as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas. She also served as interim provost at Auburn and as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Occidental College, a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, and her doctoral degree from Cornell University. Under Dr. Gaber’s leadership, UToledo’s student retention and graduation rates rose to all-time highs, and the school achieved its strategic plan target graduation rate three years ahead of schedule, moving nearly nine percentage points from 2017 to 2019.
“This is a historic moment for UNC Charlotte at a historic time in our nation and in higher education. We are fortunate to have found a strong, innovative and accomplished leader like Sharon Gaber to guide UNC Charlotte through the next chapter in its history and to solidify our position as a top-tier, nationally recognized university,” said Michael Wilson, chair of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees and the chancellor search committee. “She is the right leader at exactly the right time to chart the university’s next chapter at a pivotal point in our 74-year history. We look forward to her leadership in ensuring that UNC Charlotte continues to advance the educational, economic and social needs of the Charlotte region and beyond.”
Dr. Gaber will succeed Philip L. Dubois, who will retire on June 30, after 15 years of distinguished service. She will be the second woman to lead the institution, following in the footsteps of university founder and philanthropist Bonnie Cone.
“I am truly excited and grateful to have the opportunity to serve as the fifth chancellor of UNC Charlotte and join the Niner Nation family,” said Dr. Gaber. “While we are experiencing unprecedented times in our nation, I am prepared to work with the faculty, staff, students, alumni and local leaders to navigate our new realities together and build on the University’s strong legacy of academic excellence, cutting-edge research and community engagement. I believe in the importance of the institution’s mission as North Carolina’s urban research university, and the critical role UNC Charlotte plays in the largest city in the state.”