2016 - 2018 Presidential Accomplishments


Strategic Plan and Student Success

Developed a muscular and measurable Strategic Plan, unanimously adopted by the Board of Governors, which included institution-specific performance agreements and publicly available dashboards charting progress towards Board priorities around enrollment, graduation rates, and critical workforce credentials. In the first year, the System saw improvements on seven of its nine strategic plan performance metric, including increases in graduation rates, critical workforce degrees, research funding, and low-income and rural student completions.

Created the Student Success Innovation Lab to further a research-oriented approach to improving financial aid programs, critical advising models, and course redesign/digital learning innovations.



Increased affordability for all North Carolinians, including capped tuition increases for all students, reduced tuition for the three NC Promise institutions’ students, and fixed tuition at all 16 universities for a student’s four years.

Implemented NC Promise, resulting in enrollment increases at each institution, including 6 percent at Western Carolina University, 14 percent at UNC Pembroke, and 19 percent at Elizabeth City State University, and increases in transfer enrollments of 40 to 60 percent.


Legislative Funding

Spearheaded the passage of the best budget for the UNC System in 10 years with fully funded enrollment growth, nearly $10M in investments for data modernization, a fully funded $51 million NC Promise Tuition Program, and across the board salary increases for University employees ($1K per employee).


My Future NC Commission

Created and led the My Future NC Commission -- the first-ever statewide coalition between DPI, NCCCS, UNC System, NCICU, and business, government, philanthropic, and faith leaders -- to examine the education pipeline and establish clear and measurable goals to enable more North Carolinians to obtain education beyond high school.


Elizabeth City State University Working Group

Created the Elizabeth City State University Working Group, which in partnership with the Board, overhauled campus operations, secured over $10 million in additional state funding, and secured $20 million in federal loans to revitalize campus. As a result of this work and NC Promise, ECSU saw its first significant increase in enrollment in five years.


Enhanced Communications and Marketing

Launched and implemented a strategic, proactive earned media and marketing program to better harness the System’s statewide platform to meet the needs of our state and its people. In one year of this almost three-year effort, there were 1,029 local, state, and national news (written, broadcast, radio, and digital) stories generated by and about the UNC System.

Reshaped and rebranded the UNC System to enable a more unified System platform and promote a statewide college-going culture. And maintained consistent message while managing crisis communications through House Bill 2, governance debates, and other protests.


Operational Dashboards

In collaboration with the Board Chair, created new operational dashboards providing greater and more easily accessible insights than ever before into student outcomes and institutional finances at each institution.


Modernized Funding Model

Established a Funding Model Task Force and began a transition to fund institutions on actual enrollment rather than projections, modernizing an antiquated legacy system and  ensuring efficient distribution of the state’s resources.


Employee Engagement and Talent Development

Developed and launched a new leadership and talent development function to focus on sustaining and retaining executive talent across the UNC System and facilitated the first-ever System-wide employee engagement survey, which was sent to over 45,000 full-time faculty and staff and gaining a response rate of 51 percent.


Student Aid

Launched and led a Student Aid Study Group with the Community College System to reexamine state-level financial aid programs and make them easier to navigate and more effective for students.


UNC Lab Schools

Oversaw the creation of five new UNC Lab Schools to improve teacher preparation programs and educational outcomes for students.


State of the University

Issued the first “State of the University,” a progress report on meeting the goals and metrics of the Board’s Strategic Plan. Travelled to all regions of NC to discuss progress and to emphasize the role the UNC System plays in the lives and wellbeing of every citizen and every community.


Data Infrastructure

Modernized UNC System data infrastructure with a $10 million state investment and large-scale coordination across all 17 institutions.


Teacher Preparation

Initiated a System-wide effort to improve K-12 teacher preparation following the results of a commissioned outside assessment of the UNC System’s Colleges of Education.


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