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New NCCU chancellor prioritizes student housing, safety
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Durham, N.C. — North Carolina Central University’s new chancellor, Dr. Johnson Akinleye, said he’s ready for the role and eager to act on his priorities.
Akinleye stepped into the the role as interim chancellor in January after former Chancellor Debra Saunders-White died following a battle with cancer.
On Monday, the University of North Carolina Systems Board of Governors announced he would step into the role permanently.
Akinleye said his first priority is addressing the housing needs of incoming and rising students as enrollment increases.
The university estimates 1 to 3 percent growth over each year of incoming freshman going forward. Right now, the goal is to cap the increase at 1 percent to make sure students have the resources and attention they need.
“I’m happy that we are growing, so one of my first priorities is being able to maintain that growth,” he said.
Akinleye said he knows there is a lot to consider and take on with his new role, but he believes he is up for the challenge. He also has confidence in the UNC Board of Governors to back up the university’s growth.
“The honor of following her legacy of eagle excellence is one that I treasure and cherish,” Akinleye said.
Akinleye previously served as associate vice chancellor for academic programs at UNC-Wilmington and held various leadership positions at Edward Waters College and Bethune-Cookman University in Florida.
“Dr. Akinleye is a strategic thinker and no-nonsense leader,” said UNC President Margret Spellings. “His distinguished career includes extensive experience in senior administrative leadership roles at public, private and church-affiliated institutions. He sees building a relationship with the campus and community leaders as a priority and he understands the need to maximize the full value of being in the Research Triangle.”
The Board of Governors said it received 30 applications for the position and narrowed the search down to three candidates in just six months.
“I accept the awesome responsibility as the twelfth chancellor for North Carolina Central University with humility,” Akinleye said in a statement when he was selected “I look forward to leading NCCU in a manner that honors our mission and to working closely with UNC General Administration to fulfill the university’s system-wide mission and goals that accrue to the benefit of the citizens of the great state of North Carolina.”