UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois is the 2016 recipient of the World Citizen Award, presented by the World Affairs Council of Charlotte. This prestigious honor recognizes his commitment to improving the international presence of the Charlotte region. He was given the award formally at a dinner Wednesday, April 20.
Since 1990, the World Affairs Council of Charlotte has presented the World Citizen Award annually to prominent citizens (and organizations) who have enhanced the Charlotte community’s standing in the world. The honor recognizes their accomplishments of international significance and contributions to the city, region and international community.
“Thanks to the World Affairs Council for honoring me and the members of my great team at UNC Charlotte,” said Dubois in accepting the World Citizen Award. “We are delighted to know that UNC Charlotte is seen as one of this community's greatest assets, with so much potential to do more.”
During the past 11 years, Dubois has advanced the University’s capacity to prepare the student body to navigate successfully within an increasingly multicultural and international professional workforce. Among his numerous honors are testaments to his commitment to diversity, inclusion and access to public higher education.
New and ongoing partnerships and research activities abroad have thrived under the chancellor’s guidance. The decades-long relationship with Kingston University in London is one example. The institution awarded Dubois an honorary doctorate in 2014, citing his “outstanding contribution to internationalism, specifically to acknowledge the depth and value of the partnership between Kingston University and UNC Charlotte over the past 30 years, which has enhanced the academic life of so many students and staff across both institutions.”
Dubois also has made important contributions to the success of UNC Charlotte’s internationalization through a global network of alliances. As chancellor, he has strengthened exchange partnerships that the institution has enjoyed for decades. In addition, he has supported new developments and initiatives, such as partnerships in South Africa, China and Australia that enhance diversity and increase study and research opportunities for students and faculty.
“In 2005, we sent about 379 students abroad through a variety of exchange programs with 16 institutions. This past year, we sent 675 students abroad to 48 partner institutions, a 78 percent increase in students and a tripling of exchange sites over the decade,” said Dubois.
While UNC Charlotte maintains a strong presence throughout the world through research, field study, service projects and study abroad, the University is bringing the world back to North Carolina. The campus hosts the second highest number of international students among all UNC institutions, and UNC Charlotte’s International Festival is one of the region’s most successful annual events. It brings more than 20,000 visitors to campus, and in 2015 marked its 40th anniversary.
Under Dubois’ leadership, UNC Charlotte has led the UNC system in enrollment growth while student quality and retention rates have continued to rise, the University’s research and economic activities have flourished, and the University is frequently cited as a top economic engine in one of America’s fastest-growing regions.
Past World Citizen Award recipients include Tim Belk, Michael Tarwater, Sandra and Leon Levine, Erskine and Crandall Bowles, Irwin Belk and the Rev. Billy Graham.