A new Era begins

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Niner Nation,

I am very pleased to share that the UNC Board of Governors voted today to confirm Dr. Sharon L. Gaber as the next chancellor of UNC Charlotte.

It has been my privilege to chair the chancellor search committee, which evaluated an extensive pool of candidates to lead this great University. The committee worked diligently over the past eight months to solicit input, review applications and interview candidates. At the end of the process, the committee made its recommendation to the Board of Trustees which, in turn, approved and submitted the names of two finalists to UNC Interim President Bill Roper. We are grateful that Interim President Roper and the Board of Governors have selected Dr. Gaber to assume this leadership role.

After a comprehensive search process, we are confident Dr. Gaber is the right person at the right time to chart UNC Charlotte’s next chapter in the history of our institution.

As president of the University of Toledo in Ohio, Dr. Gaber is recognized nationally for her efforts to increase enrollment, improve graduation and retention rates, keep education affordable and make the campus environment diverse and inclusive. Education Dive named her one of five higher education leaders to watch in 2018 and beyond.

A career educator with a background in city and regional planning, she became the first female president at the University of Toledo following six years as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas. Dr. Gaber also served as interim provost at Auburn, and as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College, a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, and a doctoral degree from Cornell University.

Dr. Gaber not only understands our mission, our opportunities and our challenges, but also she brings a keen perspective and innovative vision that will help guide us through these unprecedented times in our nation’s history and move UNC Charlotte forward as we solidify our position as a top-tier, nationally recognized university. As she becomes the University's fifth chancellor, she will be the second woman — after founder Bonnie Cone — to lead the institution. References spoke of Dr. Gaber’s compassionate leadership, collaborative and open communication style, and dedication to serving the community, which was certainly evident during my time with her. I encourage you to read more about her impressive background on the chancellor-elect website.

I want to express my deep appreciation to Phil Dubois for leading UNC Charlotte during the past 15 years, including his continued leadership of the University through June before passing the “pickaxe” to Dr. Gaber. My thanks to the search committee and the Board of Trustees for their hard work and dedication, and to the members of the University community who contributed invaluable feedback throughout the search process.

Dr. Gaber's official start is expected to be later this summer and we look forward to updating you on those details soon. To ensure leadership continuity, Provost Joan Lorden will serve as interim chancellor beginning July 1 and until Dr. Gaber arrives on campus. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Gaber and giving her a warm welcome to Niner Nation.


Michael Wilson '93

Michael Wilson '93
Chair, UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees and Chancellor Search Committee