Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, Chancellor of ECSU.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Elizabeth City State University Chancellor, Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, has been named to the newly-formed national Women in Aviation Advisory (WIAAB) board by U.S. Dept. of Transportation Secretary, Elaine L. Choa. The 30-member board will be chaired by former U.S. Air Force Secretary and current president of the University of Texas at El Paso, Heather Wilson.

“I am honored to be a part of this impressive board, promoting women in aviation,” said Chancellor Dixon. “ECSU’s signature aviation program is intentionally addressing the need for more women in the aviation field and to be part of this national effort is an exciting opportunity for me, and for the university.”

The WIAAB was established in October 2019 under the FAA Reauthorization ACT of 2018. The purpose of the WIAAB is to develop strategies and recommendations that would encourage women and girls to enter the field of aviation.

The WIAAB will assess education, training, mentorship, outreach, and recruitment of women in the aviation industry. Board members represent a diverse range of backgrounds and expertise, including major airlines and aerospace companies, nonprofits, business, education and more.

Chancellor Dixon was nominated for a seat on the board by the University of North Carolina System Interim President William L. Roper. In his nominating letter, Dr. Roper outlined Chancellor Dixon’s leadership in building ECSU’s aviation program.

ECSU offers the only four-year aviation degree in North Carolina, and she has overseen the expansion of ESCU’s 11-plaine fleet, and the creation of the university’s unmanned aircraft systems, or drone, degree program.

“ECSU is a leading force in aviation, not just in North Carolina, but across the entire region,” stated Dr. Roper. “Dr. Dixon leads this institution with a strategic eye to expand its presence. She has served as chancellor for just over a year (including her tenure as interim chancellor), and she has already overseen efforts that have significantly revitalized the campus and expanded enrollment numbers.”

Prior to becoming ECSU’s chief executive officer, Chancellor Dixon served as a senior administrator at the University of North Carolina System Office. She arrived at the System Office in 2008, and in 2014, she was promoted to Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. In this capacity, Dixon was responsible for overseeing policies designed to promote student success and access across the System’s 17 institutions.

Chancellor Dixon was recently named a ‘Top Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leader of 2020,’ by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

About Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is the premier public institution serving northeastern North Carolina, providing affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment. The university attracts and retain a diverse and highly qualified faculty that educate and lead the students to become productive members of a global and increasingly independent society. ECSU continues to be a leading partner in enhancing educational and cultural opportunities and improving the economic strength in the region. For more information, visit www.ecsu.edu.

Individuals that define a visionary president are those who are cited for being committed to diversity, engagement with local communities, and committed to equality in opportunity. Mentioned are a few of those visionary leaders who are demonstrating a vision for the future of HBCUs.

Swiftly approaching her full first year as a Historically Black University president, Jerald Jones Woolfolk, 20th President of Lincoln University of Missouri, is at the forefront of continuing the mission of leading LU as a 21st Century HBCU.

Dr. Jerald Jones Woolfolk, Ph.D., 20th President of Lincoln University – Missouri. Photo Credit: Jefferson City Magazine.

With a work experience of 34 years, and 15 of those years serving in senior level administration positions, President Woolfolk has served at several HBCUs prior too Lincoln. Her presidency will mark one year as of June 1, 2019. The Jackson State University alumna is passionate about the logistics of graduating students within four years of their colligate studies

Featured in the Jefferson City Magazine, Woolfolk stated; “I know the value of an education and how it changes lives and patterns of living. As a native of the Mississippi Delta, one of the most impoverished areas of the country, education was my path to a better life. My parents instilled in my siblings and me from a very early age that we were going to college, and we did.”

Woolfolk’s goal is to strengthen the relationship between Jefferson City and Lincoln University. She wants the community to know that Lincoln University is a partner in the future growth and development of Jefferson City. She currently serves on the Board of Director for United Way of Central Missouri.

Sworn in as the tenth president of Morris College on April 12, 2019, Dr. Leroy Staggers is also a first-time college president. For sixteen years, he served as Academic Dean and Professor of English.

The Voorhees College alumnus has served as the academic dean at Morris College for 16 years. Staggers hopes to work diligently to keep students front and center, in all his decision made. He also plans to build onto the great achievement of past president Dr. Luns C. Richardson, who served the college for 43 years. He died in 2018 at the age of 89.

Before joining the Morris College family in August of 1993, Staggers served as Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of English and Director of Faculty Development at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina. He has also worked as his alma mater as Chairman of the Division of Humanities and Assistant Professor of English. Also, Staggers served as Instructor of English and Reading at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama.

Dr. Leroy Staggers pictured with students of Morris College.

Credited for her leadership with leading the institution to an increase in enrollment, improvements with tuition cost, and grant growth. Dr. Karrie G. Dixon took the helm as interim chancellor of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) on April 9, 2018.

Dixon, who co-chaired ECSU’s Working Group Phase 2: A New Direction, since October 2017, was appointed by University of North Carolina System Past President, Margaret Spellings. Prior to joining the UNC System, Dixon served a total of 10 years combined at two other UNC campuses. She was an assistance vice provost at North Carolina State University and remains and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Policy, Adult and Higher Education. Dixon received her bachelor’s from NC State University.

Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University.

Rebounding the institution from low enrollment and financial difficulties, after a year Dixon was named by UNC Board of Governors as Chancellor. On Friday, September 6, she will become the 7th chancellor installed and the second woman to hold the position.

ECSU is one of three UNC campuses that is a part of providing $500 tuition per semester in encouraging North Carolina high school graduates to further their education at their institution.

Named as ‘HBCU Male President of the Year’ on numerous occasions, Dr. Makola M. Abdullah exemplifies visionary onward. Serving as the 14th President of Virginia State University since February 1, 2016, Abdullah has proven VSU to its best values and continued growth for long-term success.

Under Abdullah’s leadership, the University had a 30 percent increase in fall 2016 enrollment. In 2017, the University’s first-time Freshmen increased nearly 50 percent than the number in 2015. Previously served as provost and senior vice president at Bethune-Cookman University, he has also served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Florida Memorial University, and dean and director of 1890 land grant programs at FAMU.

An HBCU graduate himself, Abdullah received his undergraduate degree from Howard University in civil engineering from Northwestern University. He also is recognized as the youngest African American to earn a Ph.D. in engineering.

Quoted by him; “I believe in God. I believe in family. I believe in the transformative nature of education. I believe in Virginia State University.”

Dr. Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D.

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CHAPEL HILL –¬† The Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System announced on December 14, 2018, that Dr. Karrie Gibson Dixon has been selected as chancellor of Elizabeth City State University. The decision was made following a vote held by the Board during its regular meeting. Dr. Dixon, who has held the title of interim chancellor since April 8, 2018, will assume her new role effective immediately.

“Dr. Karrie Dixon’s experience, passion, and proven track record of success is exactly what ECSU needs, and I’m thrilled that she will be the next chancellor,” said President Margaret Spellings, UNC System President. “As interim, she has led an institution on the rebound, and I have the highest confidence that she and her team will continue to build a bright future for a proud pillar of northeastern North Carolina.”

Dixon was selected by Spellings from among three final candidates for the position chosen by an 18-person search committee of the ECSU Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students, community members, and a representative of the UNC Board of Governors.

“I have said it many times before, but Dr. Karrie Dixon is a true ‘rock star’ in higher education, and there’s no one better to lead Elizabeth City State University going forward,” said Harry Smith, UNC Board of Governors Chair. “The Board and I are excited about the future of ECSU under her leadership.”

Dr. Dixon becomes Elizabeth City State University’s twelfth chief execuitve officer, succeeding previous Chancellor Dr. Thomas Conway, Jr., who served from 2016-2018. She is the second female to serve in his capacity, following in the footsteps of Dr. Stacey Franklin Jones.

“We are excited to name Dr. Dixon as the seventh chancellor of Elizabeth City State University,” said Harold Barnes, ECSU Board of Trustees Chair, who served as chair of the ECSU Chancellor Search Committee. “Dr. Dixon brings a deep commitment toward building an outstanding experience for students, as well as an uncompromising dedication to create an environment of accountability and shared governance that will serve ECSU and the community well. The Board¬† is eager to work with Chancellor Dixon to advance ECSU.”

Prior to her appointment as interim chancellor, Dr. Dixon served as co-lead on the ECSU New Directions Phrase 2 Operational Team since early 2017.

“I am deeply honored and excited to have the opportunity to serve as the next chancellor of Elizabeth City State University,” said Dr. Dixon. “I’d like to thank the UNC Board of Governors and President Margaret Spellings for entrusting in me the opportunity to lead this great university. I look forward to working with the ECSU Board of Trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, students, and the community as we continue to move ECSU in the right direction.”

About Elizabeth City State University

ECSU, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, will be the premier public institution serving northeastern North Carolina, providing affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment. The university will attract and retain a diverse and highly qualified faculty that will educate and lead our students to become productive members of a global and increasingly interdependent society. ECSU will continue to be a leading partner in enhancing educational and cultural opportunities and improving the economic strength in the region. For more information, visit www.ecsu.edu.