Dr. Ontario Wooden, new provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Alcorn State University

LORMAN, MS – Alcorn State University (ASU) has announced a new provost that will pave the way for student success and faculty excellence after a nationwide search.

Dr. Ontario Wooden began his tenure as the University’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on Tuesday, September 15. As provost, Wooden will be responsible for facilitating the effective and efficient delivery of academic and support services across the campus, which includes management and oversight of all academic schools, the registrar, research and graduate studies, 1890 Research/Extension, Library, Institutional Research, and Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment/Accreditation. Wooden will serve as a member of the President’s Executive Cabinet and reports directly to President Felecia M. Nave.

“We value Dr. Wooden’s successful experience as a higher education administrator, an accomplished teacher, and a scholar,” said President Nave. “Ontario’s keen academic vision, focus on student success and faculty excellence, commitment to access combined with his collaborative approach to leadership and shared governance elevated his candidacy among a group of over 40 truly stellar candidates for Alcorn’s provost. I am confident he will work well with the leadership team, faculty, and staff to greatly benefit our university community as we continue to advance our national and global reputation.”

Wooden comes to Alcorn after serving as associate vice chancellor for Student Success and Academic Outreach at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). In his 12-year career at NCCU, he has provided leadership in multiple positions that include associate vice chancellor for Innovative, Engaged, and Global Education, interim associate dean of the School of Education; and associate professor of Education. He was also the acting associate vice chancellor for Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning, and served as dean, and associate dean of University College.

“I, along with my wife, Kimberly, and song, Liam, are honored to become a part of the Alcorn family,” said Wooden. “Every person I have spoken with speaks about the “Alcorn family.” It is not lost that I am joining a special team, a unique tradition, and a place full of caring and devoted faculty, staff, and students. I am thrilled to be a part of the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the country. One of my research interests is college student access and success. Continuing this focus at Alcorn is exciting.”

Wooden partnered as an affiliate graduate faculty in higher education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for five year. Further, he served in multiple roles at Albany State University and Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). He earned a doctorate in higher education from IUB in 2004, which is where he also earned a master’s degree in the same area of study in 2002. Wooden earned a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Albany State University in 2000.

Despite today’s challenges, Wooden remains dedicated to ensuring Alcorn’s continued accreditation while providing the best educational opportunities for its students.

“We must continue to work diligently to ensure that we complete a new strategic plan, receive continuing from SACSCOC and other specialized accreditations, complete a comprehensive review of our academic programs to ensure our offering of leading-edge degree programs, as well as strengthen our administrative academic operations. We will also develop as a set of key performance indicators to measure our progress and success. Amid all of the new constraints that we face, we will stay focused on providing outstanding educational opportunities for our students.”


About Alcorn State University
Alcorn State University, a Historically Black College and University, is a comprehensive land-grant institution that celebrates a rich heritage with a diverse student and faculty population. The University emphasizes intellectual development and lifelong learning through the integration of diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs, public service and outreach, while providing access to globally competitive academic and research programs. Alcorn strives to prepare graduates to be well-rounded future leaders of higher character and to be successful in the global marketplace of the 21st century. For more information, visit www.alcorn.edu.

Pictured: Dr. Robert Z. Carr, Jr. (Photo Creds: www.diverseeducation.com)

PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff has named Dr. Robert Z. Carr, Jr., as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affair, effective August 2017. He will be replacing former Provost and Vice Chancellor Dr. Jacquelyn W. McCray. In this position, the former Dean of the School of Education and Psychology at Alcorn State University (ASU) will work as chief academic affairs officer. Dr. Carr will work closely with deans, faculty, staff and students to develop, implement and promote educational and scholarship goals and provide leadership to ensure excellence in the university’s mission. He will also oversee academic affair including all budgetary and policy priorities and will partner with Chancellor Laurence B. Alexander to implement UAPB’s strategic plan.

According to the university, Dr. Carr brings broad administrative experience to UAPB, having served in leadership roles in academic affairs; planning and evaluation; securing and managing grants; and faculty development. He led numerous accreditation and assessment activities for ASU and was a member of the provost’s advisory staff.

“I am excited to work with Dr. Alexander and the stellar faculty, staff members, and other administrators at UAPB,” said Carr. “UAPB is an energetic institution with great aspirations, impactful community service, diverse and talented students, and a high-quality faculty and staff dedicated to making a difference.”

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Carr served as Dean and Professor of Education in the School of Education and Psychology at Alcorn State University in 2010, and Dean and Associate Professor for the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences at Langston University in 2009. He was also employed at Jackson State University as the Director of Professional and Field-Based Experiences and as an Assistant Professor of Education.

Dr. Carr has been an National Council for Teacher Education (NCATE) board of examiners member and national team chair and is currently a Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) site visitor. A true higher education trailblazer, Dr. Carr led Alcorn State University to become the first historically black university in the nation and first institution of higher learning in the state of Mississippi to CAEP accreditation. He has spearheaded a technological overhaul at Alcorn State University, where he has led an effort to transform numerous classrooms into smart classrooms.

Dr. Carr received an Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University, a M.S. in curriculum and instruction from Oklahoma State University, a M.S. in Educational Leadership from Walden University and a B.A. degree in psychology from Tougaloo College. Dr. Carr is currently a 2017-2019 Whisenton Public Scholar and in 2013, he completed the Management and Leadership Institute at Harvard University.