Dr. Debbie Thomas, an administrator and scholar with more than 20 years of experience in higher education, has been named provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at North Carolina Central University.

As provost, Thomas is the university’s chief academic officer and reports directly to Chancellor Charlie Nelms. She oversees NCCU’s academic programs and provides leadership for deans, department chairs and faculty.

Thomas, who previously served as associate provost and associate vice chancellor, assumed her new role earlier this month. She replaced Dr. Kwesi E. Aggrey, who resigned to return to a full-time teaching and research position in the Department of Chemistry.

The University of North Carolina General Administration agreed to waive the normal search process in order to fill the critical vacancy of provost quickly. The UNC Board of Governors approved the appointment. Nelms said Thomas is dedicated to NCCU’s new Strategic Plan.

“She’s a seasoned administrator,” he said. “And we’re fortunate to have her available to move into the provost’s role and continue the momentum of change here at NCCU.”

Thomas came to NCCU in 2010 from Indiana University Northwest, where she was executive director of the Center for Urban and Regional Excellence. The center focused on community outreach and scholarly engagement in a seven-county area.

Thomas also has served as associate provost for institutional effectiveness at Fisk University and as assistant to the vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. She was an associate professor and coordinator of graduate programs for the College of Education at the University of Central Florida, and the director of teacher education and certification for Fisk University. She has taught courses and conducted research on urban education, diversity, social justice, professional development, educational leadership and multicultural education.

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