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  • Position Number: 4997402
  • Location: Winston-Salem, NC
  • Position Type: Presidents and Chancellors

WSSU Chancellor Search

Winston-Salem University is seeking to hire an accomplished and visionary leader to serve as its next chancellor. WSSU serves a diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing academic degrees in the institution's 39 baccalaureate degree programs, seven master's degree programs, and two doctoral degree programs. Enrollment in graduate programs is the largest in the history of the university, and undergraduate enrollment trend data illustrates significant opportunities for growth and expansion.

Winston-Salem State University is entering a bold new era. We are looking outside of tradition and audaciously moving into spaces that are necessary for our future growth and development. Our strategic plan, 2022 – 2030 UNLEASH THE GENIUS, was built for and by the students, employees, alumni, and other key stakeholders of WSSU.

UNLEASH THE GENIUS is representative of expanding possibilities. Throughout this plan, the term learner is used to represent everyone associated with WSSU. Continuous learning will be the foundation for the success of this plan. Participation is learning, and everyone should see themselves in this plan and actively engage so that we can reach and exceedour aspirations. This plan is bold and audacious. The expectation is for each learner to fulfill their potential.Our aspirations are explicit and measurable because accountability is an essential aspect of this plan.As we begin to carry out this work, we move forward with a compassionate and courageous heart. We're creating new pathways, so prepare for elevation.

Leading in Social Mobility
WSSU has emerged as an institution with a national reputation for positively impacting the social and economic mobility of its students. In 2024, the New York Times ranks WSSU as the #1 university in North Carolina for economic mobility. The U.S. News and World Report ranks WSSU #21 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (the highest ranking in North Carolina), #260 in national universities (out of 439 and promoting WSSU from southern regional college ranking to national ranking), and #141 in Top Public Schools.

Preparing for "Day 1" Readiness
WSSU is focused on bolstering student success, employee- and student-sponsored research, entrepreneurship, and innovation among its faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and addressing myriad of inequities and disparities within local communities. By leveraging liberal education as a driver to sharpen the power skills of its students, WSSU focuses on preparing its learners for "Day 1" readiness in their respective careers and postgraduate pathways. WSSU is significantly impacting the Piedmont Triad state, and nation.

Expanding Research
While teaching is still central to our mission, WSSU has emerged far beyond its historical roots as "a teaching institution." Because of the research activity of faculty and staff, WSSU has firmly established itself as a burgeoning research-intensive university. According to the national rankings on National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development (NCES, 2022), WSSU increased its ranking in total Research and Development Expenditures by 196 slots since 2019. Significantly, WSSU's sponsored research portfolio of extramurally funded awards has tripled in the last five years.

WSSU's research infrastructure supports a variety of research programs, including 18 teaching and research laboratories between the Departments of Chemistry and Biological Sciences in the W.B. Atkinson Science building, an additional science building totaling over 60,840 sq. ft., and dedicated workstations for social science research that provide excellence in teaching and service to the Piedmont regional community. WSSU Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center (BRIC) is in the shared Piedmont Triad Community Research Center (PTCRC) facility in the Piedmont Research Park. The Center for Applied Data Sciences (CADS) is an institution-wide initiative with the goal of fostering research and education in data-driven knowledge discovery. To support student learning, there are research oriented and open access computer labs throughout campus, including 13 computer labs in the STEM departments used for both teaching and research, and open labs in the R J Reynolds Building, Cleon F. Thompson, Jr. Student Services Center, and the O'Kelly Library.

Impacting the Region
With a $500 million economic impact on the Piedmont Triad region, WSSU adds significant value to the regional economy. A large percentage of the university's alumni remain in the Piedmont Triad region after graduation, contributing to the economy as employed, taxpaying citizens. As WSSU increases its engagement in research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, it adds to the region's economic impact as the institution creates more jobs, generates more revenue, produces more alumni who earn high-wage occupations, and supports commercialization and workforce development.


As a historically Black college and university guided by the motto "Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve," Winston-Salem State University cultivates the genius of interconnected learners in bachelor's, master's, and professional doctoral programs through academic excellence, transformative scholarship, and impactful engagement to produce equity-minded, highly competent, and productive citizens. Winston-Salem State University aims to enhance the lives and livelihoods of its students, the people of North Carolina, and persons around the world.

Winston-Salem State University, a comprehensive public institution, is a premier national leader in advancing equity and upward mobility where we unleash the genius of individuals and empower them to transform the world.

The Chancellor serves as the administrative and executive head of the institution and exercises this authority subject to the direction of the President of the University of North Carolina System. Consistent with federal and state law and university policy, the Chancellor will fulfill the responsibilities of this role by operating within the governance structure of the UNC System.

Effective leadership will involve working closely with the Winston-Salem State Board of Trustees, the UNC System President, the UNC Board of Governors, members of the North Carolina General Assembly, the Governor and Executive Branch leaders, North Carolina's Congressional delegation, students, faculty, and staff, and other government, community, and business representatives.

In addition to valuing the unique interaction of teaching, research, and community engagement that exists at Winston-Salem State University as a public institution within the UNC System, the Chancellor should demonstrate a knowledge of board governance and relations in a complex institutional setting, a commitment to public education, and an unwavering advocacy of the role of WSSU in the community, region, state, nation, and the world.

Our next chancellor will demonstrate leadership capabilities and potential in the following areas:

Winston-Salem State's History and Mission – Someone with a deep passion for Winston-Salem State University's 131-year history and mission as a public Historically Black College and University (HBCU), and its contributions to the region and our state, especially in the fields of education, health sciences and nursing, and business.

UNC System Governance and Strategic Goals – Someone who understands and appreciates the governance structure of the UNC System and is wholly committed to furthering the shared goals of the UNC System's strategic plan, especially our focus on increasing student success.

Integrity, Transparency, and Communication – Someone with unwavering integrity and commitment to transparency, and who communicates with and actively listens to diverse constituent groups to foster a shared vision and goals for the institution.

Strategic Vision – Someone who demonstrates a clear vision for meeting the institution's challenges and seizing its many opportunities, including increasing student enrollment, retention, and on-time graduation, strengthening the institution's signature programs, operational efficiencies, marketing and branding of the institution, recruitment, and retention of a top-tier leadership team, faculty, and staff, and forging strong ties with employers and communities in the Piedmont Triad region.

Student Success – Someone who is laser-focused on student success, continuing the institution's exceptional record of driving upward social and economic mobility; who is committed to academic excellence; and who fully recognizes the critical links between access, affordability, student support, and success.

Strategic Partnerships – Someone who cultivates new and manages ongoing partnerships that advance the institution's mission and goals, secures financial support for the institution, embraces the institution's role in the economic and community development of the region, and successfully advocates on the institution's behalf with lawmakers and leaders at every level of government.

Institutional Support – Someone who appreciates the essential contribution of faculty and staff to institutional success and the necessity of maintaining high-quality infrastructure to support their work and the institution's mission.

Financial Stewardship – someone who demonstrates the ability to manage the institution's budget in a fiscally prudent and transparent manner and make the highest and best use of financial resources while being willing to make difficult decisions that are necessary to maintain the institution's fiscal health.

Operational Acumen – someone who applies sound management practices to sustain the operational health of the institution.

Academic Freedom and Free Expression – someone who is wholly committed to the principles of academic freedom and free expression.

Communication Skills – someone who communicates with and actively listens to diverse constituent groups to foster a shared vision and goals for the institution.

Collaborative Style – someone who establishes effective partnerships with faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, and sister institutions and engages the broader community both in Winston-Salem, the Triad, internationally, and beyond.

Fundraising Ability – someone who cultivates and manages ongoing strategic partnerships to encourage financial support for the institution.

Strategic Thinking – someone who balances short-term demands with long-term vision to drive the institution's mission and success in achieving its strategic goals.

Creative and Innovative Leadership – someone who is a committed leader willing to explore new and innovative ways to strengthen and expand the institution's growth and impact globally.

Crisis Management - Someone who is present and willing to communicate in crisis scenarios. A leader who is not fearful of facing tough questions and being the face of leadership during turbulence.

Individuals interested in being considered for the Chancellorship at Winston-Salem State University are encouraged to apply. For priority consideration, candidates must submit a letter of interest and a Curriculum Vitae/Resume by March 4, 2024. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed via electronic mail to The position will remain open until filled. Candidates will be notified before their references are contacted.

The WSSU Search Advisory Committee will consider candidates and conduct interviews. The Committee will recommend at least three unranked candidates to the WSSU Board of Trustees, who will then recommend at least three unranked finalists to the President. The President will nominate one candidate to the UNC Board of Governors for election.Under North Carolina law, the names and personal information of candidates remain confidential throughout the search process and beyond.

Points of Contact
Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed via electronic mail to For other questions, contact Lynn Duffy, senior associate vice president for leadership development and talent acquisition, UNC System Office, at

For more information about the search process, please visit the Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Search website at

Winston-Salem State University is dedicated to fostering and nurturing an equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning and working environment. Through a variety of programs and services, we work with students, staff, faculty, the surrounding community, and alumni to "Build Community through Diversity."

The Office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity provides leadership to strategic diversity initiatives that foster an equitable, inclusive, and welcoming environment at Winston-Salem State University. They provide education and outreach to our campus community that addresses their commitment to non-discrimination and compliance, cultural competency development, recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce, as well as diversity in the curriculum and co-curriculum.

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