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Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D


Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., was elected as the 12th Chancellor of North Carolina Central University (NCCU) on June 26, 2017. He was appointed Interim Chancellor in January 2017 after serving in the role of Acting Chancellor since August 2016. In these positions, Dr. Akinleye worked to expand the university’s academic partnerships, including new agreements with community colleges, as well as introduced to the campus a robust online, distance-education program, NCCU Online. He also created K-12 initiatives and implemented a security strategy to increase safety for campus constituents.

Dr. Akinleye arrived at NCCU in February 2013 to serve as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. In that role, he established the Office of Faculty Professional Development and the Office of eLearning, successfully increased fulltime student enrollment and expanded the university’s degree offerings. He led the development of NCCU’s 2016-2021 Academic Strategic Plan aimed at raising the university’s national and international academic profile.

Prior to his arrival at NCCU, Dr. Akinleye served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and Associate Vice Chancellor for External Programs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). While at UNCW, he expanded distance education and online programs through a public-private partnership with the company Academic Partnerships. Consequently, UNCW was the first public university in North Carolina to launch such an innovative online venture.

As Interim Dean, he consolidated one school and two departments—the School of Nursing and the Departments of Health and Applied Human Sciences and Social Work—to create the newly formed College of Health and Human Services at UNCW.

Dr. Akinleye has attended several trainings and conferences focused on federal and legislative regulations and accreditation, including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ (SACS) Committee Chairs Breakfast Roundtable. He also has served as chairman of On-Site Reaffirmation Committees for SACS. Additionally, he has participated in White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Akinleye has chaired a committee to create academic early-warning systems and mentoring programs for struggling college students.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and a master’s degree in media technology from Alabama A&M University, as well as a doctorate in human communications studies from Howard University. He has attended numerous leadership training programs, such as the Fellow in the Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Institute sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Harvard Graduate School of Education for Leadership, Management, and Administration of Higher Education, and the Rust Administrative Academy for Faculty Administration and Management of Higher Education.

Outside of his academic career, Dr. Akinleye is well known as a motivational speaker, consultant, writer, editor and documentarian who has produced works for independent and government agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is also active in civic, cultural and church-related organizations and business advisory groups. He serves on the boards of Made in Durham and Step Up Durham.

He is married to Juanita Akinleye, a registered nurse, and they have two adult children, Nikki and Peter.

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