Dr. Ontario S. Wooden Appointed NCCU Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Posted June 20, 2024, 2:21PM

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has appointed Ontario S. Wooden, Ph.D., interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, effective July 1, 2024.

Wooden will report to NCCU Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon and serve as a member of the chancellor’s cabinet. A national search for a permanent provost will be announced soon.

Wooden will lead the university’s Division of Academic Affairs and will serve as the chief academic officer for NCCU. He joins NCCU from NC State University, where he has served as the senior associate dean in University College in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs since July 2023.

A seasoned administrator with 20 years of higher education leadership experience across three public university systems, Wooden previously served as interim president of Alcorn State University, where he also served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs from 2020 – 2023.

As provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, he was responsible for facilitating the effective and efficient delivery of academic and student support services across the Lorman, Natchez, and Vicksburg campuses, inclusive of five academic schools and almost two dozen academic departments. He also provided strategic vision and oversight for Graduate Studies, University Libraries, Strategic Academic Initiatives, the Myrlie Evers-Williams Honors Program, University College, the Cargill, Takeda, and Strada Scholars Programs, the Southwest Mississippi Center for Culture and Learning, the Office of Student Records (Registrar), Sponsored Programs, 1890 Research/Extension, Global Programs, Online/Distance Education, Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness, and University Accreditation.

Under Wooden’s leadership, Alcorn successfully completed several reaffirmation cycles, including the ten-year Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC); the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP); the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE); the American Chemical Society (ACS); and the Accreditation Commission for Education and Nursing (ACEN) at all four levels — ASN, BSN, MSN, and DNP. He also chaired the 2021–2026 Strategic Planning Committee, launched the University Academic Council, and established Engineering Research Development Corporation (ERDC) Day.

No stranger to NCCU, Wooden held numerous positions over a 12-year tenure at NCCU, including associate vice chancellor for student success and academic outreach, associate vice chancellor for Innovative, Engaged, and Global Education, dean of University College, associate dean of University College, and tenured associate professor of education. In 2012, he was named an Outstanding Student Advocate on the campus of NCCU.

He served his undergraduate alma mater, Albany State University, as director of the Velma Fudge Grant Honors Program and Academic Success Initiatives with the faculty rank of assistant professor of education for over four years. While at Albany State, Dr. Wooden was selected by the National Conference on The First-Year Experience as one of five national semifinalists for the Outstanding Student Advocate Award. He was named one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Top 40 under 40 in 2006.

An expert scholar on college access and choice, Wooden finds time to remain active in academic and scholarly endeavors. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, policy reports and other academic publications. He frequently shares his expertise at national higher education conferences and meetings and has secured over $7 million in extramural funding to support student success initiatives.

Wooden graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education from Albany State University. He earned a Master of Science in higher education, a post-master’s certificate in institutional research, and a Ph.D. in higher education with a minor in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University.

He is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and holds membership in Sigma Pi Phi, Delta Delta Boule. He is a life member of both the Albany State University National Alumni Association and the Indiana University Alumni Association.

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