North Carolina Central University (NCCU) has appointed Zach Underwood, Ph.D., as dean for University College, effective July 3, 2023. He will report to David H. Jackson Jr., Ph.D., provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.
In this role, Underwood will be responsible for ensuring that first-year, second-year and transfer students are provided a quality, comprehensive experience that supports student learning and leads to academic success. His areas of responsibility will include academic advising, supplemental and developmental learning, academic support for student-athletes, and overall student academic achievement. He also will direct University College faculty and staff in developing and implementing courses, workshops and services.
Most recently, he served as director of university studies and data analysis at Virginia Tech University, where he supervised the creation of new student services to support the institution’s mission, vision and strategic enrollment goals. During his tenure, Underwood founded the HUB Scholarship Mentoring program to meet Virginia Tech’s enrollment goal of 40 percent of the incoming class who are underrepresented, underserved, first-generation, and/or Pell-eligible; maintained first-to-second year retention rate of university studies students of at least 90 percent; and enhanced the transitional advising service for students in between majors to maintain and grow university retention, persistence and graduation rates. Additionally, he taught the first-year experience course for university studies students.
Underwood brings nearly 20 years of teaching and leadership experience in the higher education field, which includes various roles ranging from academic advisor to adjunct instructor and assistant registrar at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Appalachian State University and the University of North Texas. Additionally, he has published several articles and delivered multiple conference presentations on advising and student success, connecting video games to higher education and retention initiatives surrounding advising technologies.
A native of Asheboro, North Carolina, he holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and recreation and leisure studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; two master’s degrees - one in higher education administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the latter in educational media from Appalachian State University; and a Ph.D. in learning technologies from the University of North Texas.
Underwood enjoys watching films with his wife as well as teaching his children the joys of video game classics.
Please welcome Dr. Zach Underwood to North Carolina Central University!