NCCU establishes Goodnight Distinguished Professorship in Early Literacy

Posted April 18, 2023, 2:09PM

A new endowed professorship in the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Education has been established with the support of Dr. Jim and Mrs. Ann Goodnight. The Goodnight Distinguished Professorship in Early Literacy will attract and support a leading faculty member in the field of early literacy.  

The Goodnight Distinguished Professor of Early Literacy at NCCU will join seven other distinguished professors to serve as a network of early literacy expertise with the purpose of advancing the University of North Carolina System’s current literacy initiatives across 15 educator preparation programs, through engaging in outreach and dissemination of best practice.

“Early literacy is paramount for future readers and leaders because both a book and a teacher improve the quality of life for North Carolina’s children. I am thankful for Dr. and Mrs. Goodnight’s investment in early child literacy and North Carolina Central University,” said Dr. Audrey W. Beard, dean of the NCCU School of Education. “Their support will help us to attract a preeminent scholar within the field of early literacy who will train and develop early literacy educators of tomorrow.”

The Goodnights are strong champions of programs in education and the arts across the state of North Carolina. Jim Goodnight is the founder and CEO of SAS. Ann Goodnight works as the senior director of community relations at SAS, and she previously served on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

“North Carolina Central University is grateful to Ann and Jim Goodnight for transforming our university and the field of early literacy,” NCCU Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., said. “Support of this magnitude is an invaluable representation of the Goodnights’ passion for NCCU’s role in preparing the next generation of highly effective teachers with early literacy expertise. Nothing is more valuable to NCCU than to recruit and retain the most accomplished and highest-quality faculty with an endowed professorship and help children soar to new heights.”

A national search to select the Goodnight Distinguished Professorship in Early Literacy will begin immediately. The endowed professorship is the 16th at NCCU since 1993.

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