UNC Charlotte history was made this morning, Monday, July 20, as Sharon L. Gaber officially began her tenure as the University's fifth chancellor. And while the campus is quieter than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Gaber wasted no time getting right to work.
“My introduction to Niner Nation has been everything I anticipated. The students, faculty and staff have been warm and welcoming, and it’s clear that Niners are passionate about this great University,” said Gaber. “I’m very eager for the fall semester to begin and to embrace the complete UNC Charlotte experience."
ALL IN A DAY’S WORK
Chancellor Gaber hit the ground running on her first day, setting the pace for a busy first week in office. She’s placing an emphasis on meeting with as many stakeholders as possible, while observing the University’s social distancing guidelines.
Here’s a sneak peek at a few items on her Day 1 schedule—all of which are virtual:
- Engaging with a cross-section of student, faculty and staff leaders
- Connecting with Dean’s of all seven academic colleges and the graduate school
- Meeting with the Chancellor's Cabinet
DID YOU KNOW?
As Gaber becomes the University's fifth chancellor, she will be the second woman—after founder Bonnie Cone—to lead the institution.
HOW SHE GOT HERE
A career educator with a background in city and regional planning, Gaber became the first female president at the University of Toledo following six years as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas. She also served as interim provost at Auburn, and as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Occidental College, a master’s degree from the University of Southern California and a doctoral degree from Cornell University.
She is recognized nationally for her efforts as president of the University of Toledo to increase enrollment, improve graduation and retention rates, keep education affordable, increase research funding, improve connection to the surrounding metro region and make the campus environment diverse and inclusive. Education Dive named her one of five higher education leaders to watch in 2018 and beyond.
Her arrival comes during a particularly challenging time as the University navigates a global pandemic, an economic downturn and a societal reckoning with systemic racism. University leaders are optimistic that Gaber is not only up to the task but perfect for it.
In his letter announcing the selection of Gaber, Board of Trustees Chair Mike Wilson ’93 wrote that “Dr. Gaber is the right person at the right time to chart UNC Charlotte’s next chapter.”
With an understanding of the University’s mission, opportunities and challenges, she brings a keen perspective and innovative vision that will help guide UNC Charlotte through historic national uncertainty while moving forward the institution’s efforts to solidify its position as a top-tier, nationally recognized University.
“We’re living through a time like no other, and it’s our opportunity to lead with compassion, innovation and resilience—traits that I know Niner Nation is known for, and what attracted me to this great University,” said Gaber.