Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch was elected chair of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) during the organization’s annual meeting held March 28 and 29 in Pinehurst, succeeding Elon University President Leo Lambert who has served as chair for the past four years. Hatch will serve a two-year term leading the executive committee of the board. NCICU is the sector of higher education in North Carolina that represents the 36 private, non-profit institutions in the state.
“We are deeply appreciative that President Hatch has accepted this key role for independent higher education, and are indebted to President Lambert for his outstanding leadership over the past four years,” said NCICU President A. Hope Williams.
Elected to the Executive Committee were Queens University of Charlotte President Pamela Davies, vice chair, Livingstone College President Jimmy Jenkins, secretary, and Meredith College President Jo Allen, treasurer.
The NCICU annual meeting was attended by college and university presidents and trustees, and corporate partners who serve on the Independent College Fund of North Carolina (ICFNC). Governor Roy Cooper was among the speakers, acknowledging the value of and support for private higher education in North Carolina as a complement to the public higher education system. Also on the agenda were State School Superintendent Mark Johnson, Senator David Curtis, Representative Craig Horn and Representative John Fraley.
Leading the discussion on national higher education issues were Sarah Flanagan, vice president for Government Relations and Policy Development, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, Dr. Terry Hartle, senior vice president, American Council on Education, and Dr. Susan Johnston, executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer, Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
“We had an outstanding range of speakers, who demonstrated extraordinary insight and knowledge about the state and national issues in higher education,” said Dr. Williams. “We talked about the life-changing effects of higher education on the lives of our students and their families, as well as the challenges that all of us in higher education face.”
During the meeting, retiring Mars Hill University President Dan Lunsford was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his 46 years of service to the State of North Carolina. A graduate of Mars Hill, Dr. Lunsford began his careers as a teacher in Durham in 1969. He served as superintendent for Orange County and Henderson County Schools before being named dean of the School of Education and Leadership at Mars Hill. He became president in 2003.
Additional retiring or departing presidents were presented with a token from NCICU as well as a letter of appreciation from Governor Cooper for their service. Those presidents are: Steven Solnick, Warren Wilson College, Ronald Carter, Johnson C. Smith University, Leo Lambert, Elon University and Mark La Branche, Louisburg College. Duke University President Richard Brodhead, who was not in attendance, is also retiring.