Kyle R. Carter, provost and senior vice chancellor at Western Carolina University since 2004, has been elected chancellor of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke by the Board of Governors of the multi-campus University of North Carolina. UNC President Erskine Bowles placed Carter’s name in nomination today (April 9) during a regular meeting of the board held on the campus of North Carolina Central University in Durham. Carter, 62, will assume his new duties July 1, succeeding Charles R. Jenkins, who has served as chancellor on an interim basis since June of 2009.
In recommending Carter to the Board of Governors, Bowles said: “Kyle Carter brings to the task more than three decades of academic and leadership experience at respected public universities, including one of our own UNC institutions. At each step along the way, he has proven himself to be an engaged and effective leader who promotes collaboration and strategic thinking, academic excellence, and student success. He has also earned a reputation for great integrity, sound judgment, and an unwavering commitment to community engagement and outreach. I am convinced that Kyle Carter brings the right mix of experience, skills, and passion needed to be a truly great chancellor for UNC Pembroke, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to join our leadership team.”
Like UNC Pembroke, Western Carolina University is a UNC campus that serves a rural region of the state and has experienced rapid enrollment growth in recent years. Located in Cullowhee, adjacent to the Smoky Mountain National Park, it has a student body of approximately 9,400 and 500 faculty. It offers roughly 120 undergraduate programs and 40 graduate-level programs. As provost and senior vice president, Carter is WCU’s chief academic officer. In that role, he has been responsible for overseeing all academic programs, as well as providing leadership for WCU’s libraries, student services, admissions and enrollment management, the Graduate School, continuing education, international programs, information technology, institutional planning, and sponsored programs and research.
A native of Atlanta, Carter graduated from Mercer University in 1970 with a degree in psychology. He then enrolled at the University of Georgia, where he earned a master’s degree (1971) and doctorate (1974) in educational psychology. He began his academic career as an assistant professor of psychology at Valdosta State College in 1974 and was recruited to a similar position at the University of Northern Colorado two years later.
During his 22-year tenure at Northern Colorado, Carter rose steadily through the academic and administrative ranks. After serving as director of the Division of Research, Evaluation, and Development (1985-87) and associate dean of the College of Education (1987-89), he was named dean of the Graduate School and University Research in 1990. Six years later he assumed additional duties and the expanded title of associate vice president for research and graduate studies and dean of the Graduate School (1996-98).
Carter left Colorado in 1998 to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Central Missouri, a post he held until joining WCU as provost and senior vice chancellor in 2004.
At WCU, Carter has been credited with redesigning the strategic planning process and modifying the campus’ institutional mission to focus on regional engagement. Undergraduate degree requirements and faculty promotion and tenure policies have been revised to reflect this heightened emphasis on service learning and engaged scholarship. He headed the team that developed WCU’s response to the UNC Tomorrow Commission report and oversees the Cherokee Task Force that was formed to promote collaborations and partnerships with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. He also was a member of the leadership team for WCU’s first-ever and highly successful $51.8-million capital campaign, which concluded in October 2009.
Throughout his career, Carter has been active in civic and professional organizations. Her serves on the Grants Resource Center Advisory Board of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and is heavily involved in the work of AASCU’s Division for Academic Leadership and Change, including promotion of its American Democracy Project for Civic Engagement. He also has held volunteer leadership positions with the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and Rotary.
Carter is married to Sarah Hackney Carter, a former elementary school teacher, artist, and community volunteer. They have two adult children: Heather, a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta who is pursuing a doctorate in public health at the University of Georgia; and Travis, a recent Ph.D. graduate of Cornell who is now doing postdoctoral work in social psychology at the University of Chicago.