Dr. Collie Coleman is not a man to shy away from a challenge.
As Associate Vice Chancellor for Outreach at UNC Pembroke, he will lead one of the university's fastest moving enterprises. Dr. Coleman will seek out new ways for the university to enroll students in the region, state and around the globe. And he will lead UNCP's efforts to uplift the region's slumping economy.
Dr. Coleman brings a distinguished career in higher education to his responsibilities guiding UNCP's Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development, distance learning, on-line and off-campus programs.
He reports to Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Roger Brown.
"Dr. Coleman is a rare combination of high-level executive skills and world experience together with a real feel for the needs of average people," Dr. Brown said. "He was reared in a region in need of economic and professional development, like ours, and he knows first-hand the life-changing effects of university education and training."
"I am very bullish on the future of UNC Pembroke's Outreach division under his leadership," the provost said. "I have no doubt that Collie and Annie Coleman will be wonderful new colleagues and neighbors in the UNCP community."
A former Peace Corps volunteer and training director who grew up in a small rural community in Nash County, Dr. Coleman earned South Carolina's "Order of the Palmetto" for his work turning around Allen University as its president from 1984-1994.
He said he would take the same approach to continue growing UNCP's outreach programs.
"It's exciting to be here in a growth environment," Dr. Coleman said. "UNC Pembroke is a well-kept secret, and we're going to help fuel the dynamic process of letting the cat out of the bag."
Dr. Coleman most recently served as executive vice president and chief academic officer for Voorhees College (1999-2002) and vice president for academic affairs for Shaw University 1994-1999.
As president of Allen University in Columbia, S.C., he led a revival of the finances and enrollment of a failing 122-year-old private university. Under his leadership, the university gained accreditation, tripled enrollment and planted the seeds for building a $3.4 million endowment with help from alumni and the business community.
"I will use my experience as a university president and chief academic officer to create new markets and to make UNCP more visible in the region, the state and around the globe," he said. "Marketing and visibility is the key to getting our substantive and high quality programs to the people."
At the Regional Center, which will break ground soon on its new headquarters at commerce and technology center (COMtech) near the university, Dr. Coleman will build alliances with businesses and community groups. He will also add to the growing number of on-line course offerings and satellite campuses throughout the region. The Center recently announced the launch of an array of certificate programs in information technology and professional development.
"Education is the stepping stone for economic development, and technology allows us to deliver programs nationally, even internationally," he said. "One of our first priorities is to address the growing teacher shortage by taking programs to where the teachers are located, consistent with the requirements of the State Department of Public Instruction and regional and national accrediting bodies."
Dr. Coleman's career began in the Peace Corps and later with the Medical School and Upward Bound at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He worked with the U.S. Department of Education and for a community college before becoming a university administrator.
Growing up in tiny Bailey, N.C., Dr. Coleman said he learned early in life that "education is the great equalizer." He graduated from Shaw University and earned a Ph.D. in higher education at The Ohio State University.
He is married to Anne H. Coleman, who is a librarian at UNCP's Sampson-Livermore Library. They have two grown children, Kyle and Connie, and one grandchild, Kayla Anne.