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Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D.

Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye came to the University of North Carolina System after nearly two and a half decades of senior administrative service in three public, private and church affiliated institutions. Dr. Akinleye currently serves as Interim Chancellor (CEO) at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). As CEO, Dr. Akinleye provides oversight for approximately 2,050 employees, a student body of approximately 8,100 and manages a budget of over $134 million. Before his appointment as Interim Chancellor, he was named Acting Chancellor from August 2016 to January 2017. Dr. Akinleye previously served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at NCCU. In this capacity, Dr. Akinleye provided leadership for the academic and research enterprise of the university, over 1,400 faculty and 650 staff, and approximately 8,100 undergraduate and graduate students. NCCU is a master’s comprehensive institution that offers bachelors and master’s degrees, a Juris Doctor, and a Ph.D. in Integrated Biosciences to a diverse student population. Through a nationally recognized law school, highly acclaimed and innovative programs in the visual and performing arts, sciences, business, humanities, and education programs, NCCU students are engaged problem solvers. Located in the Research Triangle, the University advances research in biotechnology, biomedical, informational, computational, behavioral, social, and health sciences.

At NCCU, Dr. Akinleye has led many transformative initiatives designed to propel the university to new heights such as a state-of-the-art Fab Lab, the Office of Faculty Professional Development, and the Office of e-Learning. Under his leadership, NCCU has experienced a substantial increase in enrollment and has championed the creation of several new degree programs. Dr. Akinleye continues to serve as a change agent as he works to embrace students’ success and create an environment that promotes and enhances innovation. Recently, Dr. Akinleye successfully led the development of a five-year Academic Strategic Plan at NCCU designed to strengthen and position the university as an academic leader locally, nationally and internationally.

Prior to his appointment at NCCU, Dr. Akinleye served the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) for five years as Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs and as Associate Vice Chancellor for External Programs for one-and-a-half years. At UNCW, he collaborated with faculty, deans and chairs to develop an innovative approach to expand distance education and online programs beyond their immediate geographic location to serve the entire state of North Carolina, the nation and the world. He led the effort and provided the leadership that initiated and brokered a partnership with Academic Partnerships (AP), a company whose mission is to help public universities increase access to high quality, post-secondary education by developing robust and engaging online programs. As a result of this effort, UNCW remains the first public university in the state of North Carolina to launch such an innovative venture. His work at UNCW has resulted in significant growth in distance learning and summer school enrollment.

While at UNCW, Dr. Akinleye was appointed to serve as Interim Dean of the newly formed College of Health and Human Services in 2010. In this position, he was credited for collaborating with program chairs and directors to create an organizational structure that consolidated, under the umbrella of the new college, the operation of three schools: School of Nursing, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, and the School of Social Work. The new structure brought together approximately 116 faculty, 1,097 students, 15 degree programs, and many certification and post-masters programs. This initiative was strategically designed to help the university create a health footprint in southeastern North Carolina and to become a key player and competitor for grants  against major sister institutions in the UNC system. This integration also created the opportunity for trans-disciplinary collaboration among health-related academic entities within the university; as well as, leveraging major health related industries and corporations within UNCW’s geographic location to conduct cutting-edge research, and provide internship opportunities for students in the health-related disciplines.

Dr. Akinleye has attended many trainings and annual conferences sponsored by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). For the last several years, by invitation, he has participated in the SACS yearly “Committee Chairs Breakfast Roundtable”; a roundtable that is reserved mostly for presidents, provosts, and vice chancellors for discussing federal and legislative mandates, and other challenges relating to accreditation standards. He has chaired a number of Onsite Reaffirmation Committee Visits for SACS. He is deeply committed to an academic environment that promotes a continuous culture of assessment and evaluation, establishing measurable learning outcomes, and protecting the quality and integrity of academic programs. He has served as a consultant for a number of higher education institutions on these issues.

Dr. Akinleye holds a Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications and Master of Science in Media Technology from Alabama A&M University, and a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Howard University. In 1988, he completed an intensive course (108 clock hours) of study in administration and management of higher education at the Rust Administrative Academy for Faculty. In the summer of 2003, he completed 46 hours of instruction at the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2015, Dr. Akinleye was selected to participate in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), a premier leadership development program that prepares traditionally underrepresented individuals to become presidents and chancellors. Most recently, he has attended webinars conducted by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), Academic Impressions, and many others on issues relating to leadership in higher education.

Dr. Akinleye is a passionate advocate for student academic success. Throughout his career, he has participated in many projects at the university and national levels designed to facilitate student graduation and retention. He has attended and participated in the White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He chaired the committee that helped create programs such as an early warning system, student-to-student and student-to-faculty mentoring that make retention and graduation a university community commitment that engages and utilizes the talents and resources of all who work for the university.

Dr. Akinleye’s professional career outside of academia includes motivational speaking engagements, consulting, writing, editing, and producing video documentaries for various governmental agencies such as NASA (Kennedy Space Center in Florida), the Volusia County Police Department, and other independent producers, including “South Boys.” Dr. Akinleye is active in a number of civic, cultural, and church related organizations and advisory groups.

Dr. Akinleye has received numerous recognitions and awards in teaching and service. He is married to Juanita Akinleye, a registered nurse, and they have two adult children (Nikki and Peter).

NCCU complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all programs and activities (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) in the University's educational programs and activities. For additional resources or to file a Title IX complaint, visit the NCCU's Title IX webpage.
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