Harold Martin, the chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, will retire at the end of the academic year, he announced Friday.
Martin, 71, is the longest-serving chancellor of the 17 schools in the UNC System, the university said in a news release. A Winston-Salem native, Martin has served in the role since 2009. He is the first alumnus of the university to become chancellor.
Under his leadership, NC A&T has become the largest-ever historically Black college or university in the country, a distinction the university has held for 10 consecutive years. More than 13,800 students are enrolled at the university this fall. The university is one of the fastest growing in the country.
Martin, whose academic and research background is in engineering, has propelled the university’s status as a research institution and grown its economic impact, largely through “the exceptionally prepared STEM graduates that A&T produces for the North Carolina economy,” the university said.
The university is the country’s “top producer of African American graduates in engineering, liberal arts, agricultural science,” as well as journalism, according to Martin’s university biography.
Martin previously served as chancellor at Winston-Salem State University before becoming the chief academic officer for the UNC System in 2006.
UNC System President Peter Hans called Martin “the very model of a devoted, effective public servant,” as well as “a brilliant thinker, a disciplined leader and a great man.”
“For more than three decades, he’s been a friend, a mentor and an inspiration to students and colleagues across the UNC System. “Under Harold’s leadership, North Carolina A&T has become one of the strongest and most impressive institutions in all of American higher education,” Hans said in the news release.
“He’s an Aggie legend — an alum who embodies the best of the A&T spirit and who helped grow his alma mater into a powerhouse of research, economic impact, and life-changing opportunity. It’s been a privilege to serve alongside him.”
Martin said he is looking forward to joining his wife, Davinda, in retirement and beginning the next phase of their lives, which will be “filled with grandchildren and family, travel and adventure and many visits to Aggieland, where we will continue to be enthusiastic members of the Aggie Family.”
“She and I share a deep sense of gratitude for the enormous role that A&T has played in both our lives, a commitment to its strong and accomplished future and a great love for the many wonderful friends who make up our university,” Martin said.
A national search will be conducted for a new chancellor, “with details to be released in the near future,” the university said.