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UNC System board names a former member as new leader of Fayetteville State University

Provided by UNC System

A former member of the UNC System Board of Governors was named Thursday as the twelfth chancellor of traditionally Black Fayetteville State University.

Darrell Allison, who served on the board from 2017-2020, is at the moment the vp of governmental affairs and state groups on the American Federation For Children, the place he was an advocate for varsity alternative packages.

“He’s proven his ability to work easily with policymakers across the political spectrum, bringing people together around shared goals to benefit students,” UNC System President Peter Hans mentioned.

The Board of Governors elected Allison as chancellor at its assembly Thursday, primarily based on Hans’ nomination, after the FSU trustees chosen Allison as a finalist.

He will start his new position on March 15, changing interim Chancellor Peggy Valentine, who was appointed in July 2019. Valentine beforehand served as dean of the School of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University.

At a information convention on FSU’s campus Thursday, Allison described the non-public influence the UNC System, by means of N.C. Central University in Durham, has had on him and his household.

Allison grew up in Kannapolis, the place his dad and mom labored in a native textile mill. They couldn’t afford to ship their three youngsters to varsity. But Allison and his siblings earned full scholarships at HBCUs within the UNC System, altering the trajectory of their lives.

“When I talk about the UNC System … I know what it’s done for me, my family, my brother and sister in terms of launching us to heights and experiences,” Allison mentioned.

Allison earned his bachelor’s diploma at NCCU and a regulation diploma from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Law.

Elevating HBCUs on BOG

Allison was one of three voting Black members of the board earlier than he abruptly resigned in September, leaving a spot open for more diversity on the board.

“I have worked alongside Darrell for many years now, and he is not only a person of great ability but one of true character,” board Chair Randy Ramsey mentioned in a assertion. “He is deeply committed to higher education and to the citizens of North Carolina. He brings to this position a broad understanding of Fayetteville State University’s strategic role and impact in the region.”

Allison has been a robust advocate for the position that traditionally Black faculties and universities play in North Carolina, Hans mentioned. He was important in serving to set up and lead the board’s committee on traditionally minority-serving establishments (HMSI) and the system’s racial fairness job power.

Allison just lately partnered with UNC-Chapel Hill’s NC Policy Collaboratory, which gave traditionally minority-serving establishments $6 million for COVID-19 programming and analysis.

While on the board, Allison was additionally half of the group charged with discovering a answer to the UNC-Chapel Hill Silent Sam Confederate statue. But the controversial $2.5 million deal was struck in secrecy and people board members tasked with carrying out it didn’t meet or negotiate the deal instantly.

Advocate for varsity alternative

As a senior employees member on the American Federation For Children, Allison has led advocacy packages and raised cash for the group. The nationwide group works to broaden college alternative packages and was as soon as led by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, The News & Observer beforehand reported.

When requested about that position as an advocate for varsity alternative on the Ok-12 degree, Allison shifted the eye away from the politics of that time period and towards the folks it impacts.

“I’m not fighting for schools per say, I’m fighting for students,” Allison mentioned.

He mentioned his observe file exhibits he was advocating for the households who lived in ZIP codes and areas of deep poverty. He labored to supply them instruments to teach their kids along with the general public college system, he mentioned, noting that his personal daughters are in public colleges.

Allison mentioned he’s nonetheless engaged on his imaginative and prescient for FSU, however mentioned it would incorporate the visions of folks within the campus neighborhood. He plans to have interaction with college students, workers and alumni in regards to the college’s strengths and weaknesses.

“I am most interested in listening, learning and leading,” Allison mentioned.

Controversy over Allison’s choice

At the press convention, Allison was requested about how he resigned from the Board of Governors to throw his hat within the ring. He mentioned he adopted protocol and when he knew he was leaning towards making use of, he instantly stepped down.

He mentioned he felt strongly that he might do the job, but it surely was a threat leaving the board as a result of “there was no guarantee” that he could be named chancellor.

Allison and search committee chair Stuart Augustine had been challenged in regards to the search course of and a suggestion that Allison was hand-picked by Hans and added to the trustees’ listing on the final minute. Augustine began to elucidate the method that included about 60 candidates, however was lower off as a result of that info is confidential.

Allison was then requested about how he plans to take care of the notion that he was chosen by the system president and never the college search committee. He mentioned he understands that is “somewhat unprecedented” to have a former BOG member named chancellor, however argued it was on his phrases.

He defined that the chancellor choice course of was modified within the fall, giving the system president more influence in who’s elected. However, that coverage change didn’t apply to this search as a result of it was already underway.

“This was a thorough process and there was no selecting of Darrell and placing of Darrell in this search from the UNC System or board or whomever,” Allison mentioned.

Kate Murphy covers larger schooling for The News & Observer. Previously, she coated larger schooling for the Cincinnati Enquirer on the investigative and enterprise staff and USA Today Network. Her work has gained state awards in Ohio and Kentucky and she or he was just lately named a 2019 Education Writers Association finalist for digital storytelling.
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