Charlie Nelms


President's Medal for Excellence (2007)
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Adam Herbert
School of Education Distinguished Alumni Award (1998)
Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1996)
School of Education
M.S., 1971; Ed.D., 1977
Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion (1994)
Year End Review Meeting
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich
Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion (1988)
Meeting of Academic Planning Committee, Co-Convenors
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich


As the chief executive of North Carolina Central University since 2007, Dr. Charlie Nelms has emphasized student success and the measures to achieve it. He re-purposed the University College to provide academic support and skills training for unprepared freshmen and sophomores. Nelms realigned the budget to better support student achievement, emphasized campus-wide accountability and responsibility, and strengthened internal controls and fiscal and administrative infrastructure.

Since his arrival, U.S. News and World Report ranked NCCU as the best public historically black college or university in the country for two years in a row and the Southern Regional Education Board recognized NCCU as one of only 15 bachelor's- or master's-level universities across the country that succeeds in graduating more than 45 percent of a student body that is low-wealth and less well-prepared as measured by the results of the SAT.

Nelms has prior experience in the role of chief executive. In 1987, he began a seven-year tenure as chancellor of Indiana University East, and in 1994 he was named chancellor of the University of Michigan at Flint (UMF). There, he resolved a significant campus budget deficit, reversed a four-year enrollment decline and secured more than $75 million in private gifts to UMF. Nelms also served as vice president for Institutional Development and Student Affairs for the Indiana University system.