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Former UNC System Board of Governors Member Elected To Lead Fayetteville State University

Darrell Allison, president of Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina.
Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina

The UNC System Board of Governors has chosen one of its own former members, Darrell Allison, as the next chancellor of Fayetteville State University.

The board elected Allison to the position Thursday, after UNC System President Peter Hans announced the nomination and gave his own recommendation of Allison. All members present at the meeting voted in support of the election.

"Having worked closely with Darrell over the years, I was not surprised when the Fayetteville State Board of Trustees put his name forward to lead that vital institution into its next chapter," Hans said.

Allison abruptly resigned from the board of governors in September, with three years left in his term, citing personal reasons. The chancellor search at Fayetteville State University was in progress at that time.

Allison responded to questions about the search process at a press conference in Fayetteville today.

"I understand that this is somewhat unprecedented," Allison said. "I get it, you know, it's not often that a former board of governors [member] steps down and pursues an opportunity."

Allison said he was not given special treatment in the search process.

"There was no selecting of Darrell and placing of Darrell in this search from the UNC system or board [of governors] or whomever," Allison said.

Stuart Augustine, the chair of the search committee, said they reviewed and vetted more than 60 applicants for the position.

Allison is a non-traditional candidate for the role. While most other UNC system chancellors have spent their careers in higher education, Allison has never worked as a university administrator. He has served as a trustee of his alma mater, North Carolina Central University, and has been a longtime lobbyist for K-12 school choice measures. He has chaired UNC system committees on racial equity and historically minority serving institutions.

Allison said his goals are to elevate Fayetteville State's brand and to leverage partnerships to advocate for the university.

Hans has said in the past that he would like to see more non-traditional candidates apply to become chancellors. Last year, Hans pushed to have the ability to fast-track candidates for chancellor positions, but that new power did not officially apply to the Fayetteville State position because the search was ongoing when Hans became president.

Allison will succeed Interim Chancellor Peggy Valentine in March.

Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Reporter, covering preschool through higher education. Email:
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