UNC Charlotte’s New Female Chancellor, Dr. Sharon L. Gaber.

Courtesy UNC Charlotte

Dr. Sharon L. Gaber is making history. The second woman to lead the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she officially replaces Philip L. Dubois as the school’s fifth chancellor on July 20. While the university was founded by a woman, Bonnie Cone in 1946, it has not had a female chancellor in over 50 years. Let’s get to know Chancellor-elect Gaber and her journey to Charlotte.

“We are living through a time like no other, and it is our opportunity to lead with compassion, innovation and resilience. Traits that i know niner nation is known for, and what attracted me to this great university.”

Dr. Sharon L. Gaber

Before Charlotte

Gaber is no stranger to historic moments. She became the first female president of the University of Toledo in 2015, where she spent the last five years. She improved the school during her time there, earning national recognition for increasing enrollment, improving the graduation rate and helping students stay in school. Education Dive named her one of five leaders in higher education to watch in 2018. 

Balancing act

Gaber manages to balance being a mother of three with her work as a career educator. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and urban studies from Occidental College, a master’s degree in  urban planning from the University of Southern California, and her doctoral degree in city and regional planning from Cornell University. For an urban research university like UNC Charlotte, she certainly fits.

Before Toledo

Gaber spent six years at the University of Arkansas as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. She also worked at Auburn University as interim provost, where she was also taught. At the turn of the century, she co-chaired the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women at the University of Nebraska. Gaber has pushed to empower women throughout her career.

Beyond campus

Gaber’s work extends beyond the confines of her role as a campus administrator. In 2019, shewas elected chair of the Inter-University Council of Ohio in 2019. She remained involved with the Toledo community, not just as a leader of a university, but as a board member for the Regional Growth Partnership, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and the Toledo Museum of Art.

Until Gaber begins

Dubois retired from UNC Charlotte on June 30. Provost Joan Lorden has served as interim chancellor since July 1, and will remain until July 19.

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Ashley Mahoney
Ashley Mahoney covers professional, college and community sports as well as arts and culture at The Charlotte Post, an award-winning weekly publication. Her weekly recipe feature, Table Charlotte, allows people to create healthy recipes on a budget. Queen City Football Chronicle, a branch of The Post, covers collegiate through professional soccer exclusively in the Charlotte area. Between assignments and practicing yoga, she can be found throughout the city consuming far too much coffee.

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