A former member of the UNC System Board of Governors was named Thursday as the 12th chancellor of historically Black Fayetteville State University.
Darrell Allison, who served on the board from 2017-2020, is currently the vice president of governmental affairs and state teams at the American Federation For Children, where he leads advocacy programs and raises money for the organization. The national group works to expand school choice programs and was once led by U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, The News & Observer previously reported.
"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 said.
The Board of Governors elected Allison as chancellor at its meeting Thursday, based on Hans' nomination, after the FSU trustees selected Allison as a finalist.
He will begin his new role on March 15, replacing interim Chancellor Peggy Valentine, who was appointed in July 2019. Valentine previously served as dean of the School of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University.
Advocate for HBCUs on BOG
"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 said in a statement. "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 strong advocate for the role that historically Black colleges and universities play in North Carolina, Hans said. He was critical in helping establish and lead the board's committee on historically minority-serving institutions (HMSI) and the system's racial equity task force.
Allison recently partnered with UNC-Chapel Hill's NC Policy Collaboratory that gave historically minority-serving institutions $6 million for COVID-19 programming and research.
"Few people in our state can testify more genuinely to the ability of our public universities to change lives and transform communities," Hans said. "And so I'm excited to see Darrell focus that energetic advocacy on behalf of Fayetteville State University.
Hans also noted Allison's work and generosity as a former trustee at his alma mater, N.C. Central University in Durham, where he established a scholarship fund in honor of his father to help recruit and support rural students.
Allison earned his bachelor's degree at NCCU and a law degree from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law.