Tracey Ford is appointed vice provost and dean of student affairs at UNCSA

Tracey Ford is appointed vice provost and dean of student affairs at UNCSA
June 03
15:04 2020

Tracey Ford has been appointed vice provost and dean of student affairs at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) at the conclusion of a national search, Chancellor Brian Cole announced recently. She has served as interim in the position since August and will begin her permanent appointment July 1. 

Tracey Ford has championed higher education access and student success for underrepresented and low-income students for her entire professional life, as well as issues of diversity and inclusivity, and student wellness. With more than 25 years of experience in academic and student affairs, she has built a strong foundation for driving strategies and solutions in academic policy, student success, student affairs and enrollment management. 

As a member of the senior leadership team at UNCSA, Ford is responsible for the administration of student services, university policies and procedures related to student affairs programming and planning. She provides executive-level leadership, strategic vision and oversight for the Division of Student Affairs in order to create an environment that is most conducive for student academic and artistic achievement and professional growth and development. Ford will play a leadership role in strategic campus-wide initiatives to address issues of diversity and inclusivity at UNCSA, as well as lead a strong focus on student wellness.

“I have been very impressed with Tracey Ford’s leadership over the past year, in particular her role in bolstering campus initiatives in the area of diversity, inclusivity and student wellness,” said Cole. “This spring, she has also been tireless in ensuring that our response to COVID-19 meets the needs of our students and addresses their health and well-being, as well as providing high-quality academic and artistic instruction. I am confident that she is the best person to guide us through our next chapter in this extraordinary time.”

Previously, Ford held a similar role as vice president for student affairs at Tennessee State University, where she moved the division forward in high profile areas of housing and residence life, career services and student retention. As assistant vice president for academic and student affairs at the University of North Carolina System, she led system-wide initiatives designed to increase student enrollment, retention and graduation. She has also served as director for the Center for Academic Excellence at North Carolina A&T State University, where she was responsible for strategic visioning and leadership of the campus’ academic support programs. She performed key roles at the University of Georgia (UGA), including assistant dean of intercultural affairs, director of the Office of Institutional Diversity, and academic adviser for pre-medical students in Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. She was the co-founder and director of UGA’s pre-collegiate program ASPIRE.

“Tracey’s extensive experience, which includes 10 years with the UNC System, is invaluable,” Cole said. “I am proud to have her on my senior leadership team.”

Ford holds a B.S. in biology from Norfolk State University, an M.S. in genetics from Howard University, and an Ed.D. in higher education from the University of Georgia. She has completed three leadership programs: UNC BRIDGES, LEAD UNC, and the Higher Education Leadership Foundation program as member of the 2015 Alpha Cohort. 

Her volunteerism and community service with Clarke Youth Association and the Clarke County (Georgia) School District confirm her commitment to education and youth development. She has received numerous awards and recognitions including the 2012 First Year Advocate Award Semi-Finalist, 2007 NAACP National Advisor of the Year, 2007 UGA SOAR Advisor of the Year, and 2005 Woman of the Year for both the St. Mark AME Church and the Athens Graduate Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Ford said, “I am thrilled and humbled to become the vice provost and dean of student affairs at UNCSA, where I’ve focused my energies on the overall student experience, student engagement, and inclusiveness. Though the past year has been quite challenging, I’m deeply committed to our students’ success, development and well-being as we navigate the future for this wonderful arts conservatory.” 

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is America’s first state-supported arts school, a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, and music. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system when it was formed in 1972. For more information, visit

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