For more information contact Joni Worthington at (919) 962-4629 or

February 9, 2007


Reaves Named Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University

CHAPEL HILL, NC – Donald J. Reaves, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer at the University of Chicago since 2002, has been elected Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University by the Board of Governors of the 16-campus University of North Carolina.  UNC President Erskine Bowles placed Reaves’ name in nomination today (February 9) during the board’s regular February meeting, held on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.  Reaves, 60, will assume his new duties August 15, succeeding Michelle Howard-Vital, who has served as Interim Chancellor since Harold Martin stepped down last July to become UNC Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

In recommending Reaves to the Board of Governors, Bowles said:  “In a stellar career that spans more than 25 years, Donald Reaves has distinguished himself as a faculty member, top-notch administrator, and proven leader.  He has taught and held senior leadership positions at some of our nation’s finest universities.  Along the way, he has earned a solid reputation for creative thinking, great integrity, and sound judgment.  He clearly understands the many challenges—and the boundless opportunities—facing Winston-Salem State and the surrounding community, and he brings a deep understanding of what it takes to move a university to the next level.  We are lucky to get him, and I am absolutely thrilled that he has agreed to join our leadership team.”

Founded in 1890 by oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is a private liberal arts institution that enrolls approximately 13,500 students and offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, nearly 80 graduate degree programs, and six professional schools, including law and medicine.  Over its history, nearly 80 Nobel laureates have been associated with the university as faculty members, students, or researchers.  Six are now on the faculty.
In his current role as vice president and CFO, Reaves has had primary oversight of most of the University of Chicago’s fiscal and administrative operations.  Key areas of responsibility have included budgeting, human resources, capital planning and facilities services, construction, risk management, and fiscal and strategic planning.  Reaves also supports five committees of the university’s Board of Trustees.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Reaves majored in political science at Cleveland State University, graduating in 1976.  After completing his master’s degree (1978) in the field and a doctoral degree (1981) in political science and public administration at Kent State University, he accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Northeastern University in Boston.  Although Reaves soon joined the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare (1984-88), rising to Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Budget and Cost Control, he continued to teach as an adjunct professor in Northeastern’s Graduate School of Arts and Science until 1993.

In 1988, Reaves began a 14-year tenure at Brown University in Providence, RI, where he served as Assistant Vice President and University Budget Director, Vice President for Finance, and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer.  He served in the latter position for nine years prior to being named Vice President for Administration and CFO at the University of Chicago in 2002.

Active in professional and higher-education organizations, Reaves is a former chair of the Roxbury (Boston, MA) Community College  Board of Trustees and a former vice chair of the Tougaloo (MS) College Board of Trustees.  He has previously served as a director of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and currently serves on the boards of the American Student Assistance Corp., the William Blair Funds, and the Amica Mutual Insurance Company.

Reaves is married to Dr. Deborah Ross Reaves, a clinical psychologist for the Cooperative Association for Special Education.  They have two adult children:  Marc, a graduate of Cleveland State University employed as a real estate agent in Cleveland; and Katherine (Katie), a graduate of Yale University who will be entering the University of Chicago law school next fall.

Following his election, Reaves said:  “The responsibility that has been entrusted to me is enormous; the work is important; and I am fully prepared to do my best for Winston-Salem State University and the University of North Carolina system of higher education.  Deborah and I and my whole family are absolutely thrilled by the opportunity, and we look forward to joining the University and Winston-Salem communities very soon.”

Winston-Salem State University
Founded in 1892 as the Slater Industrial Academy, Winston-Salem State University began in a one-room building with only 25 students.  By 1925, it had evolved into Winston-Salem Teachers College and was the first historically black institution in the nation to grant degrees in elementary education.  A part of the 16-campus University of North Carolina since 1972, WSSU today enrolls nearly 6,000 students and offers 43 undergraduate majors and 12 master’s degree programs.  Areas of academic emphasis include health services, financial services, information technology, and teacher education.  It is one of the fastest-growing UNC campuses.

The University of North Carolina
The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls more than 202,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees.  UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a specialized school for performing artists.  Also under the University umbrella are the UNC Center for Public Television with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, and the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students.

Click here to view Reaves's acceptance remarks.


Winston-Salem State University contact:  For more information about WSSU, contact Aaron Singleton, Director of News and Media Relations, at (336) 750-3152 or

Friday, February 9, 2007

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