CHAPEL HILL – (April 13, 2016)—The American Council on Education (ACE), announced today that Karrie Gibson Dixon, vice president for academic and student success for the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, has been named an ACE Fellow for academic year 2016-17. 

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing faculty and staff for senior positions in college and university administration. Thirty-three Fellows, nominated by the senior administration of their institutions, were selected this year following a rigorous application process. 

The program combines retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the- job experience and skills development into a single semester or year. Dixon will focus on an issue of concern to the UNC system while spending the next academic year working with a college or university president and other senior officers at a host institution.

"The ACE Fellows Program cultivates leaders prepared to meet the constantly evolving challenges of today’s higher education landscape,” ACE President Molly Corbett Broad said. "The diverse and talented 2016-17 Fellows class demonstrates why the program has been such a vital contributor for more than a half-century to expanding the leadership pipeline for our colleges and universities."

Dixon has served as the UNC system’s vice president for academic and student success since 2014. In that role, Dixon serves as UNC’s chief student affairs officer and leads student success initiatives; oversees efforts to increase student access and retention; and fosters innovative collaborations among the UNC system, the NC Community College System, the state's independent colleges and universities, and the NC Department of Public Instruction.  Dixon has been instrumental in leading many projects and policy changes that have positively impacted students throughout the University and statewide. 

Dixon works closely with campus vice chancellors for student affairs, enrollment managers, and University committees, focusing on the statewide Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, minimum admission requirements, financial aid, student development, safety and security, and military student success. Statewide programs within her office also include the College Foundation of North Carolina Pathways and the federally funded NC State Approving Agency. Dixon’s research and scholarly presentations have focused on summer bridge programs, transfer articulation and strategies for student success.

Prior to joining the UNC system office in 2008, Dixon served as an assistant vice provost at North Carolina State University, where she is now an adjunct assistant professorship in the College of Education’s Department of Leadership, Policy, Adult and Higher Education. Dixon holds a bachelor’s degree from NC State, a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a doctorate in higher education administration from NC State.

Junius Gonzales, UNC’s senior vice president for academic affairs, will serve as Dixon’s mentor for the fellowship. “The experience Karrie will gain during her fellowship is a great value not only to her personally, but also to the UNC system, where she will bring those new perspectives and understanding gained from colleagues at her host institution and education leaders throughout the country,” said Gonzales. “We are exceptionally proud of her.”

Nearly 2,000 higher education leaders have participated in the ACE Fellows Program over the past five decades, with more than 80 percent of Fellows having served as senior leaders of colleges and universities. Throughout their placement, ACE Fellows will develop a network of higher education leaders from across the country and abroad through the Program’s three retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE. Fellows will also read extensively in the field and engage in interactive learning opportunities to increase their understanding of higher education challenges and opportunities.

About ACE

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation's higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents and related associations. It provides leadership on key higher education issues and influences public policy through advocacy. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on Twitter @ACEducation.

About the University of North Carolina

The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls nearly 225,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students. 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, five schools of engineering and a renowned arts conservatory.  The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.

ACE CONTACT: Kelli Meyer, 202-939- 9328,

UNC CONTACT: Joni Worthington, 919-962- 4629,

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

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