Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber


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Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber

Sharon L. Gaber, Ph.D., is the fifth chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

  • Known as North Carolina’s urban research university, it leverages its location in the state’s largest city to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, and a focused set of community engagement initiatives.
  • UNC Charlotte maintains a particular commitment to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health and social needs of the greater Charlotte region.
  • With a student population of more than 30,000 (a 30% increase in enrollment since 2008), it is the third-largest institution in the 17-member University of North Carolina System. Its diverse student body, 34% of whom are first-generation college students, comes from 49 states and 108 countries.
  • Charlotte has continued its dramatic rise, achieving a coveted position among the nation’s top 100 public universities, according to U.S. News & World’s Best College 2024 rankings


  • An academic with a background in city and regional planning, Gaber was named by Education Dive one of five higher education leaders to watch in 2018 and beyond.
  • Prior to her arrival at UNC Charlotte, Gaber served for five years as the President of the University of Toledo, where she was nationally recognized for her efforts to increase enrollment, improve graduation and retention rates, keep education affordable, increase research funding, improve connection to the surrounding metro region and make the campus environment diverse and inclusive.
  • Prior to Toledo, Gaber served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Arkansas.
  • She has also been an interim provost at Auburn University and a faculty member and administrator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  • Gaber earned an A.B. in Economics and Urban Studies at Occidental College.
  • She received an M.P.L. in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. from Cornell University in City & Regional Planning.
  • Dr. Gaber is the proud mother of three children: Allison, Peter and Jen (dec.).

An author engaged in the community

  • Gaber is the author of articles on regional and urban planning, public policy and the social dynamics that affect community decision-making and is also the co-author of a book on planning research methods.
  • In 2022, she was named to No. 6 overall on The Charlotte Business Journal’s inaugural Power 100 List, which focused on the leaders who will drive the Charlotte region’s next stage of growth.
  • Gaber received the Career Mastered Distinguished Leadership Award in 2022 and was named by The Charlotte Business Journal as one of the Most Admired CEOs of 2021.
  • She has been named to the Business North Carolina Power List for three consecutive years (2021, 2022, 2023), and in 2020 received the YWCA Northwest Ohio Milestone Award for women’s leadership.
  • She has served on multiple NCAA committees and as a member of the Conference USA Executive Committee, and on the American Athletic Conference Executive Committee.
  • Deeply engaged in community and regional activities, she is a member of the Leading on Opportunity Council, the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, Women Executives, and the International Women’s Forum – Carolinas.
  • She has been tapped to serve on the Board of Directors of Project Kitty Hawk.
  • Gaber is the first UNC System chancellor to serve as a member of Excelencia in Education’s Presidents for Latino Student Success.

Blazing new trails

  • Officially the first woman to serve as chancellor of UNC Charlotte, Gaber follows the trail blazed by founding educator Bonnie Cone, who led the institution from 1946-66 through several stages of growth.