Dr. Zach Underwood is the New Dean of NCCU University College

Zach Underwood, Ph.D., has been named dean of University College at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), effective July 3, 2023. He will report to provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs David H. Jackson Jr., Ph.D.

Underwood will be responsible for providing a great, holistic experience that supports student learning and leads to academic achievement to first-year, second-year, and transfer students in this role. Academic counseling, supplemental and developmental learning, academic support for student-athletes, and overall student academic progress will be among his responsibilities. He will also oversee the development and implementation of courses, workshops, and services by University College teachers and personnel.

He most recently worked at Virginia Tech University as the director of university studies and data analysis, where he oversaw the development of innovative student services to support the institution’s purpose, vision, and strategic enrollment goals. Underwood established the HUB Scholarship Mentoring program during his tenure to meet Virginia Tech’s enrollment goal of 40 percent of the incoming class being underrepresented, underserved, first-generation, and/or Pell-eligible; maintained a first-to-second year retention rate of at least 90 percent of university studies students; and enhanced the transitional advising service for students in between majors to maintain and grow university retention, persistence, and graduation. He also taught the first-year experience course for university students.

Underwood has nearly 20 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education, including positions ranging from academic advisor to adjunct instructor to assistant registrar at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Appalachian State University, and the University of North Texas. He has also written several publications and given numerous conference presentations on advising and student success, connecting video games to higher education, and retention programs centered on advising technologies.

He is a native of Asheboro, North Carolina, and has a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and recreation and leisure studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in learning technologies from the University of North Texas.

Underwood enjoys watching films with his wife as well as teaching his children the joys of video game classics.

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