CLAS Dean Elected Chair of North Carolina Humanities Council Board of Trustees

Nancy A. Gutierrez, dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at UNC Charlotte, has been elected chair of the North Carolina Humanities Council Board of Trustees for 2019-2020. Her first board meeting as chair was Nov. 1 in Charlotte. She has served on the Board of Trustees since 2017.

The Humanities Council’s Board of Trustees also elected Lorna Ricotta of Fayetteville as vice chair and Edward J. Sheary of Weaverville as chair elect. The Humanities Council named 10 new trustees to its board, bringing the total to 24 volunteer board members from across the state.

“The North Carolina Humanities Council is essential to people’s understanding of the power of the humanities,” Gutierrez said. “A heightened awareness of the impact of the humanities on engaged citizenship can transform how people see themselves and their communities. People can use this deeper understanding to improve their lives and the lives of others.”

Prior to coming to UNC Charlotte, Gutierrez served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Arizona State University, where she was a Professor of English. Her areas of emphasis have focused on the role of the scholarship of engagement in promotion and tenure decisions, advocacy for interdisciplinary research and programming, globalization in curriculum and in faculty professionalization, and advocacy for the liberal arts. A scholar of early modern English literature, Gutierrez has published on Shakespearean drama and early modern women.

Gutierrez also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Museum of History. The UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees has named her to its search committee for the university’s next chancellor, following Philip L. Dubois’ announcement of plans to retire effective June 30, 2020.

The North Carolina Humanities Council Board of Trustees seeks to make the humanities accessible statewide. Trustees ensure that the Council reaches its mission, evaluate grant proposals, serve on committees, participate in the development and approval of policies and long-range plans, and oversee financial responsibility.

By congressional mandate, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), an independent federal agency in the executive branch, provides general operating support grants to the North Carolina Humanities Council and the other 55 state and jurisdictional humanities councils. Additional Council funding is provided through private philanthropy. Anyone interested in discussing Board service may contact Melanie Moore at

The newly elected trustees are: Margaret D. Bauer, Editor of NC Literary Review (Greenville); Christina Chia, Associate Director of Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University (Durham); Nancy Fields, Director and Curator of the Museum of the Southeast American Indian at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (Pembroke); Jessica Hardin, Attorney at Robinson Bradshaw (Charlotte); Brian Kahn, Litigation Partner at McGuireWoods (Charlotte); and Kathy White, Curriculum and Instruction Consultant (Roanoke Rapids).

The Council has five trustees directly appointed to the Board at the direction of the Governor. This year, Governor Roy Cooper has appointed four new trustees to the Board: Diane Robertson, Strategic Consultant (Carrboro); Cecelia Thompson, Executive Director at Action Greensboro (Greensboro); Christopher Lam, Partner at Bradley Law Firm (Charlotte); Tasse Little, Appalachian State University Parent Association Board of Directors (Charlotte). Liliana Wendorff (Charlotte) was appointed to the Board in 2018.

Image: Courtesy of North Carolina Humanities Council. Former Council Board Chair William L. Andrews (2018-2019) passes the gavel to Council Board Chair Nancy A. Gutierrez (2019-2020).