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Thursday, 02 September 2021 11:38

Longtime UNCP administrator Dr. Charles Jenkins remembered

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Longtime UNCP administrator Dr. Charles Jenkins remembered Contributed photo

PEMBROKE — The UNC Pembroke campus and community is mourning the loss of Dr. Charles Jenkins, former provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs. 

At the time of his retirement in 2018, Jenkins was one of UNCP’s longest-serving administrators and faculty members. He served in many capacities since 1971, including 26 years in senior administrative posts and interim chancellor from 2009 to 2010.  

Jenkins passed away on Aug. 27. 

He served as an administrator for the graduate clinical educational leadership program and taught in the School of Education. He was awarded professor emeritus status in 2007. 

In his nearly five decades of service, Dr. Jenkins forged lasting bonds with countless students, graduates, faculty, staff and university stakeholders. He distinguished himself as an outstanding leader, advocate, loyal colleague, top-notch academic administrator and friend. 

As the first provost of UNCP, he is credited with helping launch the Honors College, the Teaching Fellows and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs and 15 master’s programs. 

Jenkins helped raise the bar on student performance. However, it was the small things that made the most impact on his students and colleagues. Since his passing, there has been an outpouring of support on the university’s social media.

One former student remembers Jenkins writing handwritten notes to students on the honor’s list — a practice she adopted when she began teaching at UNCP. Another graduate said Jenkins was the reason he chose UNCP. While dozens more recalled how Jenkins made time to get to know students, always offering words of encouragement and took joy in interacting with the student body and faculty in the dining hall at lunch. 

He spent many hours on the phone at home talking to current and former students who sought his advice on career pursuits or professional challenges. 

"He was such an inspiration to many people,” a former student wrote. "He never greeted anyone without a smile — a true gentleman. 

"He was a wonderful friend who made my time at UNCP so special," another student wrote.

A Rockingham native, Jenkins earned degrees from East Carolina University and Duke University and taught and coached at Scotland High School before joining the UNCP faculty. His service in other administrative positions included academic dean, director of admissions and director of student teaching. Throughout his administrative career, he continued to teach.  

Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings said Jenkins will be remembered for his incredible impact on UNCP and the region. 

"It is clear he had a deep passion for education and for UNCP, and throughout his time here, he impacted countless lives of students, faculty, staff and community members," Cummings said.  

"We will be forever grateful for his work and the path it set forward for our university." 

Dr. Jenkins is survived by his wife of 53 years, Karen Gibson Jenkins, a UNCP alumna, and a daughter, Brooke.  




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