PEMBROKE — Dr. Loury Ollison Floyd, a proven leader with a successful track record in higher education, has been named dean of the School of Education at UNC Pembroke.
Floyd’s appointment was approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees.
“It is a privilege to introduce Dr. Loury Floyd to the UNCP community as the next dean for our School of Education,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings. “Dr. Floyd brings tremendous skill and talent to this position as an education leader for the region and the state.
“She understands the mission of UNCP as a minority-serving institution and relates to our student body in unique and important ways, particularly in terms of service to our first-generation and rural student populations.”
Floyd brings more than 23 years of experience, most recently serving as associate professor and associate dean for Undergraduate Programs at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
“Dr. Floyd has a state and national reputation as a consummate professional and as a visionary, dedicated servant leader,” said Interim Provost Zoe Locklear.
“She is collegial and has a passion for working with public schools. Her clearly articulated research agenda will engage her and the faculty in extraordinary outreach and professional development to the rural school districts in the UNCP service region,” Locklear continued.
Floyd, who was selected following a national search, has served in key leadership roles in the College of Education at N.C. A&T, including assistant dean for Teacher Education and interim chair of the Department of Administration and Instructional Services.
Passionate about service to community and education, Floyd feels honored being selected to lead the School of Education at this time in its history, and in her career.
“It feels like the right place at the right time for both UNCP and for me,” she said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to join the faculty and to lead the School of Education in transformative changes that will positively impact the public schools across the region.
“I am passionate about service to the public schools and preparing the next generation of teachers, school counselors and administrators.”
A first-generation college graduate from Pamlico County, she began her career as a special education teacher in Chesapeake Public Schools in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Floyd credits her own high school English teacher, Ms. Harper, for encouraging her to pursue her dream. An experience that clearly shaped her passion for education and the power educators have to change individuals, families and communities.
“I was always a top student, but Ms. Harper challenged me. She pushed me to be better. And because of that push and her class, the seed was planted for me.”
Floyd would go on to earn a special education degree at N.C. A&T, a master’s degree in special education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership at the College of William & Mary.
Beyond her education, Dr. Floyd has accumulated accolades during her more than two decades as an educator, evidence of her integrity and impact. She was honored as N.C. A&T’s 2007 Rookie Researcher of the Year. Previously in her career, she has earned distinction with awards of Researcher of the Year, Teacher of the Year and Student Teacher of the Year.
Her research, presentations and scholarly work span topics from leadership, collaboration and diversity in education. She has collaborated with colleagues to secure external funding in excess of $1.5 million to enhance teacher quality in low-performing school districts.
Originally established as a normal school to train American Indian teachers, UNCP’s School of Education has prepared countless educators, including principals and superintendents, many of which serve southeastern North Carolina.
Floyd said she plans to use her experience to build on the success of UNCP’s School of Education by not only preparing graduates to become effective leaders in the classroom from day one, but eventually moving into leadership roles and transforming the schools they serve.
“My vision is to create a center for outreach, education and professional development here in the School of Education. The center will focus on rural education and will be uniquely positioned here in southeastern North Carolina and tailored to meet the needs of the families and communities in our service region. The goal is to continue to close the achievement gap.
“My vision is for our students to become change agents in their respective schools and communities.”
Floyd brings a wealth of leadership experience to UNCP. She previously served as president of the N.C. Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators and also served on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Board of Examiners among many other professional memberships and academic organizations. Floyd also currently serves as an advisory board member for BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women.
Dr. Floyd is married to Kevin Floyd and they have two sons, Tobias and Jadon. She assumes her new post on July 20. She and her husband will reside in Pembroke as they search for their new home.