N.C. A&T Names Thornton Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness

By Jackie Torok / 03/03/2021 Academic Affairs

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (March 3, 2021) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University announced Courtney Thornton, Ed.D., has been named vice provost for strategic planning and institutional effectiveness, effective March 15

“Dr. Thornton has demonstrated her expertise in guiding the principles of institutional effectiveness throughout her career,” said Beryl McEwen, Ph.D., provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “We look forward to working with her to advance the goals outlined in our strategic plan to transform the aspirations for our university into realities.” 

N.C. A&T is committed to institutional effectiveness, which its regional accrediting body, the Southern Associations of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, defines as “the systematic, explicit, and documented process of measuring performance against mission in all aspects of an institution.” The university’s continuous assessment and improvement of all its academic and administrative units are based on institutional goals for programs and student learning. 

Thornton joins A&T from North Carolina State University, where she served as associate vice provost for academic personnel and policy since February 2017 and has been an adjunct assistant professor since 2009. 

Thornton’s work experiences span K-12 education, private industry and higher education. With 15 years of increasingly broad experience and responsibility in higher education administration, Thornton has worked in the University of North Carolina System Office, where she began in 2008 as a research director, became associate vice president for research and graduate education in 2012, and served as associate vice president for academic programs from 2016 to 2017. 

At the UNC System Office, Thornton helped secure external funds totaling nearly $1 million to support strategic initiatives in research and economic development. 

Thornton earned her B.A. in chemistry, B.S. in science education with a chemistry concentration, M.Ed. in higher education with a student affairs concentration and Ed.D. in higher education administration, all from N.C. State. Her work on higher education engagement and student civic responsibility is published in numerous peer-reviewed and other articles, book chapters, institutional reports, conference proceedings and other publications, and she has given many peer-reviewed and invited presentations. 

Most recently, Thornton has been recognized by the National Professional Science Master’s Association with its President’s Award in 2019; by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities/Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities Millennium Leadership Initiative Institute in 2014; and by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Academy for Higher Education State Policy Leadership in 2013. She also served as president of the National Professional Science Master’s Association (2017-18) and member of the NC Space Grant Consortium advisory board (2008-15). 

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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