North Carolina A&T State University announced the appointment of Dr. James R. Martin II as its new chancellor. The University of North Carolina Board of Governors confirmed Martin’s election today upon the recommendation of UNC System President Peter Hans. Martin will officially assume his new role on August 15, succeeding Harold Martin Sr., who is retiring after 15 years of service.

Dr. Martin brings a wealth of experience to N.C. A&T, having previously served as the U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering. During his tenure there, he significantly enhanced research funding by 50%, established strategic industry and government partnerships, and spearheaded initiatives to increase diversity, enrollment, and graduation rates.

“North Carolina A&T is a recognized national leader in harnessing technology and access to learning to unlock human potential,” stated Dr. Martin. “That’s one of many reasons why it’s so exciting to have been chosen to lead the university at a moment when America is in particular need of the very things that North Carolina A&T does best. Our students, faculty, staff, and alumni are on an incredible ascent, having accomplished so much in recent years. I look forward to joining them on that journey and ensuring that we continue to build on A&T’s exceptional momentum as we set ambitious new sights for the months and years ahead.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Martin as our new chancellor,” said A&T Board of Trustees Chair Kimberly Bullock Gatling. “His strong vision aligns perfectly with our goal to elevate N.C. A&T’s national presence as a leading doctoral, research land-grant HBCU. Under his leadership, we look forward to continued growth and success.”

Martin’s career is marked by his commitment to academic innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration. With decades of experience in academia, he has previously held significant leadership roles at Clemson University and Virginia Tech. At Clemson, he chaired the Civil Engineering Department and was the founding executive director of the Risk Engineering and Systems Analytics Institute (RESA). He also led initiatives in disaster risk engineering and earthquake science, contributing to stronger building codes in the United States and providing consultancy services worldwide.

His academic roots trace back to Virginia Tech, where he began his career as a faculty member in civil and environmental engineering. He then went on to lead an engineering fellowship program for underrepresented students and founded the university’s Disaster Risk Management Institute. Martin earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The Citadel, and both his master’s and doctorate degrees in civil engineering from Virginia Tech.

The announcement of Martin’s appointment has been met with enthusiasm from various university officials and stakeholders. “We were fortunate in this national search to draw a very competitive field of applicants and nominees from across the country,” said Hilda Pinnix-Ragland, Chair of the Search Advisory Committee and former Chair of the A&T Board of Trustees. “From the beginning, Dr. Martin emerged as a leading candidate in his background, preparation, and the vision he articulated for A&T. He will be an outstanding leader for our university.”

UNC Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey also expressed his confidence in Martin’s ability to lead the university. “North Carolina A&T has been extremely fortunate to have Dr. Harold Martin as chancellor for these last 15 years, and now the university has another fantastic leader in Dr. James Martin,” he said. “He comes to A&T with decades of leadership experience and a track record of building and innovating. I join the Aggie community in congratulating him on his important new role.”