James C. Renick, former chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University and the University of Michigan-Dearborn, died on January 3. He was 72 years old and had suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
A native of Rockford, Illinois, Renick earned a bachelor’s degree at Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He earned a master of social work degree from the University of Kansas and later a Ph.D. in government and public administration at Florida State University.
Dr. Renick began his academic career teaching social work at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. After teaching for eight years at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Dr. Renick served as vice provost for academic initiatives and external affairs at Geroge Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In 1993, he was named chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
In 1999, Dr. Renick was named chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University. He served in that role for seven years and made great progress on many fronts. But after he left to take a position at the American Council on Education, he was accused of misusing grant money while at North Carolina A&T. In 2012, Dr. Renick was named interim provost and then provost at Jackson State University in Mississippi. In October 2015, Dr. Renick abruptly resigned as provost and no reason was given for his departure.
Harold Martin, the current chancellor of North Carolina A&T State University, stated that “Chancellor Renick will be remembered as an impactful leader of the university and an educational professional with a heart for students.”