Dr. Hazo W. Carter Jr.
Dr. Hazo W. Carter, Jr. began his service as West Virginia State College’s ninth president in 1987. He became the first President of West Virginia State University on April 7, 2004. Of the University’s nine presidents, he is now ranked second in years of service. For 29 years he has been a chief executive officer at a higher education institution and, he is in his 36th year as a higher education administrator. Prior to coming to West Virginia, Dr. Carter was President and Professor of Education at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. His career has been dedicated to serving thousands of students.
President Carter holds the Bachelor of Science Degree in English from Tennessee State University (in Nashville); the Master of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana); and the Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.) in Higher Education Administration from George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Throughout his tenure at West Virginia State, he has worked tirelessly to articulate the institution’s economic impact and presence as the largest institution of higher education in the Kanawha Valley. President Carter successfully led a 12-year quest to regain the institution’s 1890 land-grant status. He has encouraged local community leaders, legislators, and alumni to support our journey to have our land-grant status restored at the State level and recognized and funded at the federal level.
As a 1890 land-grant institution, the University holds membership in the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC). Dr. Carter has served as member of the Council of 1890 Presidents and Chancellors since 1995, and he was selected by his peers as Chair-elect in November 2006. He is a founding member of the West Virginia Association of Land-Grant Institutions, a cooperative venture between WVSU and West Virginia University.
Following a resolution by the National Alumni Association in 2000, Dr. Carter provided the leadership that resulted in West Virginia State College being designated as West Virginia State University. On April 7, 2004, Governor Bob Wise signed the bill that officially changed the institution’s status to that of university.
President Carter is also an active participant on various local boards. He is a member of the boards of directors of: Advantage Valley, where he is also a member of the Education Committee and Task Force on Workforce Development; Chemical Alliance Zone; College Summit; and, the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference where he served as president (2000-2002) and currently serves as Treasurer and Chair of their Budget Committee. He is also a member of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation Board of Trustees. Additionally, Dr. Carter is a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission (initially appointed in 1988) and has served as Chair of the Commission since 1998.
Dr. Carter was a member of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce and Development for more than a decade and served as chairman of their Education Committee for four years. Throughout his association with this organization he has served as Vice Chair of their Board of Directors (2003) and was elected as Chair in January 2004; the organization merged with the Charleston Renaissance and BIDCO in the summer of 2004. Consequently, Dr. Carter is a member of the Board of Directors of the Charleston Area Alliance as well as their Education Committee.
On the national level, Dr. Carter is a member of President Bush’s Board of Advisors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which is comprised of 21 members from 15 states. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Chemical Studies. Dr. Carter served a three-year term (2001-2004) on the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), where he also served on the Executive Committee (2003-2004). In November of 2004, he was appointed to AASCU’s Commission on Public University Renewal. Dr. Carter was appointed to AASCUs Committee on Policies and Purposes in November 2006.
He is chairman of the boards for the University’s Research and Development Corporation; the Metro Area Agency on Aging; and, he is a member of the Executive Committee of the West Virginia State University Foundation, Inc. His other memberships include the Central West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Saint Albans Rotary Club.
Dr. Carter’s former Board memberships include: the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University Alumni Association (1992-1998), serving as president from 1996-97; Saint Francis Hospital (1998-2002); Division II representative on the Presidents Council for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (1998-2003); the Salvation Army (1999-2002); Dunbar Rotary Club; the Business and Industrial Development Corporation; HospiceCare Foundation of West Virginia (2001-2002); the American Association of State Colleges and Universities where he served on their Executive Committee (2001-2004); the Mid-Atlantic Technology Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC) (2004-2011); United Way of Central West Virginia (2002-2011); and, the Advisory Committee of United Bank-Dunbar.
President Carter has received many awards and accolades in recognition of his distinguished service. Among the most cherished are: “Distinguished West Virginian” awards, presented in 1991 by Governor Gaston Caperton and in 2004 by Governor Bob Wise; Honorary West Virginian award, presented by Governor Joe Manchin III in 2007; Distinguished Mountaineer award, presented by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin in 2011; award and designation “President of the Century” by the West Virginia State College (University) National Alumni Association during their biennial conference in 2000 in recognition of his successful efforts to regain land-grant status. His alma mater, Tennessee State University, also presented him with its highest achievement award in recognition of his outstanding service and accomplishments in the field of education.
Dr. Carter is married to the former Phyllis W. Harden of Norfolk, Virginia. Mrs. Carter is licensed to practice law in West Virginia, Arkansas, and Virginia. She is the Chief Administrative Law Judge and Acting Executive Director for the West Virginia Human Rights Commission. The Carters have one daughter, Angela, who after 15 years of playing and growing up on the campus of West Virginia State University, elected to attend Eastern Kentucky University. Angela received her Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration in May 2011 from North Carolina State University. The First Family resides in Institute on the campus of West Virginia State University.