GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. will retire at the end 2023-2024 school year, according to a statement released by the university on Friday.

He is in his 15th year as leader of NC A&T State University. A national search will be conducted for his successor.

He is the longest-serving chancellor in the 17-campus University of North Carolina System and among the nation’s 107 historically Black colleges and universities.

Martin, 71, has had a 14-year tenure during which NC A&T State University has reportedly become the largest HBCU in U.S. history.

He has done so as the first alumnus to lead NC A&T State University.

“Harold Martin is the very model of a devoted, effective public servant. He’s a brilliant thinker, a disciplined leader and a great man,” University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans said. “For more than three decades, he’s been a friend, a mentor and an inspiration to students and colleagues across the UNC System. 

Martin earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at NC A&T State University before completing his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech.

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While an undergraduate, he was a contemporary of the NASA astronaut Ronald McNair at NC A&T State University, who was one year ahead of him in a different bachelor’s program. 

He has been recognized across North Carolina and nationally in a TIME magazine profile as a higher education thought leader, as winner of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s National Education Leader Award, as HBCU Digest’s “Most Influential” HBCU leader and as an honoree on the EBONY Power 100 list.

In the Piedmont Triad, he has been named to the Triad Business Journal’s Power Players and Most Admired CEOs lists.