About Charlie Nelms

Charlie Nelms, a native of the Arkansas Delta, has devoted his life to equalizing opportunities for disenfranchised peoples. He is currently a senior scholar at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and a senior consultant for the Association of Governing Boards, specializing in HBCU governance and leadership, as well as retired Chancellor, North Carolina Central University, and IU Vice President for Institutional Development and Student Affairs Emeritus. In 2019, Charlie was awarded an honorary doctorate from Indiana University. Proceeds from his book From Cotton Fields to University Leadership: All Eyes on Charlie, A Memoir will help fund scholarships to historically Black colleges and universities across the nation.
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Speaker and Story Teller

A captivating orator, Charlie possesses the ability to connect with audiences from all walks of life. Through his storytelling, he helps audiences to see beyond what is, so they can imagine what is possible when transcending their own immediate interests.

What can you expect from a Charlie Nelms speech?

A thought-provoking, passionately delivered speech on an array of contemporary topics, for audiences that transcend generational boundaries, socio-economic status, ethnicity or professional affiliations. As a university leader who has devoted his life to working to level the playing field for historically disenfranchised people, Charlie challenges his audiences to become more assertive agents of change for excellence, equity and inclusion in all dimensions of life.
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Books by Charlie Nelms

From Cotton Fields to University Leadership: All Eyes on Charlie
“Charlie Nelms tells his riveting story from share croppers’ son in rural Arkansas to university president. His memoir is a testament to the power of aspiration, character and education to overcome poverty and adversity. “
— Michael L. Lomax,
President & CEO, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)

Having My Say: Reflections of a Black Baby Boomer
From a national leader in higher education diversity and equity comes a timely collection of compelling reflections on giving, leading, changing, and advancing.

Charlie on Twitter

#EquityMatters. Many ppl have turned Dr. MLK into a diversity guru rather than the authentic advocate he was for equity & equality. On MLK Day, when speakers use terms like diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism & equity interchangeably, remember all have different meanings!

Calling all aspiring leaders! On your leadership journey, don’t forget to remember a genuine “Thank-you” is the most fundamental and effective way to express one’s gratitude. You can say it in a heartbeat.

We can’t slow climate change without involving energy companies, according to the head of @TheCLCouncil, a Mott grantee. He says the energy industry and environmentalists must work together to achieve faster results.

#MartinLutherKingJr ‘s “example of equality and brotherhood is exemplified in Nelm and @gonzalezIUBloom and their desire to help people...” - @theheraldtimes
@IUSchoolofEd @IUBloomington

Calling all aspiring leaders! All lessons are important but not all are equally important. I’ve never forgotten this one from my Mama: “Do your best and don’t worry about the rest.” Still relevant.....

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