From Cotton Fields to University Leadership: All Eyes on Charlie, a Memoir


Product Details

Indiana University Press (Ips)
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.4 inches | 0.7 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

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 Center Scholar at the Center for Postsecondary Research, Indiana University School of Education, as well as retired Chancellor, North Carolina Central University, and IU Vice President for Institutional Development and Student Affairs Emeritus. In retirement, he works with historically Black colleges and universities to strengthen leadership and governance.

Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough is president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dr. Kimbrough holds degrees from the University of Georgia, Miami University of Ohio, and Georgia State University. He has been recognized for his research on historically black colleges and universities, African American men in college, and fraternaties and sororities. In 2010 he was named as part of the Ebony Magazine Power 100 list and in 2013 he became one of NBC News/The's 100 African Americans making history today.


"Far too often we meet leaders and forget their journeys to leadership. We forget the struggles, the stumbles, the surprises, and the enormous amount of hard work they put in, amidst twists and turns along the journey. Charlie Nelms has written an autobiography that is authentic, humble, and serves as an example for those leaders who will follow him. His voice, honesty, humor, and compassion shine through his life story."--Dr. Marybeth Gasman, Director, Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions, author of Educating a Diverse Nation: Lessons from Minority-Serving Institutions

"I have called Charlie Nelms a friend for almost 40 years. In his memoir, the realities of his life take on the qualities of a good docudrama, providing the back story to the development of a remarkable educational leader. His is "the examined life," filled with honesty, humor, and humility. While this is uniquely Charlie's story, it is a story that will lift the hearts of many and inspire future generations of leaders."--Betty J. Overton, Director, National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good

"In the tradition of Booker Washington and Benjamin Mays, 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. At a time when young people ask if college matters, Nelms' testimony is proof that university education remains an engine of social mobility and personal transformation. "--Michael L. Lomax, President & CEO, United Negro College Fund (UNCF)