Master of Public Administration Program Named in Honor of Longtime County Manager

Sunday, September 2, 2012

CHARLOTTE – Aug. 31, 2012 - In recognition of a lifetime of public service, UNC Charlotte has named one of its first master’s programs the Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration program.

More than 50 people gathered in Fretwell Building earlier this month to commemorate the naming, with representatives from local and state government, student groups, faculty and staff and the community attending. The MPA program is housed in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

“I thank Jerry and his wife Dolores for what they have done for our community, our University and our college,” said Nancy Gutierrez, dean of the college. “I also commend Jerry for his role in continuing to broaden people’s understanding of public service.”

Fox served as Mecklenburg county manager for two decades, retiring in October 2000 after overseeing a time of tremendous growth in the county. Fox also taught as an adjunct faculty member in the MPA program from 2000 to 2010 and has served in interim management roles for counties and nonprofits since his retirement.

The Fox MPA program currently enrolls about 90 master’s students and more than 20 certificate students. Since its inception, the program has graduated 500-plus students who now lead numerous nonprofit agencies and hold positions in every level of government throughout the nation.

“In the 35 years since its founding, the Master of Public Administration program has grown in relevance and stature,” said Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. “The program prepares individuals to serve as managers in local, state and federal government, as well as in the nonprofit sector. It draws from multiple fields, including economics, sociology, political science, anthropology and law. Perhaps most importantly, it helps students cultivate the skills that allow them to see the proverbial forest beyond the trees.”

Fox has demonstrated and taught others those skills, Dubois said. “He is fair-minded and inclusive. He has consistently and adeptly navigated shifting political currents. Dedicated public servants such as Jerry have been crucial to Charlotte’s transition from mill town to metropolis, as well as to UNC Charlotte’s transition to North Carolina’s urban research university.”

UNC Charlotte’s MPA program marked its 35th anniversary during the 2011-12 academic year. It is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration and is ranked 59th in the country among public affairs programs in the Best Graduate Schools by U.S. News Media Group rankings.

About UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university. It is the fourth largest campus among the 17 institutions of The University of North Carolina system and the largest institution of higher education in the Charlotte region. Fall 2012 enrollment is expected to exceed 26,000 students, including 5,000 graduate students. Find UNC Charlotte on the Web, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and follow the UNC CLT_News blog.



Public Relations media contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830,