Dr. Carol A. Cartwright is a member of the NPR Board of Directors.
A highly respected voice in higher education, Cartwright's career has been distinguished by innovative teaching, pioneering research and national leadership. She was the first female president of Bowling Green State University (BGSU), serving as interim president beginning in July 2008, and as the president in January 2009. Her retirement in June 2011 marked a 45-year career in public higher education. Notable achievements at BGSU included a new strategic plan, new campus master plan, the largest construction and renovation program in the history of BGSU and the launch of a path-breaking new undergraduate curriculum.
From 1991-2006, Cartwright served as president of Kent State University (KSU), a role that earned her the distinction of the first female president of a state university in Ohio. Under her leadership, student success became Kent State's top priority, the status of teaching and public service was elevated, academic programs were implemented in a wide range of high-demand and emerging fields, and Kent State successfully completed its first, major fund-raising campaign.
As she retired from KSU, Cartwright was honored throughout the state and nation, including recognition In the form of resolutions of appreciation from Ohio's Governor, the Ohio Legislature and the United States Congress. The Auditorium Building on the university's Kent Campus was named "Carol A. Cartwright Hall" in her honor.
Prior to her career at Kent State, she was vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of California-Davis, and dean for undergraduate programs and vice provost at The Pennsylvania State University. She served as a member of the Penn State faculty from 1967-1988, where she led a variety of research projects and authored numerous professional publications and technical reports.
Cartwright held prominent leadership roles in higher education's most influential national organizations, chairing the board of directors of the American Association for Higher Education and serving on the boards of directors of the American Council on Education, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities. She chaired the National Collegiate Athletic Association Executive Committee and served as a member of the NCAA Board of Directors. Among others, she served as a presidential appointee on the board of trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and as a board member of the National First Ladies Library. In addition to NPR, she currently serves on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the American Council on Education Commission on International Initiatives, and the board of directors for the Collegiate Women Sports Awards.
Cartwright has been a leading member of numerous regional and statewide cultural, civic and economic development organizations in Ohio. Her participation in initiatives to improve Ohio's economy includes past service on the Governor's Commission on Higher Education and the Economy. She also serves on the boards of directors of three companies with headquarters in Northeast Ohio: KeyCorp, PolyOne Corporation, and FirstEnergy Corp.
The scope of her contributions to higher education led to Cartwright's induction into the Ohio Women's Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. She received distinguished alumni awards from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and the University of Pittsburgh. Other honors include the Clairol Mentor Award in Education, the northeast Ohio ATHENA Award, the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Humanitarian Award for Excellence, and the ACE Mentor of the Year Award.
Cartwright earned master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.