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Audrey Jaeger, Ph.D.

Executive Director, W. Dallas Herring Professor


Audrey J. Jaeger, Ph.D., is the W. Dallas Herring Professor of Community College Education at NC State’s College of Education and the founding executive director of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research. Jaeger’s commitment to the accessibility and attainment of high-quality postsecondary education for each and every student is a natural expansion of her decades of research that explores community colleges, leadership, faculty development, college transfer, and gender issues in higher education. Contributing to the growing body of research about student outcomes and institutional effectiveness, her work advances student success by bringing actionable data to leaders and policymakers in North Carolina and beyond. In 2022, Jaeger was awarded NC State’s Holladay Medal – the highest honor given by NC State and the Board of Trustees, recognizing outstanding and sustained contributions to the university through achievements in research, teaching, or extension and engagement.

In her 20+ years as a faculty member at NC State, Jaeger has embraced the College of Education’s historic mission to serve North Carolina’s community colleges. In 2018, she secured a $10.8 million grant from the John M. Belk Endowment to strengthen efforts to support all 58 community colleges in North Carolina—and founded the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research at NC State’s College of Education. The Belk Center serves North Carolina’s community colleges by creating tools, convening leaders, and catalyzing social and economic mobility for learners – creating stronger, more resilient communities. The Belk Center distills knowledge into actionable insights, creates opportunities for collaboration, and equips community college leaders, educators, researchers, policymakers, and key stakeholders to tackle their most pressing issues. As executive director, Jaeger works with community college leaders to improve student outcomes and drive institutional change through learner-centered strategies and evidence-based decisions. In 2022, the John M. Belk Endowment issued a $25 million investment to advance the mission and work of the Belk Center over the next 10 years.

Jaeger has delivered more than 220 presentations, authored more than 80 articles and book chapters, and has secured over $43 million dollars in grants. Her work has been published in numerous journals, including the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, Educational Policy, Community College Review, Journal of College Student Development, and the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Jaeger is active in a number of professional organizations and academies and has received numerous awards for her research, engagement, and service. At NC State, she is a member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers, the Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension and Engagement, and the Research Leadership Academy. Jaeger was a recipient of NC State’s 2019 Equity for Women Award. In 2017, her scholarship and academic contributions earned her entrance into The Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship. Jaeger has received the Association for the Study of Higher Education Mentor Award, the NASPA Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member, the Council of Southern Graduate Schools Outstanding Mentor Award, the Champion of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Award, and the Women in Higher Education Achievement Award from The National Panhellenic Conference, among others.

Prior to NC State, Jaeger held student and academic affairs administrative positions at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and at Bucknell University (PA). She also worked previously as an adjunct faculty member at Baruch College (CUNY). Her Ph.D. is from New York University.