Stephen Farmer returned to the University on January 1, 2020, as its first Vice Provost for Enrollment. With leaders and colleagues in the offices of Student Financial Services, Undergraduate Admission, the University Registrar, and the Virginia College Advising Corps, he works to strengthen the excellence, diversity, success, and sense of community of the student body, and to deepen the University’s commitment to inspire, encourage, and care for students throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.
Mr. Farmer previously served as Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his tenure, UNC established new records for the academic excellence and the socioeconomic, geographic, and racial and ethnic diversity of its entering undergraduate classes, as well as record numbers of first-year applications for 14 consecutive years.
In addition to helping UNC raise private funds to sustain the Carolina Covenant, which offers low-income students the opportunity to graduate free of debt, Mr. Farmer developed and launched the Blue Sky Scholars Program for middle-income students. He also founded nationally recognized programs to foster opportunity and success for low-income students.
In recognition of his leadership and service, Mr. Farmer was awarded the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes UNC employees for unusual, meritorious, or superior contributions, and the Distinguished Service Medal of the UNC General Alumni Association. He was also inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the oldest and highest honorary society at UNC.
Born and raised in rural Rustburg, Virginia, Mr. Farmer earned a master’s degree in English from UVA and previously served as assistant and senior assistant dean of admission at the University. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Duke University, where he was an A.B. Duke Scholar.