About Chancellor Black

Dr. Lendley C. Black

Dr. Lendley C. (Lynn) Black began his tenure as Chancellor of the University of Minnesota Duluth in August 2010. In addition to serving as Chancellor, he is a proud UMD theatre professor, where he is able to interact with students, lecture to theatre classes, and contribute to creative projects.

Chancellor Black led the creation of UMD’s comprehensive strategic plan including dedicated focus to fostering a more inclusive campus climate. In 2011, the University of Minnesota presented UMD with the Unit Award for Equity and Diversity.

Dr Black outside

Because he values a wide range of opinions, he routinely engages in open dialogue with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members about issues facing higher education, UMD, and the Northland.

Chancellor Black has strengthened relationships with neighborhood groups adjacent to the UMD campus and increased UMD’s active engagement with Duluth community organizations, city, county, and state governments, businesses, industry, and alumni. Under his administration, private yearly contributions to UMD increased from $5 million in fiscal year 2011 to a yearly average of $9.9 million.

As a tenacious supporter of Bulldog Athletics, he can often be found in the stands or on the sidelines watching UMD students compete. He has chaired the Board of Directors for both the National Collegiate Hockey Conference and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.

He is a strong advocate for multicultural students, American Indian students, and LGBTQ students, and regularly attends events sponsored by numerous student groups.  He has presented at the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education annual meeting, and he was a featured speaker at the first University of Tennessee Diversity Summit. He is also a regular speaker at various meetings, events, and celebrations in Duluth.

Chancellor Black is an active member of the President’s Senior Leadership Team and the System Council of the University of Minnesota. He was a member of the search committee for a new University of Minnesota Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost and the search committee for a new University of Minnesota General Council. He co-chaired the search committee for the new Vice President for Equity and Diversity. He has served on the President’s Campaign Council and several other system-wide committees.

Chancellor Black serves on the Committee on Policies and Purposes of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). He is a member of the Council of Presidents and Chancellors for AASCU and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and he has served on the American Council on Education’s Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement.

He has chaired the Professional Advisory Board of the University of Kansas Department of Theatre and has received the department’s Alumni Honor Citation.

Chancellor Black was a tenured professor and administrator at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, where he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2002 until he was promoted in 2006 to Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, a position held until he came to UMD in 2010. In addition to serving as KSU Chief Academic Officer, he held several leadership roles in the civic and business communities of metropolitan Atlanta. He led the academic transition of KSU as a doctoral granting university, significantly increasing the number of faculty members, and enhancing KSU achievements in diversity and internationalization.

Before his appointment as Vice President at Kennesaw State University, Chancellor Black was a tenured professor and held several senior administrative positions at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas, including service as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 1993–2002.

He earned his B.A. degree in English from the University of Tennessee Martin, his M.A. in theatre from the University of Connecticut, and his Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Kansas. Chancellor Black's research interests are in Russian theatre and drama, and he authored a book titled, Michael Chekhov as Actor, Director, and Teacher. He has continued to direct and perform in university theatre productions throughout his administrative career.

Despite his love of theatre, his favorite role is devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He and his wife, Connie, have three adult children - Liz, Nick, and Chris - and four grandchildren: Sarah, Max, Henry, and Emma.


Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.

George Washington Carver