Donna Price Henry was elected Chancellor of the University of Virginia's College at Wise by the University of Virginia Board of Visitors on December 7, 2012 and assumed office on January 18, 2013. As the College's eighth Chancellor, she is responsible for leading UVA Wise and its constituents in fulfilling its mission of student success and service to Southwest Virginia and the Commonwealth.
Under Chancellor Henry’s leadership, UVA Wise is realizing its vision for the future through the Honor the Future Campaign and The 2030 Plan for UVA Wise. Accomplishments include recruiting and retaining faculty through more competitive salaries; securing and filling endowed professorships; establishing a new student advising corps to improve first year retention; and partnering with UVA on a joint admissions program for wait-listed students. She has supported efforts including targeting financial aid to attract talented students with diverse interests and expanding students’ experiential learning opportunities such as paid internships, research fellowships and study abroad. Additionally, Chancellor Henry has led the way in enhancing STEM-H opportunities, increasing resources, and summer enrichment programming; fundraising to support numerous college initiatives including NCAA Division II athletics and securing multi-million dollar grants to support economic development in the region. She initiated plans for the first online and graduate degree programs at the College in nursing and teaching, respectively as well as expanded access for students throughout the Appalachian Region by offering reduced tuition at near-in-state rates. Most recently, Chancellor Henry promoted the launching of the innovate2eleVAte program that provides iPads to the campus community. This initiative will promote student academic success, level the playing field for students in the use of technology and improve digital literacy after college.
Chancellor Henry is active in the community and Commonwealth. She serves on a number of boards including the Wise County Chamber of Commerce, Southwest Virginia Public Education Consortium, Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, American Council on Education (ACE), GO Virginia, Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC)–Appalachia Initiative, NCAA Division II Presidents Council and the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA). She is a member of the Wise and Norton Kiwanis and provides leadership to the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges and the Southwest Virginia Health Authority Executive Committee. Chancellor Henry is a board member of the Virginia Business Higher Education Council and former Chair for the Council of Presidents who serve Virginia public colleges and universities. She is the recipient of the Virginia Network of Women in Higher Education’s 2020 Outstanding Woman Leader award.
A biologist with extensive experience in higher education, Chancellor Henry spent 16 years in a variety of positions at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). She was a founding faculty member at FGCU, was faculty senate president, and served as a member of the University Board of Trustees. Ms. Henry served as dean of the FGCU College of Arts and Sciences, an assignment that demanded meticulous strategic planning and leadership that allowed the College to grow rapidly while continuing to improve academic quality.
Chancellor Henry earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also minored in Spanish. She earned a Doctorate in Physiology from Thomas Jefferson University. Chancellor Henry is a professor of biology on the UVA Wise faculty.
Ms. Henry is married to Mr. Allen Henry, a pilot for Federal Express. The Henrys have twin daughters, Jessie and Margaret, graduates of Central High School in Wise, Va., who currently attend universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.