UNC Pembroke

headshot of chancellor cummings
Courtesy of UNCP

Retired surgeon and former state Medicaid Director Robin Gary Cummings took office as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2015. Cummings is a Pembroke native and member of the Lumbee Tribe. His tenure has been marked by efforts to expand economic and educational opportunities for residents of Robeson County, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

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The Lumbee are the largest American Indian nation east of the Mississippi River and many of them live in Robeson County, North Carolina.

Many of the Lumbee people worked in the manufacturing business in the county, but since the 1980s and 1990s, the industry has declined. Students and faculty at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke have studied the intersection between Lumbee identity and working-class life in Robeson County.