William C. Nelson, Jr. is the senior vice provost for academic administration and operations at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and is responsible for the administrative, operational and executive functions of the Office of the Provost.
As a key strategic advisor and chief of staff to the provost, the university’s chief academic officer, he works closely with executive administrators and academic deans to ensure university and academic priorities and initiatives align with the academic mission and available resources. He leads a comprehensive team of professionals in the areas of communications, finance, human resources, research administration, strategic planning and technology.
Since joining VCU in 2020, he has been a leader in building and implementing university strategies around change management and design thinking, promoting positive work environments, advancing efficient and effective planning and resource alignment, and ensuring strong and consistent messaging and hiring practices.
A native of Richmond, Virginia, Mr. Nelson is a life-long advocate for education and community engagement. He began his career with a focus on finance, working as an auditor at Ernst & Young and later moving from fiscal administrator to senior budget & management analyst for the City of Richmond. But his passion for educational access and opportunity led him to the University of the District of Columbia where he served as director of financial operations and budget director for the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and as associate dean for finance and administration for the David A. Clarke School of Law. Prior to his current role, he served as executive director of academic finance and administration for the Provost’s Office at VCU.
He currently serves as an at-large Board member for the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO). He serves as the Chair of the Supervisory Committee for RVA Financial Credit Union.
Mr. Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Virginia Union University and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Virginia Commonwealth University.