Kara Cupoli

Kara Cupoli

Search Consultant

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Kara brings deep and broad expertise in higher education administration, resulting from a 25+ year career leading institutional departments from student affairs to academic administration. She has extensive experience leading and managing high-functioning teams in high-pressure environments and facilitating operational excellence within large complex organizations. Her proven ability to deliver outstanding results in dynamic environments and build relationships with diverse partners across all aspects of an institution of higher education enables her to understand and support complex organizational dynamics for the benefit of her clients and candidates.

Prior to joining Spelman Johnson, Kara served as the director of the full-time MBA program at UNC Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School. Recent innovations included strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, streamlining and optimizing digital communication, managing the unprecedented operational and wellness challenges, and enhancing leadership development programming. She was deeply involved in risk mitigation, student crisis, staffing, sensitive HR issues, and policy development and implementation. Kara built and sustained partnerships with faculty, staff, and students to adapt to changing constituent needs while navigating complex governance structures resulting in improved student outcomes, enhanced organizational reputation, and growth in revenue-generating programs.

Kara’s focus is ensuring a successful outcome and a premium client experience throughout the search process. Results matter. She strives to positively impact education, advocacy associations, and social justice organizations through a combination of proven experience in senior higher education administration, commitment to exceptional service, and strategic innovation to deliver positive results for her clients.

Prior to joining UNC, Kara was the senior director for student affairs for the full-time MBA program and professional development for the MBA program at the University of Florida Hough Graduate School of Business. Kara earned a doctorate in leadership development at the University of Florida with a focus on understanding the interaction between individuals and their performance in organizations. She excels and is most energized at the intersection of solving organizational puzzles and a person’s professional journey.