The Position


Reporting to the president, the chief academic officer (CAO) serves as a member of a diverse team that provides executive leadership for the Student Academic Success Division. The CAO is responsible for leading and fostering a student-centered, student-ready culture of belonging and innovation that encourages excellence and continuous transformation in teaching and learning. The CAO will provide strategic leadership to all areas of academic affairs, including curriculum, articulation, assessment, academic support, learning resources, and faculty development through the Center for Teaching and Learning. In addition, the CAO will lead the planning, development, and implementation of models to enhance internal expertise in curriculum theory and design, as well as traditional and emerging teaching and learning strategies based on effective practices and data-advancing transformative techniques and practices. The CAO will lead the design, development, implementation, and ongoing improvement of high-quality curriculum that meets the needs of the businesses and industries Forsyth Technical College, commonly referred to as Forsyth Tech, serves. Further, the CAO will ensure students graduate with the skills and competencies they need to be successful when they transfer to a four-year university and/or to build successful and sustainable careers with livable wages. The CAO will work closely with the college president, the president’s cabinet, the executive leadership team, and others to identify and create the conditions needed to support student learning proactively, intentionally, and relationally across the institution, as well as lead a comprehensive academic program plan to meet the needs of the communities that Forsyth Tech serves. In addition, the CAO will partner with the president and aforementioned leadership teams to provide strategic leadership grounded in the college’s values of excellence, learning, innovation, diversity, and integrity. Moreover, the CAO will lead initiatives focused on achieving the college’s vision of being a catalyst for equitable economic mobility by advancing excellence in learning, completion, equity, and post-graduation outcomes by building a culture of belonging and intentionally designing a college experience where each learner receives what they need to be successful. The salary range is $130-160K and may be negotiated for highly qualified candidates.

Additional essential duties and responsibilities of the CAO as enumerated in the institutional job description include the following. The CAO will:

  • Partner with the chief economic mobility and workforce officer to ensure seamless and successful connections and articulated options exist for students to move from short-term workforce certification programs to degree programs and to ensure both short-term and degree programs meet the needs of the businesses and industries Forsyth Tech serves.
  • Partner with the chief student success and strategic innovation officer and the associate vice president for student success services to ensure an equitable, seamless, and transformative student experience from initial student inquiry to application through enrollment, persistence, and ultimately to graduation.
  • Partner with the associate vice president for planning and strategic innovation to provide leadership on academic matters regarding accreditation and to manage an effective and systematic process for program reviews.
  • Work closely with other educational institutions and local, state, and national entities to develop and align curriculum and promote and advance innovation in teaching and learning.
  • Lead the development of recommended policies and procedures related to academic affairs.
  • Work with community groups, businesses, industries, non-profit groups, and other parties as needed and applicable to develop partnerships resulting in improved service to students and the community.
  • Attend specialized training activities that enhance job performance and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Foster initiatives focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging with colleagues and students.
  • Maintain confidentiality and security of sensitive information.
  • Provide divisional leadership, lead recruitment, interview and train employees, and plan, assign, and direct departmental work.
  • Coordinate interdepartmental goals to ensure alignment with college goals and vision.
  • Coach and provide ongoing performance feedback to employees, set realistic and measurable performance goals, and ensure employees have appropriate professional development opportunities; effectively manage performance and assist employees in meeting established college standards and expectations.

Other duties will include:

  • Advancing the college’s student-centered, student-ready culture through designing and delivering high-quality, innovative, and transformative teaching and learning.
  • Leading the design, implementation, and assessment of scholarly, diverse, and learning-centered curriculum.
  • Promoting the development of student-centered, equitable, and inclusive systems that enhance student learning, persistence, and completion, and equity of opportunity and success for all students.
  • Developing strong relationships and partnerships within the local, regional, state, and national educational ecosystem, including collaborations with K-12 and university partners; working collaboratively with external business and industry partners to develop curriculum programs that meet industry needs within Forsyth and Stoke counties and the greater Piedmont Triad region.
  • Developing curricula setting academic standards and working with faculty to ensure these standards are met.
  • Demonstrating a commitment to collaborative practices and shared leadership.
  • Monitoring how cultural and socioeconomic changes may impact the academic process and assist in developing effective student recruitment and retention strategies in response.
  • Oversee the college’s academic integrity and ensure compliance with various regional and program-specific accreditation and licensing agencies.


A master’s degree from an accredited institution is required; an earned doctoral degree from an accredited institution is preferred. At least five years of senior administrative level leadership in higher education is required; ten years of senior administrative level leadership in higher education is preferred. The successful candidate must possess experience with regional accreditation, strategic planning, assessment, and institutional research in higher education. Effective teaching, leadership, and administrative experience at the undergraduate level—especially at the community college level—is preferred. The ideal candidate must showcase knowledge and experience working with educational technologies, including distributed learning (distance education). Further, the successful candidate must possess the ability to work in a diverse environment and demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion. Experience with a student information system is required; experience with Colleague by Ellucian is preferred.

Additionally, various stakeholders identified a number of characteristics, skills, actions, and/or abilities as important attributes of the CAO.

  • Even temperament who is mission-driven and brings passion, high energy, and enthusiasm for moving the institution forward
  • Will bring a strong and insightful voice to the president’s cabinet with the ability to advocate for student needs within the context of broader institutional goals, but also diplomatically express dissent when appropriate
  • Professional demeanor, highly organized and disciplined, and the ability to relate easily to a wide range of groups
  • Able to get others on board and articulately explain institutional goals and initiatives to campus stakeholders
  • Decisive leader who has strong leadership and is flexible, efficient, and has the ability to prioritize and see initiatives through to completion
  • Innovator with a futuristic orientation and a willingness to try new opportunities, remain informed on new trends and best practices, and lead significant change processes
  • Motivated and inspired by new challenges and not afraid to be the face of the college in front of different audiences
  • Adaptable to changing circumstances and committed to continuous assessment and improvement
  • Strong supervisor who clearly communicates expectations, delegates effectively, and supports professional development and lifelong learning
  • Facilitator of change with the capacity to build alliances and bring others onboard with a mindset for strategic, forward thinking, and innovative approaches
  • Visionary who possesses the ability to clearly articulate, as well as implement, strategic goals and objectives
  • Strong interpersonal skills and comfortable maintaining a highly visible and engaged role, actively working with a wide variety of constituents
  • Good listener who is creative, solution-focused, detail oriented, flexible, and adaptable with a good sense of humor
  • Demonstrated commitment to the value of diversity and inclusivity on a college campus


The chief academic officer position has been vacant since August 2022. Following the departure of the previous chief academic officer, Dr. Alan Murdock, chief economic mobility and workforce outcomes officer, was appointed interim CAO and will continue to serve on an interim basis while Forsyth Tech conducts a national search for a permanent leader.


In transitioning to Forsyth Tech, the CAO may encounter a number of opportunities and challenges as shared by campus stakeholders.

The Forsyth Tech stakeholders seemed genuinely interested in participating in discussions about this position, and there was a sense of unity in support of identifying a competent and visionary individual who can promote and develop academic affairs, set departmental priorities, and continue to boldly lead successful academic and institutional initiatives into the future.

College stakeholders repeatedly noted that Forsyth Tech has an institutional culture that emphasizes a strong sense of team, mutual support, accessibility, approachability, and a highly collaborative approach to work. The CAO will find a peer group and colleagues that are welcoming, promote open communication, emphasize an orientation toward service, and share a desire for a progressive and forward-thinking professional.

Campus stakeholders are committed to the vision of student success and are dedicated to offering the best programs and services possible. The new CAO should make it a priority to quickly get to know the faculty and staff as individuals, learn their particular needs, develop trust and confidence across the board, ascertain the programs and services that they conduct, and be prepared to provide comprehensive professional support and oversee the ongoing development of a strong team.

The next CAO must possess a broad and deep understanding of national trends and best practices with regard to academic affairs, as well as an exemplary record of strong organizational and team development skills. The CAO should be an experienced, equity-minded leader capable of managing complex situations and possess an unwavering commitment to the well-being and support of students, faculty, and the campus community.

The new CAO will want to establish themselves as a strategic, innovative, and decisive leader who is able to quickly build rapport with the academic affairs units, partners, colleagues throughout campus, and external collaborators. The CAO should conduct a “listening tour” to foster open communication, increased transparency, opportunities for feedback, and stakeholder involvement.


At an appropriate interval after joining Forsyth Tech, a number of accomplishments will define the initial success of the new CAO.

  • The CAO will have developed and maintained a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence on and off campus that is credible, collegial, and highly effective.
  • The CAO will have developed a leadership team that will be defined as a strong, highly functioning, well-regarded, and resilient team that works with synergy and shared purpose, readily collaborating across departmental and division lines with a demonstrated commitment to student success.
  • The CAO will have demonstrated clear, effective communication, good rapport, and trust among internal and external campus stakeholders.
  • The CAO will have established clear goals and objectives, monitored progress, and demonstrated measurable outcomes regarding academic affairs.

Institution & Location


Under the auspices of the chief academic officer are the following direct reports.

  • vice president for transfer excellence and success
  • associate vice president for teaching and learning
  • dean of public safety
  • dean of health sciences
  • dean of transportation technologies
  • dean of business and information technologies


Forsyth Technical Community College is a public community college serving Forsyth and Stokes counties with nine campus centers located in Winston-Salem, Kernersville, King and Walnut Cove, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The college is one of the largest in the North Carolina Community College System, with an enrollment of over 10,300 credit students and over 8,200 continuing education students. Forsyth Tech is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives, and transforming communities. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 180 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy.

Mission, vision, and fast facts

Strategic plan


Dr. Janet Spriggs – President

Dr. Janet N. Spriggs became the seventh president of Forsyth Technical Community College on January 1, 2019. Prior to joining Forsyth Tech, she had worked within the North Carolina Community College System since 1996, giving her almost three decades of experience as a community college leader. She served as chief operating officer for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and as a vice president and chief financial officer at Carteret Community College. Dr Spriggs has also developed courses and taught at the community college level and at the university level.

Dr. Spriggs earned her doctorate in higher education administration from Northeastern University in 2018. Her passion is in the power of education to change lives and the vital role community colleges play as catalysts for equity, and workforce and economic development. As a student-centered visionary, Dr. Spriggs is dedicated to fostering high-quality learning, improving completion, advancing equity of success for all students, and expanding post-graduation success. In addition to her doctorate, she also holds a master’s degree in computing technology from Nova Southeastern University  and a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Roger Williams University.


At Forsyth Technical Community College, equity is grounded in a culture of belonging. We will intentionally design the college experience to ensure that each learner receives what they need to be successful.


Total enrollment: 10,309 credit students; 8,229 continuing education students

Male: 35%

Female: 64%

White: 52%

African American: 23%

Asian: 2%

Hispanic: 15%

Other: 10%

Non-resident: 1%

Benefits Overview

For benefits and policy information at Forsyth Technical Community College, see here.

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position and questions about the status of the search may be emailed to Quincy Martin III at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

The salary range for this position is $130,000-$160,000.

 Visit the Forsyth Technical Community College website at

 Forsyth Tech is an equal opportunity institution which prohibits discrimination in any manner with regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. Per the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), Forsyth Tech does not discriminate on the basis of genetic information. Forsyth Tech does not discriminate on the basis of sex in admission to or employment in its education programs or activities.

 At Forsyth Technical Community College, equity is grounded in a culture of belonging. We will intentionally design the college experience to ensure that each learner receives what they need to be successful.