RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
Reporting administratively to the associate vice president for the Division of Arts, Belonging and Community, the new director of the Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology will help the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech/Institute) increase access, enrollment, retention, and graduation for African American, Black, and Black-identified students to meet emerging workforce, management, and leadership needs in science, technology, and other growing sectors of the future. The inaugural director will help establish, develop, and sustain a new department that is aligned with the Institute’s strategic priorities and values. The new director will collaborate with campus partners to implement improvements to policies, procedures, and programs with the goal of eliminating educational barriers for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The newly appointed leader will also facilitate student belonging, community, and connections with students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the public by leveraging culture, history, arts, sciences, and other fields of scholarship and inquiry. Further, the newly appointed leader will recruit, hire, train, supervise, develop, and evaluate assigned staff.
Working collaboratively with all colleges, divisions, and departments, co-curricular offerings hosted by the Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology, the director will:
- Enhance recruitment and yield in the enrollment management process, increasing Georgia Tech’s competitive edge with top-tier peer institutions.
- Support academic learning and success at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels with the goal of increasing retention and graduation rates.
- Foster synergies between Georgia Tech and the broader community to support experiential learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship in science, technology, engineering, business, and related/other fields.
- Collaboratively manage multiple relationships and projects in a fast-paced professional office, flexibly adapting to new priorities, anticipating needs, and being strategically nimble and responsive as projects and needs change.
- Build relationships and maintain trust, balance the needs of various stakeholders, and identify and advocate for achievable solutions that generate desired educational impacts and outcomes.
- Operate effectively in a student-centered environment committed to the values of shared governance and support a student body that is broadly diverse in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, and (dis)ability, among other factors.
- Develop and sustain a community of educators, innovators, and thought partners who are committed to advancing a workforce that meets the needs of Georgia Tech’s 21st-century global democracy and economy goals.
Additional duties and responsibilities:
- Interact on a regular basis with faculty, staff, students, administrators, alumni, parent, stakeholders, leaders, and guests.
- Advise and consult with all cabinet areas, colleges, divisions, and departments as needed related to critical issues and events in assigned functional areas.
- Be knowledgeable of the unique challenges that communities across the African Diaspora—African, African American, and Caribbean—may face and help cultivate culturally responsive engagement and outreach initiatives that foster resilience, well-being, belonging, and holistic success for students, faculty, staff, parents/families, and alumni.
- Develop and sustain partnerships and coalitions with entities both internal and external to Georgia Tech in order to analyze and better understand the impact of the intersections of race with other identities, including but not limited to gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and disability, as well as seek to eliminate educational disparities accordingly.
- Advise, coach, mentor, and promote development and learning for African American and/or Black students and other student populations from historically underserved communities, as well as those interested in mitigating the impacts of historical, political, social, and/or legal marginalization.
- As needed, serve as staff advisor for student clubs, groups, and registered student organizations whose purpose aligns with the mission of the department; provide guidance to students on establishing new organizations, recruiting and retaining members, fundraising and other operational matters, program planning, and leadership development
- Provide firsthand, lead-by-example, and overall administration of the development, coordination, and implementation of cultural programming, student leadership training, innovative strategies, and academic success.
- Direct departmental strategic planning and Institute-wide equity initiatives in support of students on campus who identify as African American and/or Black, as well as biracial or multiracial, or those who are interested in advancing the holistic educational and career success of individuals across the African Diaspora and related communities.
- Establish wide-scale collaborations across campus to institute lasting, meaningful systemic change with extensive external engagement.
- Collaborate with a broad range of stakeholders—alumni, community partners, local agencies, and civic organizations to achieve the departmental mission and Institute strategic priorities.
- Assess outcomes, evaluate impact, and collect data on departmental efforts, programs, services, and initiatives; adjust operational direction accordingly.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE
A master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education in a field relevant to the primary responsibilities is required; a terminal degree is preferred. A minimum of five years of related work experience, including managerial experience or an equivalent combination of education and work experience, is required. Successful candidates must demonstrate a proven record and experience specific to working with students who are Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) or from other historically marginalized communities, as well as those interested in mitigating the impacts of this marginalization. Knowledge of managing budgets and submitting assessment reports is required. Experience with evaluation and quality improvement; fund- or friend-raising efforts; successfully applying for extramural grant funding; and engagement with sustained cultural change or organizational transformation efforts is desired.
In addition to the qualifications stated above, key stakeholders identified the following capabilities and attributes of a successful candidate:
- Even temperament, professional demeanor, mission-driven, highly organized, and disciplined with the ability to relate easily to a wide range of groups.
- Decisive leader who is flexible, efficient, and able 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 when appropriate.
- 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 on board with a mindset for strategic, forward-thinking, and innovative approaches.
- Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills; comfortable maintaining a highly visible and engaged role and actively working with a wide variety of constituents.
- Good listener who is creative, solution-focused, detail-oriented, flexible, and adaptable.
- Be an individual of integrity and high ethical standards.
- A dynamic leader that is a good listener, open-minded, team-oriented, and willing to advocate for staff, their programs, and needs.
- Demonstrate the skills, courage, and fortitude needed to lead change, advance new ideas, and think outside the box—must be willing and able to try new approaches, cannot be risk-averse.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
A national recruitment effort to identify the inaugural director for the Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology is being led by Spelman Johnson. The search will continue until a permanent leader is appointed.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
In transitioning to Georgia Tech, the director will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key campus stakeholders:
- Georgia Tech stakeholders are 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 the Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology, set departmental priorities, and continue to lead successful departmental initiatives boldly into the future.
- Campus stakeholders repeatedly stated that Georgia Tech has an institutional culture that emphasizes teamwork, mutual support, accessibility, approachability, and collaboration. The director will find their peer group and colleagues welcoming, promoting open communication, emphasizing a service orientation, and sharing a passion for progressive and forward-thinking administration.
- Campus stakeholders are committed to the vision of student success for Black students and are dedicated to offering the best programs and services possible. The director should make it a priority to quickly get to know the culture of the student body as well as key stakeholders, learn their particular needs, develop trust and confidence across the board, assess the programs and services that they conduct, and provide comprehensive professional support while hiring, developing, and overseeing a strong team.
- The director must possess a broad and deep understanding of national trends and best practices with regard to services regarding Black students. An exemplary record of strong organizational and team development skills is also needed. The director should be an experienced, equity-minded leader capable of managing complex situations and possess an unwavering commitment to the support of Black students that includes but is not limited to mental health, wellness, advising, and career counseling.
- The director will want to establish themselves as a strategic, innovative, and decisive leader who quickly builds rapport with students, faculty, staff, partners, colleagues throughout campus, and external collaborators. The director should conduct a “listening tour” to foster open communication, increase transparency, and generate feedback and stakeholder involvement.
- Setting a strong, strategic vision for the Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology will be a critical priority for the director and will set the stage for comprehensive short- and long-term success.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
The items listed below will define the new director’s success throughout the first year of employment:
- The director 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 director will initiate the development and hiring of a leadership team that is defined as a strong, high-functioning, well-regarded, valued, 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 director will have demonstrated clear, effective communication, good rapport, and trust among internal and external campus stakeholders.
- The director will have established clear goals and objectives, monitored progress, and demonstrated measurable outcomes regarding the Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology.
- Students and the campus community will have responded favorably to the new director and reported an increased level of satisfaction with an array of streamlined and well-branded resources that are easy to navigate.
OVERVIEW OF THE CENTER OF BLACK CULTURE, INNOVATION, AND TECHNOLOGY
The Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology opened in September 2023 and was created to help Georgia Tech increase access, enrollment, retention, and graduation for Black students so as to meet present and future needs across Georgia and the US for diverse, talented professionals and leaders in science, technology, and other growing industries of the future.
The creation of the Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology is due as much to the efforts and tenacity of those who came before as it is due to the contributions and commitment of those at the institution today. While advocacy for a Black culture center has been longstanding, there are several milestones of note. In August 2020, Georgia Tech’s Black Alumni Organization recognized the challenges Black students face as minorities at Georgia Tech and requested that actions be taken to improve educational access and success for Black students. Such a program was essential to fostering Black students’ sense of belonging, as well as contributing in notable ways to retention and graduation through an array of programs and services. Conversations about establishing such a center continued throughout 2021; a full assessment and resulting report produced by a team of external consultants was endorsed by Georgia Tech’s Black student organizations and student leaders. The Black Culture Center Planning Committee convened for regular meetings that began in December of 2021 and submitted a formal proposal to the President’s Office in October of 2022. President Ángel Cabrera announced the establishment of the Center for Black Culture, Innovation and Technology in April 2023; this new program was founded in September 2023.
Establishing the Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology is a significant milestone for Georgia Tech; it signals to current and prospective students that Georgia Tech is a place where they belong and where they matter.
An advisory board of students, faculty, staff, and alumni met for the first time on September 15, 2023, just before the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The advisory board will provide consultation, feedback, recommendations, and support to this new program as it moves forward to develop, sustain, and continually improve a comprehensive array of high-impact activities, events, programs, and services in support of Georgia Tech’s educational mission.
Luoluo Hong, Vice President for Student Engagement and Well-Being
LuoLuo Hong joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as the inaugural vice president for Student Engagement and Well-Being on August 1st, 2021. The creation of this inaugural position is a key part of the 2020-2030 Institute Strategic Plan, which identifies “Students are our Top Priority” as a core Georgia Tech value, and names Expand Access and Cultivate Well-being as two of six strategic focus areas. To advance these mandates, Hong is working to shape and guide the Institute’s collective impact framework for student belonging, engagement, and well-being. She is responsible for developing a comprehensive, coordinated, and evidence-based approach for student activities, events, programs, and services that supports student learning and holistic success at Georgia Tech and beyond, as well as promotes educational equity.
Hong brings over 30 years of experience in higher education, spanning seven campuses. She has a record of service providing visionary and strategic leadership in administration, enrollment management, public health, student affairs, and JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) efforts. Luoluo came to the Institute from the California State University system where she served for seven years—first as the vice president for student affairs and enrollment management and Title IX coordinator at San Francisco State University (2014-2019) and then as the associate vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management in the system office (2019-2021).
The Georgia Institute of Technology is a top ten public research university with over 40,000 students representing 50 states and 149 countries. Of enrolled students, 7.6 percent of undergraduates and 3.4 percent of graduate students identify as African American or Black. Over the next decade, Georgia Tech will serve as an example of inclusive innovation, a leading technological research university relentlessly committed to serving the public good; breaking new ground in addressing the most prominent local, national, and global challenges of modern times; making technology broadly accessible; and developing exceptional leaders from all backgrounds ready to produce novel ideas and create solutions with real human impact. Georgia Tech is poised at a historic moment in time; the Institute has an alignment of leadership and commitment to authentically advance diversity, equity, and inclusion for the campus community. The Center for Black Culture, Innovation, and Technology will support Georgia Tech’s learning mission to successfully develop leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.
Ángel Cabrera – President
Ángel Cabrera is the 12th president of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Cabrera came to Georgia Tech on September 1, 2019, after serving seven years as president of George Mason University (GMU) in Virginia. During his presidency, GMU joined the top tier of research universities in the Carnegie Classification and was the fastest-growing institution in the state. Before leading GMU, Dr. Cabrera was president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, now part of Arizona State University, and dean of IE Business School in Madrid.
Under Dr. Cabrera’s leadership, more than 5,700 members of the Georgia Tech community contributed to a new ten-year strategic plan launched in November 2020. The program is grounded on a new mission statement that reaffirms Georgia Tech’s commitment to “developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.”
As president during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Cabrera led Georgia Tech through one of the most critical times to break records in student applications and enrollment, graduation rates, and research awards. Today, Georgia Tech is one of the fastest-growing and most research-intensive universities globally.
Georgia Tech defines diversity as the presence or representation of the multiple and intersectional identities of all its community members. Diversity represents the ways it identifies personally, culturally, and socially. It is the spectrum and intersections of humankind–different perspectives, ways of thinking and being, and the families, communities, groups, and cultures from which Georgia Tech has come. When differences are valued, appreciated, cared for, and leveraged, the unique talents, gifts, abilities, and perspectives enrich learning and understanding of each other and the world. This richness of diversity offers a competitive advantage by fostering a community of sophisticated, creative thinkers and problem solvers.
The Student Body (2022-2023)
Total Enrollment: 45,293 (includes Atlanta main campus, Georgia Tech Europe, and online students)
American Indian or Alaska Native: <1%
Black or African American: 6%
Hispanic or Latino: 8%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander: <1%
Two or more races: 3%
Georgia Tech offers a comprehensive benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of all employees. In addition to health and welfare resources, Georgia Tech provides tuition assistance, flexible work arrangements, seasonal classes, summer camps, and more that can be found here.
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 email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The salary range is $125,569 to $163,878.
Visit the Georgia Institute of Technology website at https://www.gatech.edu.
Georgia Tech provides equal opportunity to all faculty, staff, students, and all other members of the Georgia Tech community, including applicants for admission and/or employment, contractors, volunteers, and participants in institutional programs, activities, or services. Georgia Tech complies with all applicable laws and regulations governing equal opportunity in the workplace and in educational activities. Georgia Tech prohibits discrimination, including discriminatory harassment, on the basis of race, ethnicity, ancestry, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or veteran status in its programs, activities, employment, and admissions. This prohibition applies to faculty, staff, students, and all other members of the Georgia Tech community, including affiliates, invitees, and guests.
Understanding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. At Georgia Tech, we see diversity, equity, and inclusion as essential to learning, discovery, and creation. Fostering an environment that reflects our values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for every campus member requires first and foremost operationalizing these values. When applied, these principles create the behavioral expectations for a community and culture where we lead with our common humanity, embrace our differences and our multiple perspectives, care for each other’s psychological integrity, regularly practice behaviors that connect us with one another, act as trustworthy stewards in our actions, and show up as forward-thinking students, faculty, and staff. We have the courage to make decisions for the greater good of all, and when we fall short of who we want to be, we own our mistakes. We take responsibility to right our wrongs, restore, and renew our commitment to strive for excellence in this beloved community.