Director, Learning Innovation
The Director of Learning Innovation is responsible for designing, developing, and executing strategic teaching and learning priorities for the Institute for Capacity Building in conjunction with UNCF and ICB leadership. Reporting to the Executive Director of UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building (ICB), the Director of Learning Innovation will work with internal and external stakeholders to launch programs dedicated to increasing the academic capabilities of our network of institutions: member HBCUs, other HBCUs, and PBIs.
The Director of Learning Innovation will be a proven leader with demonstrated ability and prior achievements in teaching and learning, communications, research, program development, and professional relationship-building. As the leader of ICB’s learning innovation team, the position will require an individual that is comfortable with leadership, collaborative, entrepreneurial and a self-starter. The individual selected for this position must possess a deep understanding of higher education, teaching and learning, program development, and the strengths and challenges of teaching and learning at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, has been an engine of minority educational achievement for more than 70 years. UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally-recognized pipeline of black students who, because of UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates. In addition, UNCF ensures that its member institutions remain respected models of best practices in moving students to and through college. Since its inception in 1944, UNCF has raised over $4.5 billion in private support, distributed more scholarships to help minorities attend school than any entity outside of the federal government, and enabled more than 425,000 minority and low-income students to graduate from UNCF’s member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and launch professional careers. UNCF is committed to closing the educational attainment gap between African Americans and other populations by increasing postsecondary access and success for students from underrepresented groups, particularly low-income and first-generation students.
Launched in 2006, UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building (ICB) provides targeted capacity-building resources to help HBCUs improve their resilience. We define resilience as the institution’s ability to improve its operation today and future-proof them for tomorrow. ICB’s engagement equips UNCF member institutions, and other HBCUs and PBIs, to provide high-quality educational experiences to their students and the broader Black community. ICB’s work focuses on three areas critical to HBCU success: institutional effectiveness, academic competitiveness, and financial viability. Beyond our strategic advisory and project management support, ICB serves as an innovation hub for Black colleges, connecting institutions to funders, best practices, resources, and subject matter experts both within and outside of UNCF.
Successful candidates will join the Institute for Capacity Building team which is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to specific roles and responsibilities, ICB team members have proven to be successful when they:
- Are driven to serve people and institutions that are often undervalued and overlooked;
- Embrace collaboration as a critical value to ensure effective teamwork and adoption of best practices;
- Seek out opportunities to innovate and improve upon conventional practices and procedures;
- Take personal responsibility for executing key projects and developing relationships; and
- Operate with a sense of mission and purpose.
Primary Responsibilities and Duties
The Director of Strategy reports to the Executive Director, Institute for Capacity Building. S/he will have the following key responsibilities:
- Oversee the execution of teaching and learning programs, including programming focused on 21st century learning innovations, faculty development, and increased learning infrastructure to facilitate greater teaching and learning outcomes at our partnering institutions.
- Oversee the academic development of a shared digital learning platform to improve the capability, effectiveness, and viability of online learning for HBCUs.
- Build and manage the ICB Learning Innovation team, consisting of a team of program leaders and learning professionals responsible for designing, developing, and executing strategic learning programs.
- Lead, coach, develop, and grow the Learning Innovation team.
- Further shape, implement and enable current strategies to improve the teaching and learning experience at our network of institutions.
- Coordinate with the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, and other UNCF’s business partners to drive ICB’s strategic priorities and communications.
- Incubate new programs and concepts that build the teaching and learning capacity of HBCUs, including leading background research, drafting of proposal materials and internal and external socialization processes.
- Identify, build relationships and spearhead efforts to secure funding with key funders and philanthropies.
- Support the development of ICB’s network engagement strategy by building connections with HBCUs and other higher education institutions, educational intermediaries, funders, community organizations and workforce stakeholders.
Master’s degree required; terminal degree strongly preferred; 7-10 years of relevant work experience is required
Candidates should have:
- An outstanding record of academic and professional achievement
- Experience successfully leading people and a dispersed team
- Experience managing large/complex teaching, learning, and professional development programming
- Postsecondary classroom experience strongly recommended
- An entrepreneurial spirit is critical for this role
- Significant experience in the design and implementation of teaching and learning and professional development programming
- Experience in using digital mediums and platforms to facilitate learning across multiple stakeholder groups
- Demonstrated experience of leadership development
- Strong ability to communicate both verbally and in writing
- Ability to move deftly between big picture and details
- Comfort with concurrently managing multiple ongoing projects in different phases
- Strong cognitive and emotional management (CEM) skills
- Ability and high comfortability operating at the most detailed level
- Thrives with the execution of deadlines
- Strong multi-tasker, and operates with a high degree of flexibility to adapt to changing needs and direction
- Commitment to education and social justice
Additionally, the individual must be a self-starter, who is able to problem-solve and take on a wide range of tasks to deliver results; collegial and professional manner; excellent communication and interpersonal skills.