Voorhees College—a dynamic four-year, co-educational, career-oriented Historically Black liberal arts college affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the United Negro College Fund—seeks a highly engaged, innovative, and people-focused leader as its next President. The Board of Trustees invites applications from candidates seeking to build on the robust legacy and great opportunities of the College.
The Position: The President of Voorhees College, working with a team of dedicated faculty and staff as well as committed Board of Trustees members, provides leadership across an environment focused on teaching and learning, creativity and innovation, outreach, engagement, and resource stewardship. The President engages the students, faculty, administration, staff, and the Board around a collective and shared vision for the future of the institution, with a focus on fundraising and increasing awareness of the institution’s profile as a College that provides broad and transformational educational opportunities to students. The President is a fierce advocate for social justice, internal and external community engagement, transparency, collaboration, and the overall mission of the College. Reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President serves as Chief Executive Officer of the College and as a member of the Board of Trustees as an ex-officio member of all Board committees, except the Audit committee, with seat and voice. The President serves as Chairman of the Executive Council and exercises ultimate control of the College’s fundraising activities. The President directs, supervises, and coordinates the activities of all departments and divisions of the College and promotes their efficiency. Working with the Provost, the President recommends all faculty rank and tenure promotion to the Board of Trustees through its Academic Affairs Committee.
The Institution: Currently operating on a balanced budget, Voorhees College is the first HBCU founded by an African American Woman, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, opening in 1897. The College offers each student an engaging comprehensive general education experience coupled with professional education in a values-centered liberal arts environment that supports educational opportunities designed to help prepare students to function in a diverse and increasingly technological society. Inspiration, determination, imagination, faith—all four have been pillar principles in Voorhees College's century-long history of changing minds and changing lives. With 34 faculty, Voorhees offers smaller class sizes with a 1:10 teacher-student ratio; faculty and staff provide a nurturing family-like environment for all students; and the institution offers online, evening, and weekend courses to cater to the needs of non-traditional students. The College strives to balance practical career training with a well-rounded background in the liberal arts. Dating back to Wright's era, there has been debate between those who follow the philosophy of Dr. Booker T. Washington and advocated education aimed at teaching job skills and those who believe, as Dr. W.E.B. Dubois did, that a liberal education would help young adults develop as leaders. The Voorhees curriculum today is a mix of the two views. In accordance with its mission statement, Voorhees students today combine intellect and faith as they prepare for professional careers. They learn to thrive in a diverse global society while pursuing life-long learning, healthy living, and an abiding faith in God. They aim to improve their communities, society, and themselves. Voorhees College is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's degrees.
Qualifications: The successful candidate will be able to articulate the mission and goals of the College to its external and internal constituencies, exhibit creative leadership in resolving complex administrative and operational problems, be sensitive to the needs and concerns of disadvantaged students, and know how to apply organizational and management principles to the operation of the College. S/he must have strategic planning and implementation skills and crisis management abilities. The new President will provide effective leadership by exhibiting innovative and creative approaches relevant to the College’s mission. Additionally, the successful candidate must possess a history of sound financial management; an interest in connecting alumni and donors through fundraising; the skills to build community engagement; a history of growing enrollment; and the ability to create a feeling of collegiality and shared inquiry through effective leadership and strong communication. The next President will have a personal desire to engage with and be visible to students and bring a demonstrated record of professional experience to the position. Qualified candidates will possess an earned doctorate, terminal degree, or commensurate leadership experience.
Location: With a 365-acre campus, Voorhees College is in the City of Denmark, in Bamberg County in rural South Carolina. The College itself forms the Voorhees College Historic District, 13 properties of architectural and historical significance built between 1905 and 1935. The buildings demonstrate ambitious design and masonry techniques for their times. Many were constructed by Voorhees College students as part of their crafts program. According to The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States, the city was originally called Grahams Turnout, as it was founded in the 1830s for a railroad extension and turnout. Denmark was later renamed after B. A. Denmark, a railroad official according to the 1981 August issue of the Sumter Daily. Denmark is also home of the annual Dogwood Festival, which includes rides, games, local talent, music, vendors, and food. Voorhees founder Elizabeth Evelyn Wright is noted as one of Denmark’s most notable people for being the first African-American woman to establish an institution to educate African Americans that is still operational today. For more information about Denmark, South Carolina and the region, please visit discoversouthcarolina.com/products/4070.
Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and resume to RPA Inc. at [email protected]. For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please email Kira Heath, Search Manager, Brenda Wilson-Hale, Senior Consultant, or Dana John Cohick, President at the email address listed above. The first review of candidates will begin on April 6, 2021 and first round interviews will commence thereafter.
Voorhees College conforms to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, natural origin, disability status, Genetic Information & Testing, Family & Medical Leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. www.rpainc.org