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Assistant Dean & Director, Black Cultural Center (BCC)

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Diversity & Inclusion
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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Job Details

Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods. Swarthmore College was recently ranked number 3 in the 2021 US News Best National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings -

Who We Are:

The Office of Inclusive Excellence and Community Development (IECD), engages the entire community to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment. The IECD collaborates with colleagues in the Provost’s Office, Human Resources, and the Dean’s Office, including the Black Cultural Center, Intercultural Center, Interfaith Center, and Women’s Resource Center to help foster dialogue, collaboration, and education among students, faculty, and staff. 

The opportunity:

Swarthmore College seeks an Assistant Dean and Director of the Black Cultural Center, a senior member of the Student Affairs Division who provides leadership and strategic oversight of the Black Cultural Center (BCC) and serves as Student Dean - advising a cohort of students on a wide range of academic and personal matters. Reporting to the Associate Dean of Inclusive Excellence, this position works closely with the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Dean of Students, other administrators, and faculty in developing resources for improving the quality of campus life for Black students and advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives. The Assistant Dean and Director of the BCC will provide leadership and coordination of all aspects of the BCC. Responsibilities include supervising staff and interns, advising students, providing logistical support for programs and events; planning special projects supported by the office; drafting and preparing correspondence and documents; professional interactions with other members of the College community, outside visitors, and vendors. The position is also responsible for all administrative functions of the office such as reports, budgets, data and file archiving. The director will focus primarily on the development, supervision, and execution of programs supporting the activities of the Black Cultural Center at Swarthmore College.

The Assistant Dean serves as a Student Dean and is a member of the Division of Student Affairs Deans & Directors leadership team. As a Student Dean, they are an academic advisor to 8-10 first-year/sophomore students each year. They are the primary point of contact for a caseload of students, providing wide ranging advising and support to students on issues including academic performance (e.g. course warnings, academic probation, etc.), initiating and returning from personal and medical leaves of absence, managing health and/or personal issues, and helping students who are experiencing social or adjustment challenges. As a member of the Student Dean team, they work closely with colleagues in student health and wellness and/or counseling and psychological services on student cases involving complex and/or crisis situations. Student Deans also serve as communications liaisons with faculty, staff, and students’ families/guardians.

Essential Responsibilities 

Director of the Black Cultural Center

  • Manage educational and student development and programs that speak to the particular needs and experiences of students of African descent, low-income and first-generation college students in conjunction with BCC staff, interns and student group leaders.
  • Serve as the public face and primary ambassador for the BCC to both on- and off-campus constituencies; prepare and deliver speeches and public presentations in numerous settings to a wide range of internal and external audiences.
  • Lead and support BCC staff members to prepare for large-scale programs that celebrate the Black experience, including the BCC Senior Banquet, welcome events, Kwanzaa, MLK, Black History Month, and other special events.
  • Guide BCC staff and student interns to provide workshops, training programs, and dialogues around inclusion, equity, and social justice. 
  • Conduct ongoing assessment of BCC programs and events as well as annual goals and objectives.
  • Perform administrative tasks that include timesheet approval, hiring BCC staff, annual budget management and reporting, prepare BCC annual report, facilities management, drafting correspondence, contract review, website maintenance, and respond to phone, emails, and mail.
  • Cultivate ongoing collaborations with identity-based centers (IC, WRC, the Interfaith Center, and International Student Office) and participate in general activities of the Division of Student Affairs, including committees, special events, meetings, and initiatives.
  • Foster excellent communication and maintain partnerships among administrative offices, academic departments, faculty resources and community resources to continuously improve the BCC to serve the college.
  • Exercise professional judgment and specialized knowledge by providing accountability, advice, consultation and guidance to individual students, BCC interns, student volunteers, and affiliated student organizations including support for effective navigation and negotiation of campus policies, rules, regulations in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct.
  • Develop and/or exercise competency skills in working and negotiating complexities in the similarities and differences of all communities and individuals encountered through the work of the BCC.  
  • Provide excellent and timely service to students, staff, faculty, or community members seeking information on programs or activities of the BCC.
  • Respond to inquiries, complaints or requests from students, staff, faculty and community regarding the BCC in collaboration with the Associate Dean of Inclusive Excellence.
  • Work with colleagues in Swarthmore College Libraries (principally the Friends Historical Library)  to maintain archival materials pertaining to the BCC.
  • Work with Alumni relations to maintain and grow a database of alumni who were directly aligned with the Black Cultural Center.
  • Assist in increasing the visibility of the BCC. 
  • Participates in orientation, commencement, and other campus events related to Division of Student Affairs.

Student Dean

  • Responsible for providing support on academic, personal, and disciplinary matters to a cadre of students each year. Provides advising, counseling or referral as appropriate; monitors the student’s progress and provides ongoing coaching and support to ensure problems are addressed.
  • Serves as the primary point of contact for any issues of concern regarding the students in their caseload that may be raised by faculty/course instructors, health and/or counseling services staff, residential life staff, coaches or co-curricular advisors, family members, friends, etc.
  • Meet with students as necessary for individual advising and mentoring.
  • Responds to and supports students experiencing personal and/or health emergencies; involves after hours (nights and weekend) work as necessary.
  • Communicates and collaborates with faculty regarding students’ absence from class, missed course work, academic struggles, and/or other personal emergencies, affecting academic performance.
  • Assists in advising students with academic and/or personal stressors; works closely with Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and with Student Health and Wellness staff to address serious mental health or physical challenges.
  • Provides sensitive and timely information regarding resources and options (both on- and off-campus) available to students.
  • Participates in weekly Student Dean and Deans & Directors meetings and provides counsel and support for all programs in the Division of Student Affairs.
  • Serve as academic adviser for approximately ten (10) first- and second-year students each year, prior to declaring a major.
  • Serve as a consultant to the Committee on Academic Requirements (CAR).

 Who you are:

  • Strong interpersonal and management skills that promote trust, effective communication, positive working relationships, participating, teamwork, and problem solving. Ability to teach and train others, and to lead in a collaborative manner. 
  • Strong organizational and management skills. Able to manage multiple tasks and priorities in a fast-paced environment, begin assignments without prompting, maintain productivity in both quantity and quality of work, and appropriately plan, organize, and prioritize work in order to maximize the use of the available resources. 
  • Must be adept and trained to identify, respond appropriately, and support students in crisis. 
  • Experience working effectively with diverse populations and possess a strong understanding of issues related to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice.
  • Successfully represents the College and the Student Affairs division to various constituencies including students, parents, faculty, alumni, colleagues at Swarthmore and other institutions, etc.
  • Exhibits maturity, reliability, composure, and stability under pressure in order to handle on-the-job challenges.
  • Understands and appreciates the intellectual, emotional, social, and psychological development of undergraduate students in a diverse community committed to intellectual rigor. 
  • Collaborate as needed with other related services and offices such as Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Activities, Office of Student Engagement, Student Conduct, the Title IX Coordinator, Alcohol and Other Drugs Counselor and Educator, the Health and Wellness Educator and the Dean’s Office. 
  • Reports for regular office hours and, when necessary, works beyond normal business hours to meet staffing or program needs. Participation in or attendance at various College functions during and after business hours is expected.

 What you bring:


  • Advanced degree strongly preferred; bachelor’s degree required
  • Five to seven years of work-related experience in higher education, social work, DEI, public health, or a related field.  
  • Knowledge and experience working and training college-aged persons.
  • Deep understanding of cultural, ethnic, racial, religious, sexual, and gender diversity and the ability to lead programming sensitive to the needs of all student leaders/groups.  


  • Experience in a liberal arts college/university environment strongly preferred.
  • Three to five years’ experience directly serving as a dean and/or direct experience in academic advising or personal advising/counseling students within a higher education environment strongly preferred. 

What You Will Get:

You’ll work at one of the world's most renowned liberal arts Colleges, with incredible benefits, a stunning 420-acre campus. And you’ll join a team of passionate, creative, and supportive people who work hard and are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Swarthmore College.

If you are excited about this role, we want to hear from you!

For full consideration, submit applications including resume and cover letter with pay expectations by July 29, 2022.

Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.


Swarthmore College, a highly selective college of liberal arts and engineering, has supported thinkers and doers for more than 150 years. Since 1864, it has lifted students to their full intellectual and personal potential so they can apply their knowledge with meaning and purpose.Swarthmore college main

Located 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Swarthmore has been co-educational since its founding by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Our Quaker founders believed in the practical application of knowledge for the common good. While Swarthmore is no longer a religious institution, these Quaker roots anchor and inform how Swatties learn and work. 

The College offers two degrees: the B.A. in the arts and sciences and the B.S. in engineering. With a student/faculty ratio of 8:1, Swarthmore ensures that its students have close and meaningful contact with their professors.

Swarthmore’s alumni body is small (about 20,000 living alumni) but distinguished. Five Swarthmore graduates have won the Nobel Prize; Swarthmore is also among the top five highest producers of doctorate recipients in the humanities, life sciences, and all sciences combined, with 20 percent of Swarthmore graduates going on to earn a doctorate degree. Some prominent Swarthmore alumni are acclaimed artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby ‘04, novelist Jonathan Franzen ’81, Ashesi University founder Patrick Awuah ’89, Chris Van Hollen ’83, U.S. Senator from Maryland, fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra ’05, and noted sociologist Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot '66.Swarthmore college main

As of June 30, 2016, the College has an endowment of approximately $1.7 billion. Swarthmore's robust financial aid program ensures the College’s commitment to providing access to an exceptional liberal arts education for all qualified students without regard to their ability to pay and allows the College to meet each admitted student's demonstrated financial need. With one of the most generous financial aid programs in the country, Swarthmore awards aid -- without loans -- to more than half of its students.

True to its Quaker heritage, Swarthmore maintains a commitment to service and the common good. Students find support for service projects through the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and in the nearby communities of Chester and Philadelphia and around the world. In addition, Swarthmore is one of 10 charter members of Project Pericles, which supports students who propose and implement projects to identify issues and advance solutions.

Swarthmore's residential campus features more than 425 wooded acres, including rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails which are maintained by staff horticulturists as the nationally registered Scott Arboretum.

Swarthmore College, a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, has supported thinkers and doers for more than 150 years. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to excellence through diversity in its educational program and employment practices and actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world.

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