University of the District of Columbia

“Aspire. Accomplish. Take on the World”


The University of the District of Columbia invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Academic Officer (CAO). The CAO reports directly to the President and is charged with the responsibilities of academic coordination and quality, fostering research and public service, and guiding all aspects of teaching and learning in support of student success. The CAO must establish UDC's academic directions in concert with the university's student-centered focus, one that reaches outside traditional expectations for academic program planning and transformational actions.

The University of the District of Columbia's 167-year history carries a unique profile as an urban and public land-grant institution in the nation's capital. UDC is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and also is an HBCU. The university meets the changing needs of 4,600 students and the community through 81 undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs in the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and in the UDC Community College. The university's David A. Clarke School of Law is the only public American Bar Association-accredited law school in the District of Columbia. The UDC Firebirds are part of the East Coast Conference, Division II.


The CAO is expected to engage strategically with the UDC community and beyond to foster an environment of collaboration and innovation in support of UDC's values of excellence, sustainability, scholarship, and equity. The CAO will lead initiatives to ensure that UDC "… empowers its graduates to be critical and creative thinkers, problem solvers, effective communicators, and service-driven leaders in the workforce and beyond." The ideal applicant will contribute to and advance The Equity Imperative–2022 Strategic Plan, addressing bold and sensitive change while meeting the following expectations on behalf of excellence in education, research, and community service:

  • Work closely with the President and university officers to provide internal executive leadership to and support for the faculty and staff in a shared governance environment;
  • Demonstrate the abilities to understand and evaluate global trends in higher education and guide academic programs and curriculum development to ensure the university remains current and viable in the educational community;
  • Support programs for student recruitment, enrollment management, retention, and success;
  • Demonstrate experience in and appreciation for social justice and a diverse, inclusive academic community;
  • Ensure the primacy of the academic mission in all decision making, including the technological infrastructure, budget, fundraising, and communications;
  • Assure that university policies and procedures governing academic and student issues enhance the learning environment and reflect current needs and appropriate practices;
  • Strengthen and expand relationships with area colleges/universities, school districts, government agencies, businesses, and community organizations to promote academic partnerships, scholarships, and resources;
  • Be an accountable, fair, responsible, and fact-based decision maker;
  • Demonstrate excellent communication skills, written and spoken, with an open-door and open-minded style; and
  • Possess an earned terminal degree (preferred) from an accredited institution of higher education, along with substantial leadership experience.


UDC offers the next Chief Academic Officer the opportunity to be part of an energetic, distinctive academic community. Applications and nominations for the Chief Academic Officer should be received by September 10, 2018. Responses must include a letter of interest addressing the qualifications described (not more than 3 pages); a current résumé or curriculum vitae; and the names of five professional references with each person's position, office or home address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers. The CAO will assume office by or before December 2018.

The search is being assisted by James McCormick and Janice Fitzgerald, Executive Search Consultants. Contact may be made at, 651-238-5188 or, 717-580-0663. Responses should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF Format) to For more information about the University of the District of Columbia and the CAO search, go to

In accordance with the D.C. Human Rights Act of 1977, as amended, D.C. Official Code §§2-1401.01 et seq. (Act), the District of Columbia does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, or place of residence or business. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited by the Act. In addition, harassment based on any of the above protected categories is prohibited by the Act. Discrimination in violation of the Act will not be tolerated. Violators will be subject to disciplinary action.