National Institute on Aging

University of Connecticut — Director (Student Services Program Manager 3), H. Fred Simmons African American Cultural Center


About the H. Fred Simmons African American-Cultural Center (AACC)

The mission of the AACC is to promote cultural preservation, quality leadership, and academic excellence through a unique approach to cultural advocacy, academic support, and community outreach.

The African American Cultural Center was established in 1968 to support African American students and students of the African Diaspora in all aspects of campus life. Located on the main Storrs campus, the AACC serves as a liaison to academic support departments and assists students in navigating the many resources of the University community such as Residential Life, the Dean of Student’s Office, Financial Aid, and other Student Affairs departments.

The AACC is committed to promoting cultural preservation, leadership development, academic excellence, and intercultural communication through programs and activities that are designed to give students an appreciation and an understanding of the heritage and cultural experiences of African American, Caribbean, and African people in the United States and throughout the world. In the early years of the development of the AACC, the goal of the Center was to support African American students in their efforts to have a rewarding and relevant University experience. The Center was a welcoming environment for the small number of African Americans on the Storrs campus. The AACC became a gathering place for African American students, faculty, and staff to socialize, study, and network with other University students. To learn more about the AACC visit: Home | H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center (

We seek a candidate who demonstrates knowledge of the differing needs and concerns of individuals with varying identities, cultures, and backgrounds. This person must understand the challenges and opportunities for innovation in diversity, equity, and inclusion; apply anti-racist and social justice frameworks to developing programs that meet these challenges; and be committed to fostering a culture of belonging that celebrates equity and justice in a dynamic, and highly collaborative as well as inclusive work environment. Oversees a variety of strategic initiatives and develops key relationships—both within and beyond the University—to foster alumni relations, donor engagement, and fundraising efforts with the UConn Foundation.

Our ideal candidate will have knowledge of student development for diverse populations and put student development theory and social justice theory into practice. Our ideal candidate will come to understand the racial climate and needs of the University and possess strong collaborative skills necessary for maintaining wide-scale institutional partnerships across regional campuses, within the community, with academic divisions and centers, and at peer institutions. Flexibility, humility, empathy, and resourcefulness are needed to meet the ever-changing needs of various stakeholders—talented students, engaged staff, passionate faculty, and devoted alumni—in the wake of tragic events.

Candidates must have demonstrated leadership experience and administrative accomplishments, possessing the ability to interpret and apply guidelines and procedures upon request. Candidates must also have effective skills in project management, interpersonal communication, event planning, and data analysis. Candidates will be adept in managing the complex financial and budgetary operations of the Center, including data-informed assessments of programming and events. Candidates must engage and motivate students, with the ability to work a flexible schedule, including nights and weekends.

Overall, the Director of the AACC will:

  • Be knowledgeable of the unique challenges that communities of the African Diaspora—African, African American, and Caribbean—may experience and help create culturally responsive engagement and outreach initiatives that foster resilience, well-being, inclusion, and achievement for students, faculty and staff, parents/families, and alumni.
  • Provide hands-on, lead-by-example, and overall administration of the development, coordination, and implementation of cultural programming, student leadership training, and academic success.
  • Lead departmental strategic planning for the AACC and University-wide equity initiatives related to African American, Caribbean, and African students on campus.
  • Have previous success establishing wide-scale collaborations across campus, with extensive external engagement.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders—devoted alumni, community partners, local agencies, and civic organizations—to help grow and develop the AACC at UConn.

This is an opportunity for someone to join an organization and the broader University community that has demonstrated its commitment to institutional values and community standards in various tangible ways. This position will work closely with a variety of key stakeholders to be a thought and strategic partner at UConn to help to further reimagine and enhance the current offerings of the AACC.


  • Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, Student Affairs, Leadership, Counseling, Sociology, Black or African American studies, or another related field.
  • Six years of full-time experience working on programs and/or initiatives designed to support the success of African American, Caribbean, and/or African students, faculty, and staff.
  • A minimum of one year of management and/or supervisory experience of a moderate-sized department or unit with carrying out cross-disciplinary tasks or functions.
  • Knowledgeable of the issues impacting African American, Caribbean, and African communities, locally, nationally, and on a predominantly white college campus.
  • Knowledgeable of and demonstrated practice of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education.
  • Documented history of successfully developing, implementing and advancing strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in higher education.
  • Experience overseeing diversity and inclusion training and education programs for a variety of constituencies.
  • Experience with mentoring programs and advising students, troubleshooting personal crises, and trauma responses.


  • Considerable full-time experience (generally 3+ years) in a managerial role as a supervisor of a moderate-sized department or unit, carrying out cross-disciplinary tasks and functions.
  • Prior experience working with African American and African cultural centers.
  • Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration, Student Affairs, Leadership, Counseling, Sociology, Black/Africana studies, or another related field.
  • Demonstrated success leading programs and initiatives that enhance the retention and academic success of African American, Caribbean, and African students in higher education.
  • A broad understanding of student support programs and emerging trends in services for African American, Caribbean, and African students, faculty, and staff.

This is a full-time, permanent position. The University offers a competitive salary, with the following range $90,000-$110,000, outstanding benefits, and a highly desirable work environment. For additional information regarding benefits visit:  This position is identified as UCPEA. The left menu bar provides an additional explanation of benefits. Other rights, terms, and conditions of employment are contained in the collective bargaining agreement between the University of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA).

Employment of the successful candidate is contingent upon the successful completion of a pre-employment criminal background check.

Please apply online at, Staff Positions, Search #497378 to upload a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references.

This job posting is scheduled to be removed at 11:55 p.m. Eastern time on April 14, 2023.

All employees are subject to adherence to the State Code of Ethics which may be found at

The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. The diversity of students, faculty and staff continues to increase, as does the number of honors students, valedictorians and salutatorians who consistently make UConn their top choice. More than 100 research centers and institutes serve the University’s teaching, research, diversity, and outreach missions, leading to UConn’s ranking as one of the nation’s top research universities. UConn’s faculty and staff are the critical link to fostering and expanding our vibrant, multicultural and diverse University community. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations.