Head of Department - Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Davis College Rwanda

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The Akilah Institute offers a unique model of education that prepares students to launch successful careers in the fastest growing sectors of the economy. All students receive intensive leadership training, career development services, and community service opportunities.

Position: Head of Department - Business Management & Entrepreneurship Program

Department: Academics

Status: Full time 

Reports to: Vice-Chancellor

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

About the Organization

Are you ready to revolutionize global education?  We’re on a mission to provide transformational, personalized learning experiences that prepare students for professional success in the 21st century.

Over the past ten years, the Akilah Institute has become East Africa’s pre-eminent institution for women’s leadership and career development. Now, after a decade of impact in Rwanda, we are launching Davis College, a new global co-ed network of universities. We’re expanding access to more students than ever, and will offer degrees to male and female students. We have an ambitious vision for scale of our unique model of personalized and affordable higher education while preserving Akilah as a unique campus for female leaders. 

Davis College Rwanda and Davis College Hong Kong will open in 2020. By 2030, we will open 10 Davis College campuses in Asia and Africa and educate 1 million students. 

Our pillars (21st-century skills, personalized learning, innovation, ethical leadership, and sustainability) underpin all of our academic programs and serve as our guiding light during this phase of rapid expansion.  We’re committed to equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in careers in the fastest growing sectors of the economy. Will you join us? 

The Position 

We are seeking a determined and enthusiastic educator who is passionate about creating a global community of lifelong learners, committed to continuous quality improvement and has demonstrated expertise in blended academic pedagogy. 

The Head of Department for the Business Management & Entrepreneurship Program (BME) provides strategic vision and leadership for the BME program, overseeing the delivery of our competency-based program in the face to face (F2F) environment while simultaneously leading an academic team through a new blended learning pilot and through the transition of all programs to blended learning.

The HoD serves as the BME subject matter expert, leads on the creation of innovative curriculum, and ensures that all academic instruction and other interventions are conducted in accordance with the highest standards of learning design and instructional methodologies. 

The HoD will actively employ both qualitative and quantitative data to assess program quality and student outcomes and use that data to ensure that the program meets the highest standards of excellence and inform continuous improvements in the program curriculum, instructional methodologies and learning design. 

Specific Responsibilities

Academic Excellence

  • Oversee, manage and direct all BME faculty, including mentorship on pedagogy and development of learning modalities and training of all new program faculty. 
  • In collaboration with the Vice-Chancellor, lead on the development and completion of all program-related related OKRs (objectives and key results).
  • In collaboration with Academic Administration, ensure that all trimester faculty schedules, content, resources and materials are prepared and available in advance of each upcoming trimester. 
  • Ensure that faculty award grades, proficiency levels and feedback based on standardized competency and assessment rubrics, working quickly to address and modify behaviors. 
  • Oversee faculty observation in accordance with criteria on the faculty observation matrix cor blended and F2F course delivery. 
  • Support and advise faculty in reaching their performance goals for the year; recommend faculty who are struggling and need improvement to the Instructional Coach (IC) to create individual training plans. 
  • Assess faculty against student progress on a regularly scheduled basis as agreed upon by the Vice-Chancellor, including collaboration with the IC in entering assessments in each faculty Professional Development file.
  • Actively employ both qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate program quality and efficacy and use that data to ensure that the program meets the highest standards of excellence and inform continuous improvements in pedagogy,  curriculum, instructional methodologies and learning design. 
  • Work in collaboration with the Academic Leadership Team to implement professional development plans for BME faculty. 
  • Instruct a maximum of one class per trimester within the current academic model and evolve this teaching responsibility to conform to the HOD’s duties within the blended learning model.
  • Collaborate with the Deputy Academic Director (DAD) and Dean of Students (DoS) on the development, scheduling, administering, and recording of student recovery credit options (RCO).
  • Ensure that all program faculty record students’ attendance by period daily via the Learning Management System. Alert the DoS regarding student attendance issues for effective and appropriate timely management.
  • Enforce the Student Handbook and refer any student behavior and disciplinary issues to the DoS.

Strategy and Outreach

  • Provide strategic vision and leadership for the development and continual improvement of the BME program. 
  • Stay abreast of local and regional industry trends to ensure course content is both regionally relevant and forward-looking.
  • Recommend, vet, and pursue specific industry and academic partners that can advance BME program success, in line with the partnership strategy.
  • Assist in the development, management and implementation of future Bachelor’s programs and academic specializations, including support and documentation for the Higher Education Council (HEC) accreditation process, inclusive of ongoing reviews and inspections.
  • Develop academic events and campus activities to enhance student practical learning and understanding of the BME program, including building a network of guest speakers for the Incubation Center.
  • Collaborate with the Recruitment & Admissions Teams on recruitment strategies for prospective students and admissions guidelines for enrolling highly qualified candidates for the program. 
  • Assist with the expansion of the BME program in new countries where the college opens campuses. 
  • Provide a visible community presence by seeking opportunities to speak publicly about the BME program, including conferences and meetings across East Africa and beyond.

Curriculum Design

  • Facilitate development or revision of curriculum to include one new course development and migration to Canvas per trimester or the revision of two courses per trimester (revision includes in Google Drive and Canvas).
  • Design, revise and migrate courses in the learning management system (LMS) in collaboration with the Director of Curriculum and Instruction (DCI).
  • Regularly and actively collaborate with the DCI and VP of Curriculum & Instruction on course and content design changes, including industry and regional relevance. 

Academic Administration

  • Advocate for the BME Program and Faculty from the perspective of the best interests of the college. 
  • Represent the BME Program and Faculty during Academic Administration and other leadership meetings. 
  • Create and manage the BME program budget.
  • Support funding of the program through meetings with donors, contributing to grant reports and hosting visitors on campus. 
  • In accordance with organizational standard operating procedures, lead all HR related functions for the department, including selection & retention, onboarding, supervision, leave approval, performance management, professional development recommendations, termination and offboarding. 
  • Review and compile weekly faculty reports, with a focus on actionable data and continuous quality improvement.
  • Oversee and advise on the overall operations of Akilah Incubation Center (AIC).
  • Prepare, plans, reports, analyses and makes recommendations as needed for program documentation, outreach, compliance, and partnership development.
  • Other responsibilities as determined by the CAO and VC to support the success of the academic model and students.

Required Education & Experience:

  • Master’s  degree in business administration or related field; doctorate preferred
  • Demonstrated expertise in blended academic pedagogy 
  • At least five years experience as an administrator or manager in a college or university setting 
  • Prior teaching experience
  • Advanced level of English proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing
  • Demonstrated experience working successfully with EFL students.  

Additional Qualifications

Our ideal candidate will possess many, if not all, of the following qualifications: 

  • Knowledge of the East African business management & entrepreneurship environment.
  • Demonstrated passion for empowering youth through education with, an unshakable belief in their potential. 
  • Demonstrated ability to drive innovation and change to improve the effectiveness of learning solutions.
  • Excitement about working in a vibrant and evolving startup environment, with a willingness to accept new responsibilities during the pilot year as needed.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail and the ability to juggle and manage multiple, competing priorities and deadlines..
  • Ability to take initiative for planning and supervising projects and work independently, manage multiple tasks concurrently, apply continuous improvement principles, and meet deadlines without compromising standards of service and quality
  • Skilled at moving quickly, prioritizing critical tasks with grace and tenacious follow up in a fast-paced, ambiguous startup environment.
  • Demonstrated skill in cross-functional collaboration and the ability to evaluate the abilities of those around you and leverage their skills to execute quickly and with excellence.
  • Relentless resourcefulness, refusing to be slowed down by real or perceived obstacles, with a clear willingness to push to get access to the resources you need, contribute unsustainable effort when the situation calls for it, and be creative in finding ways to remove blocks.
  • Extraordinarily resilient, positive, and proactive, approaching work with a commitment to building a positive organizational culture that values continuous learning, excellence, transparency, honest feedback, perseverance, and sense of humor.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail and the ability to juggle and manage multiple, competing priorities and deadlines.
  • A high level of emotional intelligence and the ability to earn the trust of your team, peers and other key partners.  
  • Exceptionally motivated by the idea of building a global community of lifelong learners. This is not a 9-to-5 position and we are not a 9-to-5 company. You can lead by example and be ready to do whatever it takes to ensure success.
  • An enthusiastic proponent and impeccable user of all available systems in order to continually drive improvements in operational efficiency; proficiency with Google Drive applications, Asana and Microsoft Office applications strongly preferred.