Vice Chancellor - Akilah Institute 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.

Are you ready to revolutionize higher education? Our team has spent a decade building the award-winning Akilah Institute, the only college for women in Rwanda.  Ninety percent of our alumnae are employed within six months of graduation, and they earn, on average, 12x Rwanda’s national median income.

Now, we’re on a mission to create a global network of university campuses that prepare students for the careers of today and of the future through transformational, personalized learning experiences. Our unique model leverages leadership development, competency-based education, and personalized learning to offer a radically different academic experience that puts graduates on the fast track to success.

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 to balance vibrant economies with a healthy environment to create a future of abundance for all. Will you join us?

The Position 

Akilah is seeking a passionate and energetic education professional to manage and oversee all facets of implementation of the academic strategy, including the transition to a competency-based, blended learning model that utilizes an advanced learning management system (LMS) to provide curriculum delivery and support to faculty and students. They will lead major change management to accomplish that and be excited about creating a new data-driven, personalized model of education in Rwanda.

Job Responsibilities  

Leadership and Management

  • Responsible and accountable for advancing strategy in line with the academic strategic plan.
  • Manage and inspire all members of the academic team through positive role modeling, striving to achieve a high standard of academic excellence through experienced leadership in higher education.
  • Develop and sustain appropriate structures for management, consultation, decision -making and communication with academic staff and students.
  • Promote and represent the university both internally and externally, attending high-level external meetings, events and networking opportunities.

Academic Leadership and Assurance

  • Ensure all programs are carried out in accordance with the highest possible academic standards and put in place the necessary monitoring procedures for compliance and improvement.
  • Ensure the best possible student experience and outcomes through the fulfillment of the academic strategy; ensure students are included, as appropriate, in decision making within the academic programs and extracurricular activities.
  • Oversee faculty assessments and observations and provide dedicated support to program managers around the same. 
  • Support the design and implementation of professional development initiatives, including the Institute of Professional Development.
  • Identify areas of growth and personal learning opportunities for instructors, in collaboration with professional development staff.
  • Monitor and efficiently address challenges that may arise related to academic administration.
  • Engage in the interview and selection process of new faculty to be hired across campuses.
  • Support the CAO and Campus President on accreditation processes (provisional and permanent) and ensure that the college is well prepared for ongoing reviews and inspections.

Financial and Administrative Management

  • Provide administrative leadership within a multi-campus structure.
  • Manage all academic expenditures in accordance with approved academic budgets.
  • Promote fiscal responsibility within the Academic team with an eye toward financial sustainability.
  • Ensure adherence by academic team members to all financial policies and procedures, requirements and regulations.
  • Promote a safe and healthy environment for both staff and students, and full compliance with health and safety requirements.
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned.

Education & Experience

  • A doctorate degree
  • Minimum of three years of higher education academic administration including more senior leadership positions in higher education, including Vice-Chancellor or Deputy Vice-Chancellor roles and deep expertise working in the higher education context on the African continent

Desired Skills/Qualifications

  • Experience with implementation, administration and/or teaching within a competency-based, blended learning academic model
  • Commitment to a student-centered teaching model and excellence in the student experience
  • Experience with accreditation and quality assurance processes
  • Experience in building and launching a new degree program
  • Start-up mentality; interest in testing and iteration as opposed to simply administrating
  • 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 the block
  • 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
  • A high level of emotional intelligence and the ability to earn the trust of your team, peers and other key partners and stakeholders.  
  • 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
  • Excellent oral and written communication in English
  • Knowledge of education in the East African context a plus
  • Willingness to enforce academic policies with integrity and consistency
  • A sense of humor, poise, and grace under pressure a plus

Work Environment/Physical Requirements:
No specific physical requirements.  The position is based in Kigali, Rwanda. The ability to travel is requisite.

Job Responsibilities Statement:
The above statements reflect the general duties, responsibilities, and competencies considered necessary to perform the essential duties & responsibilities of the job and should not be considered as a detailed description of all the work requirements of the position.  The specific job duties may be changed based on the needs of the organization.