JCSU makes strategic hire to lead its transformation efforts

JCSU makes strategic hire to lead its transformation efforts


In its quest to become one of the nation’s top HBCUs, Johnson C. Smith University on Monday announced the hiring of a faculty veteran from the University of Houston to lead its transformation efforts.

Nicole McDonald, who holds a doctorate degree from Vanderbilt University, joined JCSU in the newly created position of senior vice president for transformation initiatives. She will lead the development and execution of JCSU’s multi-year plan to improve its academic standing with a focus on economic mobility, an initiative known as the Gold(en) Blueprint.

At the University of Houston, McDonald served as assistant vice provost for student success strategies.

In a statement Monday, JCSU described McDonald as “a strategic, visionary leader with 20 years of experience supporting student success in higher education.” As a Ph.D candidate at Vanderbilt, she studied philosophy with a focus on leadership and policy.

McDonald co-authored a book, first published in 2016, titled “Becoming a Student Ready College: A New Culture of Leadership for Student Success. The book is now in its second edition.

In a statement Monday, JCSU President Clarence Armbrister described McDonald as “an accomplished leader in higher education” who has a passion for ensuring that all students succeed.


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