Home » Howard University Civil Rights Center Center – Director and Endowed Professor – Position Description

Howard University Civil Rights Center Center – Director and Endowed Professor – Position Description

Howard University School of Law is beginning a search for the inaugural director of our new Civil Rights Center. The position description is below. Please distribute widely.


Howard University Civil Rights Center

Center Director and Endowed Professor

Position Description

Center Overview

The Howard University Civil Rights Center’s goal is to celebrate and extend the legacy of Howard University School of Law as the epicenter for civil rights litigation and policy since the early 20th century. The mission of the center will be threefold: 1) to participate in litigation of constitutional magnitude affecting individual civil and human rights; 2) to devise a legal and political strategy for expanding the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and last but not least 3) to publish a new online civil rights journal to be titled The American Reconstruction Project at Howard University and that will serve as a repository of scholarly research and as the public voice of the University in general and the law school in particular in the ongoing national and international conversation on issues of civil rights, equal citizenship, and human dignity. This will be the first Civil Rights Center ever at Howard University.



Howard University School of Law is currently seeking a Director for the Civil Rights Center. The Director will serve as the chief executive officer of the Center. The Director will oversee the program, and is responsible for the on-going administrative, programmatic and financial management of the Center. The Director will report to the law school Dean, and is supported by a full-time program assistant and two Center fellows. This is a full-time faculty appointment, with benefits. The Director will be appointed as a full professor and endowed chair. 


The Director will direct and administer an independent program with complete administrative and programmatic responsibilities to achieve stated goals.  

  • Oversee a strategic planning process that engages Center Stakeholders including students, faculty, alums, and law school administration.
  • Oversee the Center’s goals, policies, and initiatives.
  • Develop priorities related to the ligation, policy work, scholarship, and conferences done by the Center.
  • Oversee the hiring of two fellows for the Center.
  • Oversee the work of the Civil Rights Clinic.
  • Work with the Center’s Advisory Council, a group of prominent civil rights advocates who provide expertise and support to the Center.
  • Plan, organize and implement conferences, symposia, lecturers and other events sponsored by the Center. Be accountable for all Center communication. Work with appropriate law school and University personnel to design, prepare and produce Center publications, web pages and publicity materials.
  • Facilitate efforts of various departments, managers and outside constituencies to ensure interdisciplinary collaboration. Coordinate the involvement of the Center-affiliated faculty in curricular planning
  • Coordinate the Center’s activities with law student groups, other research centers and social justice organizations on and off the campus.
  • Identify and pursue funding opportunities and revenue streams.
  • Lead fundraising efforts for the Center, which may include developing grant proposals, outreach to foundations, alumni, professional organizations, and various other individuals and groups to identify and secure financial support.
  • Work with stakeholders to identify and pursue new funding opportunities and revenue streams.
  • Collaborate with internal and campus resources to develop, submit, and manage gifts and grants, ensuring that expenses are appropriately applied according to the funding terms and University policy.
  • Participate in the program budgeting and accounting processes to support financial infrastructure of program.
  • In consultation with internal resource experts develop, and manage the Center’s budget.
  • Manage financial and HR resources.
  • Oversee and implement the Center’s budget.
  • Direct administrative operations activities, with accountability for operational and budget processes, staff FTE, finance, human resources and space planning as well as oversee various center activities including conferences, briefings, workshops and other convening’s.
  • Supervise staff and student employees employed by the Center.
  • Assesses program’s effectiveness, and recommends changes to program’s

content, policies and procedures accordingly.

  • Supervise center publications and publicity, alumni mailings, the annual report,

marketing materials and website revision; coordinate with law school public

relations office and Alumni and Development Office, and with other Centers.

  • Represent the Center to outside constituents.  
  • Serve on committees representing the program, participating in short term and

long term planning.

  • Assist in developing research, participates in professional conferences and provides public relations support.


Required Qualifications

  • J.D. and admission to the bar in at least one jurisdiction.
  • Experience and qualifications sufficient to be appointed at full professor, and meet the qualifications for the endowed chair.
  • Advanced knowledge of administrative, budgetary, human resources and financial principles and practices to successfully adapt to institutional rules, regulations, processes, protocols, and procedures to successfully manage budgets, accounts and fund management; human resource management and supervision; and experience in project/research management in an academic setting preferred.
  • Advanced knowledge and experience directing a variety of administrative and operational activities, including events planning, fundraising, contracts and grants regulations and various guidelines preferred.
  • Advanced oral and written communication skills to include active listening, persuasiveness, and ability to work with diverse groups and individuals to achieve positive results.
  • Advanced ability to think creatively and independently on concepts requiring advanced analytical skills. Advanced skills in short and long term strategic planning and analysis. Must demonstrate successful innovative problem- solving skills using diplomacy and judgment within a complex environment.
  • Advanced interpersonal, cooperative, and organizational skills and ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of internal and external peers and managers to achieve results. Significant experience in developing superior relationships with key stakeholders and demonstrated ability to articulate the Center’s priorities, objectives and mission.
  • Demonstrated successful political and organizational acumen within a complex environment, with significant experience conducting and developing research strategies and programs within a complex unit or organization serving multiple constituencies.
  • Sound judgment, tact, and a willingness to take initiative.
  • Substantial ability to direct the design of effective marketing and promotion strategies and materials for fund-raising and Center publicity.
  • Ability to successfully deal with confidential, complex situations involving coordination and consultation with high level constituents.
  • Leadership experience and the ability to supervise and motivate others, encourage teamwork, work collaboratively within large organizations, and provide clear direction to achieve exceptional results.
  • Ability to do some traveling and attend evening and weekend events.
  • Highly skilled fundraising experience.
  • Must be able to successfully complete a criminal background check.


How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying. Please send your materials to Harold McDougall, Chair of the Initial Appointments Subcommittee (hmcdougall@law.howard.edu) and Dean Danielle Holley-Walker (dhwalker@law.howard.edu).



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