Academic Career & Executive Search Taps Founding Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for University of Pittsburgh-Bradford

May 4, 2021 – Academic Career & Executive Search (ACES) has placed Tasha Alston as the inaugural chief diversity and inclusion officer for the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford in Bradford, PA. Jennifer Muller, managing partner and senior consultant, led the assignment for the search firm. “The University of Pittsburgh-Bradford required a committed, dynamic leader with a proven history of providing students with an inclusive and supportive learning and living experience,” says Ms. Muller. “With more than 20 years of experience as both an educational psychologist and a social worker, Dr. Alston has the vision to nurture and strengthen an inclusive, equitable, safe, and culturally responsive environment for all students, faculty and staff. We wish Dr. Alston and the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford the best on this exciting new chapter together.”

“Dr. Alston is an advocate, scholar, practitioner and interdisciplinary thinker who will build on the critical diversity, equity and inclusion work that we have already begun as a campus community,” said Catherine Koverola, president of Pitt-Bradford. Dr. Alston, who recently started in the role, is a senior campus leader, serving on the president’s cabinet. Additionally, she oversees the university’s Title IX office and will implement programs, partnerships, and activities to advance equity and success for all members of the Pitt-Bradford community. Dr. Alston is a social worker and educational psychologist with more than 21 years’ experience in the field of social work and educational psychology.

Research Interests

The new chief diversity and inclusion officer’s research interests combine both social work and educational psychology. Dr. Alston specializes in research and community work that focuses on African American fathers’ involvement in education, African American males, fathers, academic achievement, equity in education, diversity and inclusion, school, family and community partnerships, strengthening families, qualitative research, equity and social justice for the betterment of society as a whole.

Dr. Alston completed her doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Georgia in Athens. She earned her master’s degree in social work from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta and her bachelor’s degree in social work from Siena College in Loudonville, NY.

The University of Pittsburgh-Bradford, founded in 1963, is a regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. It has a reputation for high academic standards, challenging and nurturing academic programs, and high-quality, teaching-oriented faculty. Pitt-Bradford offers more than 40 majors and 50 minors and pre-professional programs. The Princeton Review has named Pitt-Bradford as one of the Best Colleges in the Northeast for 15 consecutive years. In addition,  G.I. Jobs has named Pitt-Bradford a Military Friendly School for the past nine years. In 2013, Pitt-Bradford was ranked among the top 10 regional campuses in the U.S. by The Best Colleges.

Experienced Recruiters

Academic Career & Executive Search focuses on executive search services, career planning and candidate coaching. Specializing in challenging faculty to senior administrative positions, the firm offers six a la carte services spanning full search, candidate generation, interim, multi-hire and contingency search. Candidate support services include webinars, career planning and candidate coaching. Its team has served in virtually every capacity in higher education including president, vice president, provost, dean, chief human research officer and faculty members across all types and sizes of institutions.

Ms. Muller has more than 20 years of research and development experience in higher education and Fortune 500 companies. She has led over 70 higher education searches both domestically and internationally spanning presidents, vice presidents, associate chancellors, deans, directors, chairs and faculty level positions. She is former vice chair of the American Council on Education (ACE) Executive Search Roundtable and serves as an advisor in the numerous ACE leadership development forums.

Earlier this year, Academic Career & Executive Search placed Bradford Williams, former president of Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC), as the new president of El Centro Campus at Dallas College in Dallas, TX. Dr. Williams replaces José Adames, who stepped down in December after leading Dallas College El Centro Campus for six years.

“Dallas College sought to find a cutting-edge, results-focused leader with a proven history of developing partnerships, promoting student success, and advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion while inspiring teams to deliver exceptional customer service and student experiences,” said Ms. Muller. “Dr. Williams has a record of success as an academic administrator in higher education and has proven his ability to work effectively with senior leadership, faculty, and students.”

“After several interviews as well as input from our search committee and community members, it soon became apparent that Dr. Williams’ experience and enthusiasm for higher education best aligned with our mission and made him the best fit for this role,” said Joe May, Dallas College chancellor.

Dr. Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in communication, marketing and music and a master’s degree in human resource administration from East Central University in Ada, OK., and a doctorate in educational leadership and higher education from Oklahoma State University. Driven by a strong commitment to student success, employee excellence and community relevance, he is known for valuing creativity and innovation, collaboration and the integration of technology to enhance resources to help students move forward.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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