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Pinkard Selected For National Leadership Program

Charlotte, NC (June 27, 2012) –  Johnson C. Smith University is pleased to announce that Dr. Elfred A. Pinkard, executive vice president and chief operating officer, is one of 20 senior college administrators selected by the Council of Independent Colleges to participate in a year-long presidential vocation and institutional mission program for prospective college and university presidents. The seminar-based program is designed to help individuals with the potential to serve as college and university presidents to better understand the fit between their personal and professional goals and the missions of institutions that they might lead in the future. With a wave of retirements of university presidents on the horizon, it is especially important that individuals who become new presidents are well suited to the needs of the institution. 

Pinkard will engage in two seminars, participate in consultations with experienced mentors and undertake a series of readings about the vocation of college presidents and the role of vision and mission in institutional leadership.

“I am excited about this opportunity to be reflective and introspective about vocation and institutional mission,” said Pinkard. “It is my hope that this experience will bring greater clarity and purpose to my work and strengthen my effectiveness, here at JCSU.”

“The alignment of personal vocation and institutional mission emphasized in this program addresses a common pitfall of presidencies,” said Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. “The program aims to help participants achieve great things for their institutions and to avoid being ‘the right person in the wrong place’.”

In addition to Pinkard’s current position, he has served as the executive director for the

UNCF (United Negro College Fund), Institute for Capacity Building,  interim provost/vice president for academic affairs at Dillard University, director for the Office of Planning and Institutional Research at Spelman College, and has served in administrative positions at Colgate University, The College of Wooster, California State University, Long Beach, and Miami Dade College.  

“In Dr. Pinkard’s short time here, he has provided executive-level leadership in every component needed to take the school to higher heights and is a great asset to the administration here at JCSU,” said Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of JCSU. “Dr .Pinkard is more than qualified to attend the National Leadership Program.”

Since 2005, 19 individuals who have participated in the program have been named to college presidencies.

For more information about the Presidential Vocation and Institutional Mission program, which is funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., visit  

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Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is the premier independent urban liberal arts university located in the heart of Charlotte, N.C. It offers a progressive liberal arts curriculum with 23 fields of study to more than 1,600 students. The University prepares students for success through excellent academic programs with a focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility.          

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of 640 nonprofit independent colleges and universities and 90 higher education organizations that has worked since 1956 to support college and university leadership, advance institutional excellence, and enhance public understanding of private higher education’s contributions to society. CIC is the major national organization that focuses on providing services to leaders of independent colleges and universities as well as conferences, seminars, and other programs that help institutions to improve the quality of education, administrative and financial performance, and institutional visibility. CIC also provides support to state fundraising associations that organize programs and generate contributions for private colleges and universities. The Council is headquartered at One Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

Jennifer Gaskins
Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing
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