The transformation work of the Institute for Capacity Building is structured by the goals our institutional partners set for themselves—their targeted outcomes for improved effectiveness, in areas such as student success, enrollment, fundraising, fiscal management and accreditation.

Our six service “verticals” as we call them speak to our desire to offer a comprehensive approach to continuous improvement and transformation, by supporting institutional growth and sustainability, as well as collective learning and network sharing.

Institutional Partners

We partner with Black colleges and universities and their supporters and champions to advance the promise of Black higher education.


The most influential gathering on Black higher education. Inspire and be inspired. Partner as a sponsor. Present your bold ideas.


UNCF is designing, with nine partnering HBCUs, an online platform for lifelong learners to flourish together and celebrate Black excellence—from anywhere.


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We are a team of changemakers, seeking other changemakers to join our fight for educational justice.

ICB Structure

Vision, Narrative, Champion

Strategy Development

  • Works with internal and external stakeholders to develop an understanding and appreciation of ICB’s mission, vision, and strategic priorities.
  • Supports the dissemination of learnings from ICB programs, partnerships, and communities of practice.
  • Pursues strategies and innovations that hold promise for Black colleges and universities and the future of Black higher education.
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Institutional Engagement, Planning, Delivery

Transformation Support

  • Provides comprehensive pro-trusive (proactive + intrusive) institutional engagement.
  • Uses the ACT Framework, our emotional intelligence approach, to operate with authenticity, compassion, and transparency, while expecting the same from all stakeholders.
  • Executes continuous improvement through the AEIOU Framework: Articulate the problem, Equip the resolution owner, Improve the process, Observe the solution, and Universalize the solve.
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Leadership, Governance, Accreditation

Executive Leadership

  • Supports presidents/chancellors and their governing boards to advance institutional missions.
  • Engages institutional leaders in a joint process of development, reflection, assessment and improvement.
  • Advances the belief that transformational change in higher education institutions is only possible when executive leaders are aligned, informed, and interconnected to other institutional leaders engaged in the pursuit of similar missions and goals.
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Resources, Business Models, Financial Systems

Financial Sustainability

  • Aligns financial planning and strategy to institutional and student success priorities.
  • Identifies and develops KPIs to evaluate the institution’s financial health and support accreditation. 
  • Promotes thought leadership, professional development, and sharing through a community of practice for CFOs and other fiscal officers.
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Innovation, Technology, Virtual Learning

Digital Solutions

  • Leads the development of HBCUv, a shared online learning platform for community learning where students, educators and staff are enabled to learn, develop and flourish together, from anywhere.
  • Develops tailored and culturally relevant opportunities that equip, sustain and promote technology adoption.
  • Ensures institutions are positioned to leverage and shape the future of digital learning and innovation.
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Data, Information, Continuous Improvement

Knowledge Management

  • Strengthens the capabilities and decision-making capacity of institutions through the development and sharing of actionable data and information.
  • Improves data literacy and systems among institutions to promote proficiency and data-informed cultures.
  • Amplifies knowledge and information that uplift the legacy, impact, and potential of Black colleges and universities.
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“The Career Pathways Initiative has been transformational for Benedict college.”

Our ACT Emotional Intelligence Framework for Engagement

In every role we assume, we remain authentic, compassionate and transparent. We apply an emotional intelligence framework that we call The ACT Framework in delivering our institutional engagement strategies.

  • We are AUTHENTIC, always seeking to be open, informal and human in our work, without losing perspective on its significance and potential to alter outcomes for Black Americans.
  • We are COMPASSIONATE, insisting on meeting our institutions where they are, taking into account their rich, but often difficult histories, and their unbound potential. For us, this means working flexibly to prioritize the needs of institutions, putting them at the center of our concern.
  • We are TRANSPARENT, modeling honesty and humility in all our transactions, building into our work and processes the opportunity for frank, and even uncomfortable, conversations that push institutions—and ourselves—forward.