ALLIANCE, Ohio – The University of Mount Union has named Mark Black ’98 as the institution’s first full-time chief diversity officer and senior Title IX administrator, a position that will provide leadership to create and maintain a campus environment that reflects the University’s mission and values as a fully inclusive institution.
Black comes to the University from Akron Public Schools, where he currently serves as executive director of secondary schools. He will begin his new position at Mount Union on July 1, 2022.
As chief diversity officer and senior Title IX administrator, Black will work closely with the President’s Council and other senior leaders to catalyze institutional change, particularly among students, faculty and staff, to ensure that the University is creating inclusion and belonging for every member of the campus community. As an active collaborator, Black will bring together members of the Mount Union family to build relationships, facilitate dialogue and promote essential interactions that promote and sustain institutional change.
“In 1846, Orville Nelson Hartshorn founded Mount Union as an institution ‘where there would be no distinction due to race, color, sex or position,’” said Dr. Robert Gervasi, incoming interim president. “The addition of this role to the senior leadership team reflects the University’s continued commitment to Hartshorn’s vision and to attracting, welcoming and supporting diverse communities and identities.”
“Aristotle said, ‘Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work,’” said Black. “I feel intense pleasure with this new opportunity as chief diversity officer and senior Title IX administrator at the University of Mount Union. I feel as if I have come full circle back to Mount, my alma mater, and Alliance, my hometown.”
Prior to his current role with Akron Public Schools, Black served as the director of Ohio’s high school projects at Battelle for Kids in Columbus, Ohio, following tenures as principal of Glenoak High School in the Plain Local School District and small schools principal at McKinley Senior High School in the Canton City School District. He has also taught for both Akron Public Schools and Massillon City Schools in addition to serving as an adjunct faculty member in Mount Union’s School of Education.
During his career, Black has been responsible for directing the development of program design that leads to fair and equitable access for all stakeholders; approving school plans and professional development around coaching for equity and inclusivity; serving as the liaison for Title IX policies and procedures for students, staff and administrators; evaluating and working with several committees to develop equity policies and theories of action; and developing growth plans to eliminate disparities in leadership and teaching and learning.
Black graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Mount Union in 1998. He also earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Akron and Administrative Licensure from Ashland University in addition to completing post-graduate work through the School and Leadership Turnaround Institute of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
Professionally, Black serves as a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators, National Superintendents Academy, Intercultural Development Inventory LLC, National Federation of State High Schools, the College Board and Jobs for Ohio Graduates. He matches his professional involvement with community service as a contributor and volunteer for Love Akron, a project manager for Inspiration4ED, a volunteer at the Eric Snow YMCA and a participant in the University of Akron’s Black Male Summit. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Pathfinder Education Award from Alliance High School, which acknowledges leadership in education to change the path for youth within the inner city, and the Urban Icon Award from Alliance Community Pastors, which recognizes individuals who are making a difference and change within the community.
“I’d like to thank Dr. Tom Botzman, Mount Union’s 13th president, for launching and carrying out the search to identify the University’s new chief diversity officer and senior Title IX administrator,” said Gervasi. “Mark’s experience, energy and collaborative nature will help Mount Union continue its important work related to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. I look forward to welcoming him back to his alma mater and working with him in the coming year.”
“I am very grateful for the opportunity to co-construct systems and processes to ensure equitable access for all constituents at the University of Mount Union,” said Black. “I am aware of the challenges that will come with the job, but I am hopeful that, together, we will overcome barriers and create a smooth path to the road of inclusivity and belonging. I am ready for this challenge and look forward to the collaboration that will forge success for all constituents.”