Dr. Erika Latty

Chief Academic Officer


Dr. Erika Latty

Executive Biography

Unity College Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Erika Latty, provides first-among-equals leadership and oversight of faculty, curriculum, policy, and delivery of academic programs.

Dr. Erika Latty, Professor of Botany, is a forest ecologist who specializes in the effects of introduced tree disease on forest structure. She holds a Phd in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University and a B.A. in Biology from Harvard University. Erika served in her previous role as Dean of the School of Environmental Citizenship from July of 2016 until her appointment as Chief Academic Officer in April of 2017. Prior to serving as Dean, Erika was a Unity College center director and faculty leader.

Before coming to Unity College in 2007, Dr. Latty was Chair of the Environmental Studies Program and Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. Prior to that she was a Research Associate at University Wisconsin-Madison.

Position Summary

An executive position providing leadership and management, the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) oversees faculty, curriculum, policy, and delivery of academic programs. The CAO works with senior leadership to establish the strategic direction of the college with regard to curricular programs and manages its execution. The CAO works with the President and senior leadership to continue to transform Unity College from a college with a strong regional presence to a leading national institutional of higher education. Within the framework of functional leadership, the CAO supports and is supported by other senior level leaders and works with all constituencies to realize the Unity College Mission and Strategic Plan. The CAO reports to the President and holds faculty rank and title depending on experience and expertise.


Essential Functions

  1. Provides leadership, supervision, and managerial oversight for academic programs, curriculum, staff and faculty.
  2. Works with college leadership to ensure that Unity College maintains the highest accreditation with NECHE.
  3. Coordinates with distance education to ensure academic support as needed.
  4. Partners with Chiefs of Marketing and Student Success to integrate curricular, co-curricular, and residential components into a transformative and developmentally-differentiated living and learning experience through the educational framework of sustainability science.
  5. Provides oversight of assessment, evaluation, and is the point person to asssure compliance with all institutional accreditation.
  6. Provides leadership and support for a deliberative process of academic renewal, including curriculum, alternative delivery models, program development, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and service and community-based learning.
  7. Meets annual project goals and program benchmarks as assigned by the President.
  8. Directly supervises academic administrators and others as assigned. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the institution’s policies and procedures, laws, and regulations.
  9. Manages Faculty Governance on behalf of the President in compliance with the Faculty Personnel, Policies, and Procedures document, the institutional charter, and other relevant institutional policies.
  10. Has primary responsibility to plan and execute faculty professional development and training.
  11. Provides initiation, organization, and promotion of faculty research, grants and professional outreach.
  12. Develops and maintains academic partnerships as established by senior leadership in alignment with the Strategic Plan.
  13. Provides a strong voice for the faculty, both within the institution and with external constituents.
  14. Advocates for institutional resources to create and maintain high quality academic programs.
  15. Manages academic financial, material, and personnel resources in accordance with governance policies and in alignment with the Strategic Plan.
  16. Prepares and manages the budget for areas of oversight including adjunct salaries budget, professional development budget, instructional budget, student engagement budget, and others as indicated.
  17. Makes recommendations to the President for faculty appointments, retention, and promotion in keeping with the established hiring and evaluation processes of the college.
  18. Provides effective, collaborative leadership within a model of functional leadership and shared governance.
  19. Serves as a member of Senior Staff.
  20. May serve as staff liaison to a standing committee of the Board of Trustees at the discretion of President.
  21. Manages Strategic Plan initiatives and goals as assigned.
  22. Supports institutional sustainability initiatives and values as a senior member of the college.
  23. Contributes to the college’s commitment to safety by using safe work habits, using ergonomics and proper lifting and biohazard protocol as appropriate. Assists other leaders in managing workplace safety.
  24. Assumes responsibility to maintain and upgrade professional knowledge and skills with regulations, industry trends, current practices, new developments, and applicable laws.
  25. Serves as a role model for the college’s standards of conduct.
  26. Demonstrates a high degree of commitment to customer service and quality education.
  27. Performs other duties as assigned.

Functional Responsibility

First among equals for curriculum, faculty, and academic administration.

Undergraduate Research Program

Statistics show that students who do research during their undergraduate years are more likely to continue with professional education and in STEM fields, and twice as likely to consider continuing on to pursue a Ph.D.

The Unity College Student Conference

“Recognize Quality & Celebrate Excellence,” that’s the motto of the Unity College Student Conference. The bi-annual conference gives Unity students the opportunity to present professional level material in a supportive environment.

Honors Program

Honors students at Unity College demonstrate that they can manage more. Accordingly, they get access to Honors-only projects, field trips, and speakers.