Dr. Robert Scott, Jr.

Chief Academic Officer

Executive Biography

Dr. Scott is Interim Chief Academic Officer and Professor of Criminology. Dr. Scott comes to Unity College from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas where he held the position of Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Institutional Effectiveness after years of service as CAO at multiple institutions.

Dr. Scott has considerable experience as Chief Academic Officer, having held the position of Vice President of Academic Affairs at both Keystone College in La Plume, Pennsylvania and at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.  He was also Dean of the College of Education and Applied Technology at Fort Hays State University in Fort Hays, Kansas and Chair of the Department of Justice Studies at the same institution.

Dr. Scott’s accomplishments in distance learning are considerable. At Fort Hays State University he oversaw the College of Education and Technology which enrolls 650 graduate and 600 undergraduate online students.  Also at Fort Hays, Scott designed and led development of online undergraduate and graduate programs in Justice Studies.  At Keystone College Dr. Scott increased online head counts and offerings, and created a significant international partnership.  Dr. Scott led the implementation of the online learning initiative at Kansas Wesleyan University.  University of Maine at Fort Kent realized growth in online headcount and offerings during his leadership there. Dr. Scott earned his Doctor of Philosophy from Sam Houston State University in Criminal Justice in 1993.  His dissertation is titled “Rural-Agrarian Illicit Anabolic Steroid Use Patterns.”  Scott completed Post-Masters Study at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Criminal Justice where his major area of study was affirmative action policy.  He completed his Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminal Justice at the State University of New York College at Buffalo where his major area of study was Public Administration.  Scott’s Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) is from Brock University, St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada, in Political Science.


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. Leads the college to ensure that Unity College maintains the highest accreditation with NEASC.
  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, accreditation, distance education, 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.