Carole Isom-Barnes joined the Board of Governors in October 2013. Carole holds a PhD in Leadership & Change from Antioch University and an MA in Organizational Communication. She is also Six Sigma certified in process management and performance improvement.
What drew you to serve on the Antioch University Board of Governors? What makes you most proud?
I was drawn to serve on the Board after completing Antioch University’s PhD in Leadership and Change Program. I believed in the program, the method of teaching, and the overall mission and values of the University. I was proud to be associated with Antioch University and wanted not only my degree to represent the University, but also my service. I see my contribution as an opportunity to have input on the sustainability and success of all that is important to the institution and the students. I am most proud that all the Board members genuinely care and are committed to the success of Antioch University as a learner-centered institution.
What contributions do you feel you bring as a Board member to lead Antioch University? As the Board Chair?
Notwithstanding my strong Fortune 100 and financial leadership background, I can relate to the interests and needs of current-day students. Education is changing at a rapid pace and must keep up with the needs and interests of those seeking higher education, which also is changing. Having recently completed the PhD program, I can say that all the financial concerns, the balance of family, career and school, and wondering if it will be worth it in the end, are still fresh. As decisions are made on the Board, I bring a holistic perspective, three-fourths of which supports not only fiduciary business decisions, but also supports the viewpoint of students who want degree offerings and programs that have quality teachers, are worthy of the expense and commitment, and enable career and personal growth.
What has your experience been on the Board to date? Have there been any surprises you’d like to share?
I have been on the Board for four years and my experience has been extremely positive. I was most surprised by the number of Board members who have some connection to Antioch University, in one way or another, prior to joining the Board. Some members attended the University as undergraduate students years ago, while others have had more engagement via volunteerism or leadership opportunities. I think this is important because it speaks to the level of commitment and loyalty to the University and what it stands for.
If I were to interview you five years from now, what would you like to be able to say about…
a. Antioch University?
I would like to say the Board members were visionaries and ahead of changes in the teaching and learning process, and Antioch University was creative and innovative in meeting student and workforce needs.
b. Your role as a BoG member?
I would like to say I am more proud than I was in 2017 to be a graduate and Board member of such a fine institution. I would also like to say the University is stronger, more diverse, and each year we improved upon helping more students realize their potential and growth.
What would you like our readers to know that they might not learn from your brief biography?
I am passionate about education and I consider helping others reach their potential as my life’s purpose.
Carole Isom-Barnes, PhD, president of Xperience Leadership, LLC, is an organizational change consultant with over 30 years of Fortune 100 senior leadership experience in human resources, operations, risk, and strategic planning management. She is a former Bank of America senior leader and has done extensive research on organizational change at the practitioner and educational levels.
Carole is also an adjunct faculty member at Queens University in Charlotte, NC, teaching graduate and undergraduate organizational communication courses. She is a communications and business school lecturer and frequent speaker and panelist at academic and professional events. She presents on topics such as organizational leadership, social and economic disparities, and race and gender issues.
Carole serves on the Antioch University Board of Governors, the Carolinas College and Health Sciences Board of Directors, and the Mecklenburg County Human Resources Advisory Board. She is a member of the International Leadership Association (ILA), the National Communication Association (NCA), and Women Executives of Charlotte (WE). She also serves as a mentor and university coordinator for Women Initiating and Nurturing Growth through Scholarship (WINGS), a life-changing mentor and scholarship program for non-traditional female students at Charlotte, N.C. area universities. She is the author of Layoff: American Dream Interrupted, capturing three-years of corporate research and Unemployment Disparities: Employee Insight and Personal Perspectives, a publication in collaboration with the Urban League of Central Carolinas, Inc.