The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Brief
Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on a 78-acre campus, UNCSA is today one of the leading schools for the arts in the world and is evolving its leadership team for a 21st Century world of art and culture. UNCSA’s leadership is comprised of the Board of Trustees, the Office of the Chancellor, other Boards attached to the Chancellor’s office, the Office of the Provost, the Chancellor’s Administrative Cabinet members and Deans. The Provost provides critical leadership for the academic team and its contribution to UNCSA’s endeavors and represents the academic function within the UNC system and to outside partners and stakeholders.
History & Mission
Founded by a collaboration among diverse arts, business, civic and political leaders in 1963 and integrated into the University of North Carolina in 1972, UNCSA was initially founded and stewarded by American composer Vittorio Giannini. Deans and faculty are often working artists, and UNCSA administrative leaders have generally been strongly affiliated with the various arts disciplines taught by the school, although there have been exceptions. UNCSA’s mission is to provide gifted emerging artists with the conservatory training, experience, knowledge, and skills needed to excel in their disciplines and their lives.
Description of Responsibilities and Duties
The Provost will report to the Chancellor and is charged with direct oversight of the five arts schools, Division of Liberal Arts, and High School Academic Program, their deans, academic leaders, and faculty. The Provost will directly oversee academic budgets, recruitment and retention of deans, academic staff and faculty. This position is specifically crafted for a leader who will engage the best creative efforts of deans, academic staff and faculty as UNCSA drives to higher levels of academic achievement and artistic reputation. The Provost bears responsibility for accreditation activities across all UNCSA academic programs, for UNCSA’s overall academic standing, and for third-party ratings of major colleges and universities.
In accordance with UNC System policy, the Provost will review, and enhance on a continual basis, UNCSA’s academic standards and the processes used for setting such standards. The Provost will also review and improve academic and shared governance processes, which are used to manage change in the academic setting. The Provost will formulate and administer all processes and procedures related to academic administration and the academic calendar, including compliance processes, as well as procedures for transfers, admissions, and graduation. The Provost manages overarching academic support programs and functions across UNCSA’s schools, and all academic facilities, libraries and resources used by deans, faculty, and academic staff. The Provost will also represent UNCSA academic programs to internal and external constituencies as the Chief Academic Officer.
The Provost is expected to work closely with deans, staff, and faculty to introduce improvements in a well-planned way. With strong communication to manage the expectations of affected constituencies, the Provost will set concrete delivery milestones and specific measures of academic success that are also tied to accreditation processes and third-party ratings of major colleges and universities.
The Provost will constantly focus on making UNCSA’s academic governance and administration consistent across schools, while simultaneously implementing specific programs in ways that improve UNCSA’s ranking. The Provost will be an advocate for excellence, fair and consistent process, interdisciplinary collaborations, and for individuals and programs that most effectively contribute to improving UNCSA’s academic profile.
Sustained funding for academic programs will remain a critical concern for the entire University, from the Board of Trustees and the Chancellor to every member of Chancellor’s senior management team, faculty, staff, students, and parents. The Provost is expected to work closely with the Vice-Chancellor for Advancement to define the Provost’s on-going, hands-on role in fund development activities for academic programs, equipment and facilities. The Provost will also work to define appropriate roles and objectives for deans, other academic leaders, and faculty. The idea that financially strengthening UNCSA is everyone’s concern, marks a major cultural shift for the academic community as a whole and will yield a productive dialogue on balancing priorities and financial realities. Working closely with deans and faculty, particularly with those members of the academic team that are regarded as having taken a leadership role in fund development for academic pursuits, the Provost will continually refine the model for encouraging different members of the academic team to contribute in various ways to fundraising efforts. It is anticipated that the Provost, deans, and faculty will periodically collaborate with the Office of Advancement in direct solicitation activities, particularly when funding for academic programs is at stake.
In collaboration with the Chancellor, other members of the senior management team, and the faculty and staff through shared governance processes, the Provost will shape and implement programs that create the best possible environment and support infrastructure for faculty and students to advance their art. The Provost will explore both traditional and new approaches to developing and conveying knowledge. The Provost will encourage and facilitate original works of the highest caliber recognized for innovation and artistic merit.
The Provost will encourage and facilitate the best possible teaching environment, and a learning experience that students embrace. To this end, the Provost will maintain a close relationship with the Office of Student Affairs and to the student body as a whole. An important part of the Provost’s responsibility is to provide for, and learn from, the ongoing evaluation of the teaching/learning experience from the perspectives of both faculty and students. As part of the Provost’s responsibility to provide the best possible teaching and learning environment, they will oversee UNCSA’s misconduct and discipline processes for faculty and students with the help of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity & General Counsel, the Vice Provost & Dean of Student Affairs, the Director of Human Resources and other members of the team.
In collaboration with the Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, the Provost will shape and manage the overall budget for academic functions of the five schools, Division of Liberal Arts, and High School Academic Program. The Provost will review how each financial and time investment in infrastructure, physical assets, research, creative production, and teaching advances knowledge and learning outcomes. The Provost will participate in the responsible allocation of limited financial resources and operating infrastructure to those activities that most effectively advance the mission of UNCSA.
In coordination with the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Communications, the Provost will serve as an articulate and persuasive spokesperson for UNCSA and its academic departments and personnel. The Provost will represent UNCSA and its academic programs to a broad range of internal and external constituencies, including other universities and colleges, current and prospective faculty, students, parents and alumni, partner institutions, and members of a broad local, national and international community. In particular, the Provost will cultivate strong and supportive relationships internally and externally, and a desire among academic leaders, arts faculty and funders to be closely connected with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. The Provost will participate in the coordination of external communications with External Affairs, including continual upgrades to the web-based articulation of UNCSA’s academic programming, performances, and accomplishments.
Require a relevant post-Baccalaureate degree with a minimum of three (3) years or greater of related professional experience, although substantially greater amounts of professional experience are typical and often required. For candidates demonstrating comparable professional backgrounds, a relevant undergraduate degree and a minimum of five (5) years or greater of relevant experience may be substituted for the advanced degree.
The ideal candidate will have the following range of experience and qualifications: • Senior management and leadership responsibility in a university, college or associated institution that is known for artistic excellence and innovation; strong experience in evolving academic standards and accelerating change that measurably elevates the academic stature of institutions is desired; • An understanding of, and deep appreciation for, the world inhabited by university and college faculty, artists, academics and teachers; a record of achievement that is well regarded in the field; a teacher, scholar or practitioner who would qualify for a faculty appointment at UNCSA; experience working in collaboration with diverse teams of individuals representing different disciplines, each with its own focus, knowledge, artistic processes and methods; a demonstrated ability to forge mutually respectful relationships with fellow academic leaders and faculty; • An advanced degree; • Strong experience in recruiting, developing, retaining and leading a diverse group of faculty who work in alignment with the overall mission of a college or university; an ability to shape an academic environment that attracts top talent; current or past experience as a faculty member is important; • Deep experience in connecting the public to the world of intellectual, artistic, and creative exploration; a track record of raising the public profile of organizations and divisions within organizations; an ability to bridge the world of the arts and humanities with other fields (business, other academic fields, civil-society organizations, leaders in government, etc.); an understanding of the needs of students and academic professionals with different backgrounds, ethnicities, interests and aptitudes; • A detailed understanding of academic standards and governance models, and an ability to manage the operational and financial aspects of university academic affairs; an understanding of higher education revenue and expense models would be a distinct advantage; demonstrable commitment to, and experience with, a robust culture of faculty shared governance. • The ability to work successfully with government leaders, donors, community leaders, artists, educators, faculty, and boards to incite interest in and strengthen the institution; measurable and successful results in raising funds and in identifying, cultivating and soliciting donors and other sources of revenue is advantageous; • An ability to motivate others to bridge internal organizational divisions; experience in developing constituents and support among people with different priorities; an understanding of the tools required to encourage and manage institutional change, including: development of strategic plans, identification and implementation of best practices, implementation of incentive and reward programs, an understanding of the impact that group and peer feedback has on teamwork and job satisfaction; • Outstanding oral and written communication skills, including the means to address issues in non-confrontational and non-polarizing ways, but nevertheless with determination; a track record as an effective manager of subject matter experts and academically-minded teams.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The successful candidate should be: • A mission-driven, decisive individual with a belief in the mission of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and total commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion as expressed in recruitment of deans, faculty, staff, students; in terms of the art taught and advanced by the university; and in terms of interactions with the broader UNC and community ecosystems; • A commitment to continuous, measurable improvements to UNCSA’s academic programs, artistic endeavors, faculty reputation and student achievement; a person focused on improving the overall rating of the academic programs of UNCSA as measured by such third-party benchmarking organizations; • Someone comfortable receiving input from many sources, and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into sound, well-organized plans; a person able to garner necessary support and refocus ambiguous situations so concrete action can be taken; a person unafraid to take that decisive action and drive change when situations demand it; • A good listener and strategist who is intrepid yet tactful; a person with the flexibility and creativity needed to find alternative ways to reach objectives when barriers arise; a skilled negotiator who does not drive themselves or others into a corner; • A charismatic communicator, able to build enthusiasm for UNCSA and its program of change and improvement to the academic environment among internal and external constituencies; a person able to advance UNCSA’s academic reputation through exceptional verbal and written communication skills; • A hard worker with a high energy level; a “doer” with a willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of activities to strengthen UNCSA and support the work of deans, faculty and other colleagues who also retains an intense focus on students, advancing the arts, and on diversity, equity and inclusion that are essential components of the values and mission of the University of North Carolina; • Emotionally mature with a good sense of humor and the flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations.
Internal Number: 002100
About UNC School of the Arts
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts provides gifted emerging artists with the experience, knowledge, and skills needed to excel in their disciplines and in their lives, and it serves and enriches the cultural and economic prosperity of the people of North Carolina and the nation. UNCSA is the state’s unique professional school for the performing, visual, and moving image arts, training students at the high school, undergraduate, and master’s levels for professional careers in the arts.