Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by November 9, 2019. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. Candidates should provide a resume or curriculum vitae and a letter of application that addresses the candidate’s experience and qualifications relative to the responsibilities and requirements described. Candidate confidentiality will be respected to the highest degree allowable under the laws of the State of Michigan. Application materials may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at www.spelmanjohnson.com/open-positions. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Mark Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
The University of Michigan (U-M), the state’s public flagship university and one of the world’s preeminent research universities, invites inquiries, nominations and applications for the position of vice president for student life to succeed the retiring incumbent.
Now operating in the beginning of its third century, U-M continues its mission to develop leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. Currently, the main campus in Ann Arbor has an enrollment of 46,000 students, about a third of whom are in graduate and professional studies. U-M is consistently ranked among the top institutions of higher education globally with 263 degree programs, a 97 percent first-year student retention rate and 102 graduate programs ranked in the top 10 nationally.
The vice president for student life is a position of broad leadership for the Ann Arbor campus, serving as an executive officer reporting to the University’s president. The role serves as the point person on student life and oversees the many offices and service functions that support students’ education, needs and aspirations beyond the classroom.
The vice president for student life is responsible for providing vision, leadership and effective management of Student Life units and functions. The vice president for student life is an executive officer of the university and serves as a member of the university's executive team. The position reports to the University president and is a key advisor to the president especially on matters involving students and student life. The vice president works closely with the president, the executive team, deans, faculty, staff, students and the Board of Regents to strengthen a collaborative university-wide effort to support students. The vice president currently has seven direct reports: a senior associate vice president; (3) associate vice presidents; a dean of students; an executive assistant; and an ombudsperson.
Other Key Responsibilities
Provide vision and direction to the design and implementation of a comprehensive program of services, activities and supports for students and articulate a context for the broader relationship of Student Life to the academic mission of the university and to the total student experience. Establish an expectation of close collaboration with academic affairs in the Provost’s office and the university's schools and colleges.
Provide effective management of Student Life and its human and financial resources. Allocate resources effectively to achieve Student Life's objectives. Accountable for ensuring that Student Life programs produce measurable results that can inform decisions of university leadership and are appropriately communicated to the campus community.
Serve as advocate and spokesperson for students to the university administration, advise the president and senior officers of student issues and develop strategies for their resolution. Exercise a visible presence within the university community, with Regents, parents and external constituencies; represent Student Life to the rest of the university; and promote the active involvement and participation of faculty in Student Life programs and in the cocurricular life of students.
Develop and execute Student Life programs and services in a matter that promotes and is aligned with the University’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Promote opportunities for students to develop and utilize leadership skills to enhance their involvement as citizens of both the campus and the wider community.
Work with students, faculty and staff to promote an active yet safe and healthy social environment for students that adheres to the regulations of the university and the legal requirements of the State of Michigan. Establish and promote strong working relationships between Student Life and other campus units such as the Department of Public Safety and Security and the office of the Chief Health Officer to promote student safety and well-being.
Oversee the recruitment, management, development and retention of professional and support staff in the Student Life organization. Evaluate staff, develop a strong sense of teamwork, promote the development of a strong leadership team, establish an environment of mentoring and support and encourage interaction and collaboration across Student Life and with other academic and administrative units within the university.
Represent Student Life and the university on various university and community boards and committees to facilitate the work of Student Life and build strong and supportive relationships.
Provide leadership in collecting and disseminating information about student issues, trends and patterns to the university community.
An advanced degree in a relevant discipline and a strong academic orientation are essential. A doctorate is preferred. Demonstrated leadership skills; a record of outstanding achievement as a senior member of the leadership team at a large complex university with a highly regarded Student Life program; and substantial experience working with individuals and groups in a residential academic community are required. Significant leadership and management experience in complex higher education environments, including strong financial and budget management skills, is necessary for success in this position. The ideal candidate will also possess a passionate commitment to the education, development and empowerment of young people and the ability to elicit their trust and regard; a current understanding of student issues and a keen sensitivity to the changing patterns of student experiences and family dynamics; familiarity with legal issues affecting students and the issues, problems and trends that affect the management of Student Life programs; and a demonstrated understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and demonstrated measurable achievement in addressing the challenges of a diverse student body. Experience with fundraising and the stewardship of university donors would be helpful.
The successful candidate will also possess the following qualities:
Personal and professional integrity in the highest degree.
A strong student advocate and compassionate mentor who demonstrates a proactive approach in dealing with student issues and has experience in the handling and resolution of conflict and the willingness to spend time in support of student activities and interests.
Appreciation for and ability to lead effectively within a non-hierarchical, de-centralized and highly collaborative campus community. Good political acumen with a keen sense of how and when to engage the participation of different constituencies and the ability to build productive alliances. Skill in working with administrators, faculty, staff and students in a climate of openness and transparency, integrity, trust, mutual respect and collaborative problem solving.
Understanding of and commitment to the academic, research and service missions of a residential public university and to enhancing the quality of student learning at the graduate, undergraduate and professional levels.
Strong interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence; sensitivity to individuals and ability to work effectively with and understand the interests of students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds.
Outstanding oral and written communications skills. Ability to transform ambiguity into clarity; to articulate student and campus needs with persuasion and conviction; and to represent Student Life to the university and the university to the external world. Excellent listening skills; capacity and willingness to engage in intellectual debate and discussion.
High degree of energy, initiative and organization. Self-confident, creative and willing to take risks and to pilot and evaluate new programs. Knowledge of national best practices in student life, including the ability to use research, data and assessment to guide decision-making.
Approachable, optimistic, intellectually curious with personal warmth, generosity of spirit, a can-do attitude, strong resilience in the face of criticism and a good sense of humor.
Ability to select, develop, motivate and win the respect and loyalty of staff; strong mentoring, coaching and team-building skills with proven success in developing professional staff and creating an effective team.
Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
Internal Number: 179577
About University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
A great university is made so by its faculty and staff, and Michigan is recognized as one of the best universities to work for in the country. The Michigan culture is known for engaging faculty and staff in all facets of the university to create a workplace that is vibrant and stimulating.For two consecutive years, the Chronicle of Higher Education has placed U-M in its "Great Colleges to Work For" survey. In particular, the university earns high marks for strong relations between faculty and administrators, a collaborative system of governance, strong pay and benefits, and a healthy work/life balance.