The Vice President for Student Development is a visible and accessible leader on campus and in the local community. Reporting directly to President Adam Weinberg, the Vice President serves as a collaborative and engaged member of the senior leadership team.
The senior staff at Denison work closely without silos between divisions and enjoy genuine camaraderie.
The Vice President of Student Development will staff and work with the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees and lead a division of more than 80 full- and part-time professional staff and more than 100 student employees with an operating budget set at $5 million. The VPSD also has oversight of gifts and endowed funds of $14 million as well as housing renovation expenditures around $57 million. Denison's student development staff are experienced professionals who regularly work across departmental boundaries to support individual students and to ensure that Denison programs are at the leading edge of the student development field.
The vice president has a leadership team of six direct reports including the Assistant Vice President of Student Development; Directors of Wellness and Campus Safety; and the Dean of Students, First-Year Students, and Leadership and Community Engagement. The Vice President also maintains active working relationships with community partners and local authorities.
Essential Job Functions:
The next vice president will be responsible for envisioning and implementing progressive strategies and operations that support Denison's mission and its commitment to student learning and development in a positive, healthy, and safe campus environment. The Division of Student Development has a longstanding and valued partnership with Denison's Academic Division and faculty. As a result of a shared commitment to students and aligned student development and academic missions, Denison students successfully integrate their acadmic, co-curricular and extracurricular experiences.
With this in mind, the next vice president will engage the Denison community to address the following opportunities and challenges:
Ensuring Excellence and Innovation: The next vice president will bring a fresh perspective to the office of Student Development. He/she/they will evaluate the division's structure, operations, programs and proceses and help seek best-practice improvements. The VPSD will also foster collaboration among the many offices and programs that report to the vice president and proactively seek opportunities to work across divisional lines.
Attracting, Mentoring, and Retaining the Division's Outstanding Staff: The next vice president will have the opportunity to enact strategic priorities across a well-respected division that provides a broad range of programs and services. From health and wellness to student activities, with support for a diverse student body, the vice president will need to skillfully attract, mentor, retain, lead, and develop a competent and diverse staff, providing opportunities to grow professionally and offer best-in-class student development practices.
Oversee the Continued Development of Campus and Residential Life: To ensure that building, grounds, and facilities are maintained at the highest level, Denison has made strategic investments in its physical plant. The University has a five-year plan to make upgrades to all residence halls to enhance the fully residential experience and, in 2020, will open a new hall providing apartment-style living options for Denison seniors. The University will also break ground soon on a new wellness center that will be situated at the heart of campus, allowing the next vice president an opportunity to shape best practices in regard to health and wellness. The vice president will also continue to develop strategies, processes and programs that help ensure Denison's campus life and spaces are vibrant, safe and accommodating – a campus where students love to live and thrive together.
Promoting Inclusion, Community, Discourse, and Transparency: The vice president must enhance existing strategies and continue to provide opportunities for creating a campus community that allows students of all races, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, sexualities, abilities, religions, and differing political perspectives, among other identities, to feel fully engaged in the Denison student experience. Critical to this is ensuring that Denison remains a living-learning environment sensitive to the needs of both the individual and the collective good of the Denison community, one in which the principles of human dignity and ethical integrity are paramount.
Denison seeks an experienced, strategic, and innovative leader with the highest standards of integrity and attention to detail. Strong candidates will have outstanding communication, leadership, and crisis management skills; a deep commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community; and a collaborative nature and willingness to build professional relationships with students, parents, faculty, staff, and alumni. The position requires the ability to make and communicate difficult decisions in a clear and effective manner; to use outstanding judgment and set an example for others to follow; and, to create a culture of respectful and thoughtful discourse and debate. The next Vice President will:
Uphold the division of Student Development's mission to challenge students to both act and reflect, to respect self and others, and to apply their education and talents for the good of local and global communities;
Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning, student outcomes and the value of a liberal arts education by actively promoting and maintaining connections between Student Development and the Faculty/Academic division of the university;
Express dedication to solving issues relating to diversity and inclusion and a history that illustrates progressive advancement of these issues in a campus environment;
Have proven capability to communicate effectively with respective constituents under different circumstances with the capacity to listen;
Have in-depth knowledge of national best practices around important student issues in areas such as health and wellness, academic success, support for first-generation students, and managing residential student housing.
Lead, inspire, mentor, and represent a large division and collaborate with a range of constituencies to advance the overall Denison student experience;
Possess outstanding and effective communication skills that place value on honest, transparent, and direct communication with all constituencies, including students, college leadership, colleagues, and the broader Denison community;
Should be familiar with student development data and the implementation of policy changes that is data driven;
Exhibit a deep passion for student life and the holistic student experience;
Show an ability and desire to foster a culture of thoughtful and respectful discourse and debate about challenging issues and ideas;
Think strategically as part of the senior team and as the leader of student development;
Demonstrate an ability to manage budgets and make strategic financial decisions;
Understand complex legal regulations that may impact student development decisions or approaches to addressing student concerns; and,
Be a forward thinker who is approachable, a great listener, and a collaborative partner.
Please see Minimum Qualifications stated above.
To achieve our mission as a liberal arts college, we continually strive to foster a diverse campus community, which recognizes the value of all persons regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socio-economic background. For additional information and resources about diversity at Denison, please see our Diversity Guide. Denison University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Background Check Statement:
The final candidate will undergo a background check as a conditional offer of employment.
Internal Number: 2632
About Denison University
Denison University is an academically rigorous liberal arts college with a diverse campus community. It offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package. Denison is located in the village of Granville, 25 minutes from Columbus Ohio, the state capital, which hosts a wide range of cultural and artistic opportunities. Granville also offers an excellent public school system and easy access to outdoor activities.