The provost’s overarching priority will be to continue the transformative change in support of the university’s values and the commitment to excellence in research, teaching, and clinical training. Key to the Provost’s success will be their ability to authentically articulate commitment to equity and inclusion by their actions.
As an advocate and strategist for academic excellence, the provost will engage the best thinking at PAU in the planning required to evolve PAU’s academic profile and standing. They will introduce improvements in a well-planned and predictable way to continually enhance PAU’s academic achievements, ensuring the policies and processes used for setting academic standards are fair, consistently implemented, and adhere to best practices for universities.
The provost working in collaboration with the academic departments and the director of institutional effectiveness will continue the strong record of professional accreditation and finalize implementation of a regularized external program review process by disciplinary peers.
In collaboration with the faculty, the provost will revise and develop new academic programs that situate PAU in the forefront of its fields; will enhance PAU’s research identity, and create the best possible environment and support infrastructure for faculty and students to advance knowledge; and, will encourage and facilitate original research at the highest level.
The provost will work closely with the director of PAU’s teaching and learning center (the Center for Excellence in Education), and the faculty director for equity and inclusion to continue to encourage and facilitate a deeper understanding of inclusive excellence in education and the adoption of a reflective pedagogical stance through an ongoing evaluation of the teaching/learning experience from the perspectives of both faculty and students.
The provost will work in partnership with the faculty to advance funding for faculty research, and student research opportunities. Additionally, the Provost will work closely with the director of development to define their role in fund development activities for academic programs, research and evaluation.
The provost will work in partnership with the Dean of Students and Office of Student Affairs to continue to clarify and refine policies and practices for a proactive academic support system and to coordinate shared programs.
During the past two years, significant organizational structure has been put in place: the six academic programs have been organized into two academic departments (Counseling and Psychology); the Faculty Handbook was significantly revised; full-time faculty were given an opportunity to convert their type of appointment to better reflect their professional contributions; the pilot of a unified faculty salary scale was launched; and departmental-level review in faculty evaluation process has resulted in greater clarity, consistency and equity between departments. The provost will need to solidify the incorporation of consistent, equitable, inclusive practices in faculty and staff search and evaluation, teaching and advising, and in the clinical supervision of students.
The provost will be responsible for the stewardship of the divisions’ resources, and continue to formulate and administer all processes and procedures related to administration of academic affairs and to ensure that the infrastructure supports the mission and strategic direction of the university.
The provost will take a deep dive into enrollment to understand how PAU attracts students, and use data to influence academic program development priorities that may be more compatible with students’ interests, and to identify new ways to attract students who want to make a positive impact on the world. The provost will work closely with the admissions team, faculty, and others to address enrollment in the undergraduate program and to set realistic stretch goals, revisit criteria for admissions to graduate programs, and ensure the admissions team has the resources its needs to best serve all PAU programs.
The provost will review the faculty appointment plan with a keen eye toward mentoring department chairs, succession planning, and recruiting and developing a faculty and staff that better reflect the demographics of the students we serve.
The provost will meet periodically with the Faculty Senate in order to maintain regular communication and will work in partnership on matters of shared interests and shared governance.
The provost will be encouraged to work collaboratively with the Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies to leverage PAU’s ability to offer evidence-based, high level professional training with the expertise of the faculty to expand the ongoing professional development offerings to the field and build partnerships around curriculum development.
The provost will work closely with the vice president for institutional effectiveness, analysis and planning who currently provides oversight and supervision of the Gronowski training clinic and the university-wide clinical training committee.
The provost, along with the dean of students, serves as the administration’s co-liaison to the Academic and Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, and in collaboration with the president plays a key role in building relationships with the Board.
As a tuition-dependent university, PAU raises additional funds to invest in and sustain academic programs. The provost will work in collaboration with the vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer to build on the president’s success of investing in programs while finding efficiencies to shape and manage the overall budget for academic functions. The provost will participate in responsible allocation of financial resources that effectively advances the mission of PAU.
The provost will create an environment that inspires and assists faculty, staff and students to seek external funds to support research and programs, and provide a centralized support function for grants and contracts aligned with best practices.
In collaboration with the president and the vice president for external affairs, the provost will serve as a persuasive spokesperson on behalf of PAU and will represent the institution to a broad range of constituencies, including other universities and colleges, current and prospective faculty, students, parents and alumni, partner institutions, and members of a broad local and national community. In particular, they will cultivate strong and supportive relationships internally and externally, and a desire among academic leaders, researchers, faculty and funders to be closely connected with PAU. The provost will participate in the coordination of external communications with their colleagues in external affairs, including continual updates to the web-based articulation of PAU’s academic programming, research and accomplishments.
The ideal candidate will have the following range of experience and qualifications:
LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE & EDUCATION:
A demonstrated record of progressive administrative and academic leadership responsibilities, preferably as a head of an academic unit or division in a university, college or associated institution that is known for innovation, quality education and important research contributions; strong experience in evolving academic standards and accelerating change that measurably elevates the academic stature of institutions; experience with academic programs that lead to professional licensure desirable.
Experience working collaboratively in an environment of shared governance; a demonstrated ability to forge mutually respectful relationships across disciplines and facilitate strong partnerships among academic programs and other divisions of the university, their faculty and students and community constituents.
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 research revenue and expense models would be a distinct advantage.
Strong experience in inclusive search practices, developing, retaining and leading a diverse group of faculty and researchers that 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 and researcher is important.
Experience leveraging resources and partnerships as a means to invest in research, and to connect the public to the world of intellectual exploration.
An earned doctorate in an area of academic emphasis broadly relating to the fields of counseling and psychology, and an academic record sufficient to be granted the rank of Professor (and tenure) in one of the university's academic departments. Demonstrated work, research, writing or activities pertaining to systemic disadvantages and microaggressions, racially inclusive research and instituting inclusive research practices, intersectionality, cultural competency, and other related areas is desired.
SKILLS & APTITUDE:
A decisive individual with a strong belief in the mission of Palo Alto University, and a commitment to continuous, measurable improvements to PAU’s academic programs, research, faculty reputation and student achievement.
An ability to motivate others to change embedded structures and behaviors enabling better collaboration and systems; experience in developing constituents and support among people with different priorities; an understanding of the tools required to encourage and manage institutional change, including: execution of strategic plans, identification and implementation of best practices, implementation of incentive and reward programs; experience working in an shared-governance environment would be an advantage.
Outstanding oral and written communication skills, including the means to address issues clearly and in non-confrontational and non-polarizing ways to a range of diverse audiences, but nevertheless with determination.
Ability to interpret and implement effective budgeting and fiscal management.
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 reshape ambiguous situations so that concrete action can be taken.
A charismatic communicator, able to build enthusiasm for PAU and its programs; a person who advocates for PAU’s academic reputation, including among donors; a “doer” with a willingness to work hands-on in developing and executing a variety of activities to strengthen PAU and in the process engage others in those activities.
Emotionally mature with a good sense of humor and the flexibility and sensitivity to work with diverse personalities and situations.
About Palo Alto University
PAU is a private, nonprofit university with a sole focus on psychology and counseling. Our mission is to improve the human condition through the promotion of research, education, and practice in the field of psychology. We encourage our students to strive for excellence as innovative professionals and community leaders.