Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty

Whittier College announces a national search for an experienced, innovative, collaborative and visionary Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty (VPAA/DOF).

Whittier is a four-year liberal arts institution inspired by a Quaker heritage that prepares students to be active citizens and effective communicators who embrace diversity and act with integrity. While non-denominational since the 1940s, Whittier takes pride in the social values of its Quaker heritage – respect for the individual, freedom of conscience, integrity, justice, service and internationalism.

Whittier enrolls approximately 1,670 undergraduates and 73 graduate students and offers over 30 majors in 23 disciplines leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree including business, political science, psychology, English and biology. In 2019, Whittier granted 382 degrees, 362 of which were at the undergraduate level. Additionally, the College’s long-standing graduate program in education offers both credential and Master of Arts in education degree programs that further the institution's tradition of excellence in the preparation of teachers. Broadoaks Children's School – a private, non-profit demonstration school on the Whittier campus – serves as a learning laboratory for Whittier faculty and students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Whittier is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and its graduation rate for Latino students is among the best in the nation. In addition, the College qualifies for the designation of an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). The Western Association for Schools and Colleges (WASC), when reaffirming accreditation, observed that "Learning outcomes have been established, and evidence has been collected on how students experience diversity on campus. The Commission joins the team in commending Whittier for providing a full and rich experience in the classroom, in co-curricular activities, in the living environment and in field experiences with respect to culture and diversity."

The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty reports directly to the President and manages seventeen direct reports overseeing the divisions of Academic Planning and International Study, Faculty Development, First-Year Programs, Institutional Research and Assessment, and Academic Support, as well the Library, Information Technology, the Writing Program, the Whittier Scholars Program, the Center for Engagement with Communities, Title V, Disabilities Services, Registrar and the Broadoaks Children’s School. 

The next Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty will have an exceptional leadership opportunity to partner with faculty to shape a new and dynamic academic vision for the College. As the chief academic officer of a vibrant and diverse private liberal arts college with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary and experiential learning, service and leadership, the VPAA/DOF will drive teaching, learning and innovation in an effort to prepare a multicultural student body for future leadership opportunities that make a positive impact on society and the world. The next VPAA/DOF will collaborate with the President, senior leadership, the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students to develop a shared academic vision that is in synergy with the current ongoing development of the College’s strategic plan and curriculum visioning exercise. The VPAA/DOF will have the opportunity to leverage Whittier’s unique identity as one of the most diverse four-year liberal arts institutions in the country, and position it as a national model for the future.

As one academic voice of many, the VPAA/DOF will be responsible for supporting the development and implementation of a new curriculum; advocating on behalf of a committed and dedicated faculty while considering the strategic objectives and vision of the president and Board; focusing on student success and outcomes of a student body that is overwhelmingly students of color; demonstrating actions and behaviors that make diversity and inclusion a high priority; supporting a culture of partnership, teamwork and collaboration in a consensus-driven decision-making environment; and maintaining a deep knowledge and understanding of current higher education trends and the future of private liberal arts education.

The incoming Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty should be an inspirational, entrepreneurial leader and an active listener with the ability to work productively across campus with faculty, staff, administrators and students. The VPAA/DOF should have an impressive track record of leadership experience within a private liberal arts institution or equivalent organizational environment. A background in the areas of finance and budget management, curriculum review and implementation, building strong, collaborative and productive relationships with both internal and external constituent groups, and working across divisions to support teaching, research and service is preferred. Finally, success in this role requires a clear understanding of, affinity for and commitment to the mission of Whittier College. For more information, please visit

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by November 27. Candidates should provide, as three separate documents, a curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the leadership profile, and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. These materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to the Whittier College’s consultants Zachary A. Smith, Ph.D. and Alejandra Gillette-Teran at Documents that must be mailed may be sent to WittKieffer, 2015 Spring Road, Suite 510, Oak Brook, IL 60523. The consultants can be reached through the office of Hillary Hmura at 630-575-6959.

Whittier College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against employees or applicants because of race, religion creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, or sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by State or Federal Law.