- College of Wooster
- Wooster, OH
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Closes: Open Until Filled
Job Type:Full Time
About The College of Wooster:
Wooster offers an excellent, comprehensive liberal arts education, culminating in a rigorous senior project, in which each student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor to conceive, organize and complete a significant research project on a topic of the student's own choosing. Through this distinctive program, every Wooster student develops abilities valued by employers and graduate schools alike: independent judgment, analytical ability, creativity, project-management and time-management skills, and strong written and oral communication skills. Founded in 1866, the college enrolls approximately 2,000 students.
The College offers a comprehensive benefits program that includes: Health, Dental, Retirement, and Tuition Remission.
The College of Wooster, a highly selective, residential, liberal arts college located one hour from Cleveland, OH, announces a national search for the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (AVP). Reporting to the Vice President and Dean of Students, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs is a key leadership member of the division and responsible for providing effective leadership, direction, and project management for the Division of Student Affairs.
The College of Wooster provides an engaging, expansive educational experience to diverse, talented, intellectually sophisticated students who are capable of challenging themselves and engaging in the College's signature program, an intensive senior year mentored undergraduate research project. With an undergraduate enrollment of roughly 2000, and a full-time faculty of 170, Wooster has the advantage of size and scale to maximize the benefits of a closely knit community of students, faculty, and staff. 18% of Wooster students come from 65 different countries, 26% are US students of color and 25% are Pell eligible.
The AVP will be an experienced leader who brings to the College deep knowledge of current thinking in student affairs and a strong belief in the essential link between diversity, equity, inclusiveness and excellence. The successful candidate will be a partner with the Vice President and Dean of Students to take pride in the professional delivery of student services, have excellent management skills, champion professional development opportunities for staff, and demonstrate a commitment to building partnerships across the campus with faculty and staff colleagues.
The AVP will be a skillful listener, a facilitator of campus wide conversations about the quality of student life, and a person who engenders trust through transparency in policy development and decision-making. With genuine fondness and respect for students and the desire to be a highly visible and engaged member of the Wooster community, the AVP will execute new possibilities for co-curricular life on campus. The College of Wooster seeks candidates with significant leadership experience at a residential college or university.
Finally, the Associate Vice President will provide leadership and direction with direct reports in the areas of: Residential Life, Lowry Center and Student Activities, Student Rights and Responsibilities and Class Deans within the Dean of Students' Office.
Opportunities and Expectations for Leadership
The College of Wooster recognizes the significant role a vibrant student affairs program can play in the overall success of the institution. Student thriving, engagement and connection are crucial to learning, growth, retention and preparation to make an impact after graduation; thus, the work of the division is a high institutional priority. The College's Strategic Plan, approved in 2019, has building a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive community as its first priority. Many on campus agree that the student affairs program has great potential to be strengthened into a highly functioning unit the quality and productivity of which is commensurate with that of the academic program. The AVP will create opportunities for campus-wide conversation on key student life issues and will put effort and energy behind improving those areas that do not appear to be advancing the student experience. In partnership with the Vice President/Dean of Students, the new AVP will have the opportunity to consider all aspects of the existing program and, in close collaboration with students, faculty, and staff, determine the best structure, programs, supervisory relationships, and team to achieve the goals and a robust retention plan.
Specific challenges and opportunities include the following:
Reenergize campus engagement: Like most campuses, Wooster recognizes the need to create a vibrant, healthy, campus-based social life for its wholly residential population. There is work to be done in this important area, particularly as we re-engage students after the impacts of the pandemic. The AVP will be expected take a comprehensive look at the issue of campus social life as we look to launch a new student center and create a robust sense of belonging among all students. Wooster students are committed, opinionated, and ready to engage with the AVP and others on this issue and to work collaboratively with students and student organizations on a new model for campus engagement.
Commitment to diversity: The College of Wooster has a proud tradition of attracting and educating a broadly diverse student body and of celebrating the essential link between diversity and excellence. The community greatly values diversity in all of its forms: by race, gender expression; religion; socio-economic status; and sexual orientation. Pronoun preference in the classroom, in administrative functions, and in informal discourse is a routine part of conversation on campus. The AVP will be an amplified voice of diversity efforts and will demonstrate a commitment to continuing to advance diversity initiatives on a campus already far ahead of many in this critical area. The successful candidate will have demonstrated success in supporting the thriving and growth of a diverse and international student body. Read more about the College's plan.
A Sharp Strategic Focus Demonstrating a strong commitment to shared governance across various constituencies, the College practices strategic planning as an on-going process, rather than a once-every-few-years event. Integral to the success of this process was the creation (2015) of the faculty/staff Strategic Planning and Priorities Advisory Committee (SPPAC). Three objectives guide the work of the president, the board of trustees, SPPAC, and other constituencies:
- To fulfill our educational purpose with distinction.
- To strengthen the foundations of our college.
- To sustain our momentum by developing a campus-wide culture of planning that influences all decision-making, resource allocation, and assessment efforts.
Under the leadership of President Sarah Bolton, Wooster's Connect, Create, Discover Strategic Plan, has four areas of focus.
- Vibrant Community
- Diversity, internationality, equity and Inclusion
- Academic Excellence and Innovation
- Connected Learning
The AVP will have an opportunity to play a major role in advancing these priorities and areas of focus, particularly in the area of Team-Based Mentoring for students.
More information about the strategic plan can be found here:
Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities: The successful candidate will be an innovative, open, and persuasive leader. She or he will be a skilled collaborator with a deep appreciation for excellence in education and the networking and entrepreneurial skills required to work successfully with a wide range of individuals and constituencies across multiple organizations. He or she will demonstrate the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:
Excellence in Student Affairs Division: The College of Wooster expects that the AVP will bring a deep background and experience in student affairs; an appreciation for the culture of a private, liberal arts, residential undergraduate college; and enthusiasm for student affairs work that is done in close collaboration with students and faculty. Leadership by example will be important for success. Transparency in decision-making and the clear communication of professional standards will be essential to building trust.
High Visibility Role: The College of Wooster seeks an AVP who is actively engaged with students and is genuine about getting to know them personally. The AVP will be expected to build relationships and interact positively with a wide variety of constituents - students, alumni, administrative colleagues, faculty, parents of current and prospective students, and the broader Wooster community. The college community seeks an AVP who is enthusiastic about living in the local area and engaging in the informal life of the College as well as being part of an on-call rotation to respond quickly in the case of a campus emergency.
Managerial Skills and Experience: The AVP's success in managing complex projects, groups, and organizations is essential. Managerial skills should include an ability to work effectively with senior-level colleagues, plan and organize work, engage and motivate staff, collaborate effectively across divisions, and make and communicate difficult decisions, when necessary.
Represent the Interests of Students: The College of Wooster takes pride in its students and the AVP must have the ability to articulate student views, to understand and appreciate the student culture, and to apply student development theory to the advancement of the student affairs division. The AVP must be willing to advocate strongly for necessary resources to support the student experience.
Supervision and Mentoring: The AVP will join a staff dedicated to the College's mission with the aspiration to become an even more successful entity. The AVP will lead the staff to pursue goals individually and as a team in a clear and purposeful way. The AVP will demonstrate a commitment to supervision and mentoring of a talented staff and show evidence of a commitment to her/his own ongoing professional development. Some staff members feel that the investment in professional development opportunities for the student affairs staff has been insufficient. Wooster seeks an AVP with a commitment to professional development for all levels of staff.
Academic and Professional Background: A Master's degree is required along with a depth of experience. The ideal candidate will have at least 10 years of professional experience in higher education, including work with student affairs administration, policies, and services preferably in a small, residential, liberal arts environment and have served in progressively more complex supervisory and administrative positions.
The College of Wooster does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex/gender, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, political affiliation, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin (including ancestry), citizenship status, disability, age, marital status, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, veteran or military status, predisposing genetic characteristics, domestic violence victim status, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy, or by state, local, or federal law. All offers of employment are subject to verification of the legal right to work in the United States as required by federal law. The College of Wooster is committed by policy and practice to diversity, equity and inclusion. For more information on our nondiscrimination policy visit: https://www.wooster.edu/info/nondiscrimination
For highest consideration please submit a resume, cover letter, and a list of 3 professional references which includes name, telephone number and email address.
To apply, visit https://wooster.interviewexchange.com/jobofferdetails.jsp?JOBID=128293&CNTRNO=0&TSTMP=0
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