Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success

General Description:

The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success, working closely with campus chief academic and student affairs officers, serves on the University's leadership team, reporting directly to the Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer.  The Vice President oversees academic and student affairs for the UT system and serves as staff to the Academic Affairs and Student Success Committee of the UT Board of Trustees, the University Life Committee of the Board of Trustees and the Subcommittee on Nonacademic Programs.  The Vice President will serve as an institutional liaison with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Board of Education, the Southern Regional Education Board, the National Association of System Heads (NASH), the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA), the Tennessee Holocaust Commission and other locally governed institutions. 

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Vice President supports the development, approval and evaluation of all academic programs across system institutions; facilitates transfer and articulation policies and issues with the TBR institutions and among institutions of the system; coordinates approval of campus strategic plans and mission statements by the Board of Trustees; coordinates Reverse Transfer policy and processes statewide; chairs the statewide Articulation and Transfer Council; reviews and refines all faculty policies through the faculty handbooks, reviews tenure and promotion recommendations for approval of the Board of Trustees, proposes changes to Board policy when appropriate;  maintains an inventory of all academic programs system wide; reviews and refines all student policies effected by the Tennessee Uniform Procedures Act; works with system budget officers on fiscal notes on proposed legislation affecting faculty or students; ensures that campuses comply with legislative acts concerning faculty and/or students; is responsible for participation in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, which allows institutional members to offer distance education programs in other states; is responsible for participation in the Southern Regional Educational Board Academic Common Market; investigates student and faculty complaints and appeals; serves as Agency Head in Administrative Procedures Act hearings; assists in preparation for budget hearings with the governor and state legislature; works with institutional research personnel to provide data and information for the Board of Trustees and system leadership, particularly as they relate to program effectiveness and improving systems and services; works with Tennessee State Auditor on issues related to compliance with state laws and provides required reports to the state legislature.

The Vice President mentors students pursuing careers in higher education; sponsors Lunch and Learn seminars for graduate students in higher education; sponsors and coordinates an annual Conference for High School Counselors; serves on the Diversity Advisory Council; serves as staff for and member of the University Faculty Council; appointed by Governor to serve on Tennessee Holocaust Commission; serves on the Statewide Information Technology group and chairs the Student Information Community of Practice; represents President on the Consortium for Cooperative Innovative Education; serves as a UT Strategic Plan Champion to enhance educational excellence and serves as Chair of the UT Press Editorial Board.  The UT Press reports to the Vice President.

The Vice President staffs the Academic Affairs and Student Success Committee of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and, as such, coordinates approval of the mission statements for each University campus and institute; the strategic and long-term academic plans; proposals for new academic programs and revisions of existing academic programs related to instruction, research and service; the establishment of new academic organizations such as major campuses, colleges and institutes; and the admission, progression and retention standards and initiatives designed to enhance these standards.  The Vice President further assists the Board with oversight of University policies and campus implementation procedures on Academic Freedom, Responsibility and Tenure and other faculty policies; and University Rules concerning student conduct, rights and responsibilities required to be promulgated under the Tennessee Uniform Procedures Act, as well as implementation of the campus Student Handbooks.


 The Vice President works with institutional research personnel to provide data and information for use in assessing program effectiveness, improving programs and fulfilling reporting requirements. He/she will be expected to develop a working relationship with campus contacts who are responsible for coordinating each institution’s compliance with accrediting standards set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and will serve as the System’s primary liaison to the campuses on matters of institutional accreditation. He/she will also advise academic administrators on matters related to College and departmental accreditation as needed.

As a member of the President’s Administrative Council, the VPAA/SS meets regularly with other senior system and campus leaders and is responsible for keeping System leadership apprised on all issues that impact overall academic and student success across UT. The VP is expected to develop and maintain collegial and productive working relationships with their UT System colleagues and the chief academic officers of each campus, with a focus on helping the System achieve its overall mission to educate, discover and connect. From time to time, the VPAA/SS will be expected to provide System-wide data related to UT’s academic/student affairs operations and may be called upon to give relevant testimony at legislative hearings or provide support to the President in responding to stakeholder concerns related to matters within the Vice President’s purview.

Required Qualifications:

Requires Ph.D. or appropriate terminal degree in an appropriate field.


Ten years of progressively responsible administrative experience is required, preferably in a multi-campus university system, a large comprehensive university campus, or other complex organization with a focus on higher education.  Demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement of teaching and learning, both in the classroom and through extracurricular programs.   


The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success will have significant knowledge and understanding of higher education.  Specific skills include:  

  • demonstrated leadership skills and abilities.
  • commitment to quality and integrity.
  • demonstrated experience and achievements with strategic planning and goal achievement.
  • understanding of and appreciation for system and campus governance.
  • familiarity with regional, college and departmental accreditation processes.
  • expertise and achievements in developing/implementing processes and plans for institutional effectiveness.
  • in-depth knowledge of education policy, research and practice.
  • exceptional skills in communications and interpersonal relations.
  • experience and success in securing and managing grants and contracts.
  • demonstrated effective budgeting skills and experience.
  • understanding of and commitment to diversity.
  • ability and willingness to delegate effectively and to hold direct reports accountable.
  • skilled decision-maker, with transparency in decision-making and management.
  • excellent oral, written and presentation skills; exceptional listening skills.
  • ability to multi-task; willingness and ability to travel frequently.
  • ability to work effectively with various audiences (faculty, students, legislators, administrators, parents).


The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success will exhibit qualities of emotional maturity, genuineness, self-confidence, collegiality, common sense, judgment, fairness, creativity, discretion, decisiveness, political savvy, diplomacy, tact, resiliency, adaptability, courage of convictions and tolerance for ambiguity.  Demonstrated behavioral expectations include:

  • unquestioned integrity and trustworthiness.
  • commitment to the System’s mission and strategic plan, as well as missions and strategic plans for each campus/institute.
  • ability to make good, consistent and fair decisions (based on fact and data).
  • ability to work with cross-functional teams and to foster teamwork.

To Apply:

For full consideration, candidates should submit materials by May 4, 2017. To access the online application, please visit: