Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Washington State University

Search for the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Pullman, Washington

Washington State University (WSU), a distinguished and comprehensive public research university with multiple campuses, seeks a collaborative and experienced student affairs professional to serve as its next Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (Dean of Students). Reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Dean of Students will provide visionary leadership within the Division of Student Affairs and serve as an ambassador and advocate for students within and beyond the University community. With a recent reorganization of the Division, the Dean of Students will be well positioned to be a leader for campus-wide transformational change in addressing how WSU supports its ever evolving, and increasingly diverse, student population and pioneering a new era for student affairs and student success at WSU. The Dean of Students will oversee Campus (residential) Life, Student Conduct, the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Student Assistance (crisis management), which allows for the remarkable opportunity to think expansively about strategic partnerships within the Division of Student Affairs and across the campuses while also serving as an influential leader in the creation of innovative and holistic processes and policies to support a transformative student experience.

Founded in 1890 in Pullman, WSU is Washington’s land-grant university. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for all citizens – locally, nationally, and globally. WSU is committed to innovation and excellence in research and scholarship. Over 30,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and approximately 6,500 faculty and staff are located on WSU’s five campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and Everett), online through its Global Campus, in Extension offices in each of the state’s 39 counties, and regionally based Research and Extension Centers in the state’s key agricultural areas. WSU offers 95 academic majors for undergraduates, 78 master’s degree programs, and 61 doctoral degree programs, as well as professional degree programs in medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine and pharmacy.

This is an exciting time to join WSU under the strategic and forward-looking leadership of President Kirk Schulz, who came to WSU in June 2016 as the university’s 11th President, and the Vice President for Student Affairs, Mary Jo Gonzales, a highly energetic and accomplished Student Affairs leader who was recently named as one of the 2018 Pillars of the Profession by the NASPA Foundation, a distinguished award for leaders, teachers, and scholars in student affairs and higher education. Shortly after arriving at WSU, President Schulz announced the “Drive to 25” that calls for WSU to become one of the nation’s top 25 public research universities, preeminent in research and discovery, teaching, and engagement by 2030. The Division of Student Affairs will play a very significant role in accomplishing that goal, as it touches eight of the eleven metrics, with student success as a resounding theme (see To best prepare the Division for these endeavors, Vice President Gonzales recently realigned the Division of Student Affairs to be better poised to deliver on the university’s commitment to providing a transformational experience to an increasingly diverse student body and serving as a cutting-edge model for student affairs. The Dean of Students will oversee one of the four pillars in the new Student Affairs organization: Community, Equity, and Inclusive Excellence; Student Engagement; Finance and Operations; and Campus Life. Searches were conducted for AVPs for two of these pillars last academic year, and these new AVPs will join WSU this summer.

The Dean of Students will join the campus community at a time of great change and innovation which will lead to a more holistic and transformational student experience. The Dean of Students will have the opportunity to collaborate with a deeply committed student affairs team to create strategies that leverage the many facets of the Division and partners across the University, including those in academic affairs, to optimize student success. The Dean of Students will be the first line of contact for all students to direct them to the appropriate resources within the Division and will be expected to keep a pulse on the student body, undergraduate, graduate, and professional, to ensure a proactive approach to student wellbeing. To be successful in these efforts, it will be important for the Dean of Students to be seen as a strong and highly approachable advocate for students, engaging students in decision making whenever possible, and to have a high level of visibility throughout the University and in the community built on mutual trust from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners. The Dean of Students will also be expected to address the following key opportunities and challenges to deliver a transformative student experience:

  • Reimagine the Dean of Students role to meet the needs for the students of the future;
  • Be a highly visible advocate, champion, and partner for all students in creating a transformative student experience;
  • Implement and manage a new holistic student conduct and community standards process;
  • Lead campus-wide student crisis management;
  • Advance Campus Life, enhance related student life programs (including fraternity, sorority and residential life) and ensure their integration across the university; and
  • Create, develop, and inspire a united team.

Washington State University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more details, including the full position profile and complete list of the desired qualifications, and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website: Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Julie Filizetti, Lindsay Gold, and Camille Sheffield

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA  94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

Fax: 415.655.4905

Washington State University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action educator and employer. Members of ethnic minorities, women, specially disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam-era, recently-separated veterans, and other protected veterans, persons of disability, and/or persons age 40 and over are encouraged to apply.