Assistant Vice President for Student Transitions

Troy, New York
May 01, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
Other Executive Administration, Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the nation’s oldest and among the top-ranked private, technological research universities, seeks a highly accomplished leader to serve as the Assistant Vice President for Student Transitions.

Rensselaer offers degrees from five schools: Engineering; Science; Architecture; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and, the Lally School of Management, as well as an interdisciplinary degree in Information Technology.  Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals around the world.   Rensselaer offers more than 145 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.  The university provides rigorous, engaging, interactive learning environments and campus-wide opportunities for leadership, collaboration and creativity.

The University currently enrolls 5,539 undergraduates and 1,166 graduate students in residential programs.  Also, Rensselaer enrolls graduate students in engineering science and management programs at Rensselaer at Hartford.

The mission of the Student Life Division supports Rensselaer’s over-arching goal to achieve greater prominence in the 21st century as a top-tier world class technological research university with global reach and global impact. In accordance with the Rensselaer Plan 2024, Student Life will endeavor to produce students who graduate with intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication and a global view. Therefore, Student Life will support and assist students in achieving personal and academic success as members of groups and communities help create enthusiastic alumni/alumnae, and help Rensselaer to educate the leaders of tomorrow.

With this mission, and an ongoing commitment to meeting the goals and priorities outlined within the Rensselaer Plan 2024, one of the institute’s highest priorities is CLASS (Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students), which is designed to provide support and co-curricular opportunities for students throughout their undergraduate years. Through CLASS students are connected to a network of faculty, staff, and other students who lend support and guidance and help to build a strong community of learners as they strive to become the leaders of tomorrow.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

About the Position

The Assistant Vice President for Student Transitions is a newly created position resulting from a reorganization of the Student Life Division. The Assistant Vice President will provide leadership for CLASS, the transformative Rensselaer student experience, which begins with the First-Year Experience and continues with developmentally appropriate activities throughout the student’s collegiate years, culminating in graduation and beyond Rensselaer.  Through ongoing support, guidance and co-curricular activities, CLASS connects students to a network of faculty, staff, and other students, guiding both their individual growth and development and their place within a strong community of learners.  The position reports to the Vice President for Student Life and represents a substantial opportunity to affect individual student growth and institutional culture. 

The Successful Candidate

The successful candidate must possess a thorough knowledge of student development theories and their application to students at a highly selective technological research university.  As a member of the Student Life leadership team, he/she must possess the requisite skills to actively promote CLASS and assume responsibility and accountability for its functions, e.g., Pipeline Initiatives, Transfer and Transition Services, Office of the Registrar, the Summer Arch program which adds flexibility for student scholarly discovery and the Center for Career and Professional Development.

He/she must have demonstrated knowledge of the federal and state protocols and practices related to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and compliance areas related to student affairs, e.g., the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Additionally, the successful candidate must have experience in analyzing data, preparing reports and recommending strategies, particularly as this experience applies to finance, assessment, and goal achievement.

The Vice President of Student Life will rely on the Assistant Vice President in numerous key areas, among them: development of the annual Student Life Performance Plan and the performance-based budget; alignment of the Student Transition portfolio with the goals of the Rensselaer Plan 2024; oversight of all human resource functions within the Student Transitions portfolio; development (with Institute Advancement) of proposals for external funding to support students and address needs based on current issues and emerging trends in higher education. 

The successful candidate will possess a Master’s degree in higher education administration, student personnel or a related field and will have minimally eight (8) years of progressively responsible student affairs experience including service at the Director or Dean level. Excellent written and oral communication skills are required as well. 

How to Apply

Interested candidates should send a letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position, and listing email addresses and phone numbers for five references.  The application packet should be sent electronically to  The subject line in the email should be AVPSTRPI. Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Megan Spelman, CEO at or at 585-366-4329.

Confidentiality will be maintained, and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge or approval of the candidate. Applications are being reviewed as submitted.

Rensselaer has a strong institutional commitment to diversity and is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. As such, the Institute welcomes applicants who will bring a diverse intellectual, geographical, gender, and ethnic perspectives to the Rensselaer community.