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Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

Job description

Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students


Rockford University (www.Rockford.edu) is accepting nominations and applications for the position of Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.  Reporting directly to the President, the Vice President is the Senior Student Affairs Officer of the institution and is a member of the President’s Executive Council. The Vice President provides vision, leadership and management oversight to student life programs and services including, at present, Residential Life, Student Activities, Career Services, Title IX and Compliance, Judicial Affairs, Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement, and Lang Center for Health, Wellness, Counseling & Disability Services. The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students should be an exceptional student advocate, facilitate and enhance communication between students and administration; expand opportunities for social interaction and student development; and ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws, city ordinances and Rockford University policies, while fostering a creative, vibrant, and inclusive student experience.  



  • Hire, train, supervise, and evaluate directors within Student Life including, at present, Director of Residence Life/Assistant Dean of Students, Career Services Director, Director for the Jane Adams Center for Civic Engagement (open), Title IX and Compliance Officer (open), Director of Student Activities, and Director of Lang Center for Health, Wellness, Counseling & Disability Services. 
  • Provide leadership and support to all professional, administrative, and student staff assigned to Student Life.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of a comprehensive, integrated student life program that is supported by a student life mission statement, department goals, and co-curricular learning goals.
  • Provide vision, leadership, and management oversight and evaluation for all student life programs and services.
  • Participate in and support ongoing efforts associated with University-wide retention efforts.
  • Participate in and support ongoing efforts associated with Behavioral Intervention Team.
  • Participate in and support ongoing efforts associated with compliance to Title IX; depending on background and experience, the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students may serve as the Title IX Officer.
  • Evaluate and advocate staffing needs.
  • Conduct regular meetings with student life directors as well as individual (area specific) meetings on a regular basis to provide support and keep an on-going pulse of projects, accomplishments, set backs, needs, and professional development.
  • Provide professional development opportunities to staff members.
  • Oversee all budgets within Student Life.
  • Provide articulation, advocacy, and problem resolution with students as they interact with each other, faculty, staff, the University, and the community.
  • Develop policies, programs, and services that minimize University liability in the areas of judicial affairs/student conduct, residence life, and campus activities.
  • Manage and maintain the Rockford University Student Handbook (convene regular reviews and recommend policy revisions to ensure that the University is in compliance with federal and state laws, city ordinances and legislation).
  • Oversee student discipline/adjudication and ensure that established judicial procedures are followed and due process is practiced. 
  • Appoint designated hearing officers and when necessary, advise hearing officers on questions and procedures.
  • Work closely with the Rockford University Chief of Police and Director of Residence Life to ensure consistency regarding policy implementation and enforcement. 
  • Work with the Emergency Response Committee to design and implement emergency protocols pertaining to campus life.
  • Respond to crisis situations/provide crisis intervention when necessary.
  • Work collaboratively with the University administration for long range planning including space needs, budgets, capital expenses, and facilities related to student life as well as enrollment and retention goals.
  • Represent Student Life at the Board of Trustees meetings as well as the Student Life Committee of the Board.
  • Provide regular updates/reports at Faculty Meetings (both written and verbal); and written updates to President.
  • Coordinate and compile End of Year Reports for all areas within Student Life. 
  • Represent Student Life by being a contributing member on several University committees such as Academic Standards, Admission and Retention, Enrollment Management, Emergency Response Committee, Behavioral Intervention Team.
  • Represent Student Life (and student development) to the campus community.
  • Ensure proper advising to Student Government and to all Rockford University clubs & organizations.
  • Oversee use of the Student Center.
  • Coordinate administration of student awards.
  • Any other reasonable requests by supervisor/administration to ensure the effective and efficient operation of Rockford University.

The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students is expected to consult and use information from professional associations such as American College Personnel Association (ACPA), National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), Association for Student Judicial Affairs (ASJA), and the American Counseling Association (ACA).


Position Requirements:

  • Experience - The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students should have a minimum of seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in higher education, with a minimum of five years’ experience in residence life, judicial programs, and crisis management. A master’s degree is required in Higher Education, Counseling, Student Personnel Services, or similar field; and experience with, and an understanding of, best practices at a private, residential, liberal arts 4-year campus. Doctorate preferred. 
  • Knowledge - Understanding of student development practice and theory. Strong organizational skills and attention to detail. Must have proven customer service orientation. Ability to multi-task and handle a fast paced environment is essential. Must be self-driven and a strong team player/leader. Finally, strong verbal and written communication skills are essential with a clear understanding of Title IX, FERPA, NCAA, federal and state laws, city ordinances, University policy and confidentiality.
  • Problem Solving – The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students must be detail orientated and possess strong leadership, judgment, managerial, organizational and interpersonal skills. Ability to evaluate situations and establish effective courses of action. (Emergency/Crisis and Discipline situations.)
  • Professionalism – The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students must be committed to the highest standard of professionalism, integrity, excellence and diversity.


About Rockford University:

Rockford University is a co-educational four-year private institution located in Rockford, Illinois. Chartered in 1847 as Rockford Female Seminary, the institution became Rockford College in 1892 and became fully co-educational in 1958. On July 1, 2013 the college transitioned to Rockford University. Rockford University is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. Named by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College and one of only 81 colleges in the nation as a "College with a Conscience,” the University currently serves approximately 1,300 full-and part-time students. The University is pleased to continue to grow its enrollment. Best known of the university's graduates is Jane Addams (1881), founder of Chicago's Hull-House and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (1931). The University educates men and women to lead responsible lives by means of a curriculum grounded in liberal arts learning and complemented and extended by professional and practical experience. Through the total academic and co-curricular experience, Rockford University strives to prepare students for fulfilling lives, careers, and participation in a modern and changing global society.  The University has approximately 80 majors, minors and concentrations, including the adult accelerated degree completion program for a B.S. in Management Studies. At the graduate level, degrees are extended to include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), and Master of Education (MEd).


Rockford is conveniently located in northern Illinois just 90 miles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago. Situated on a scenic riverfront, the City of Rockford is home to 150,000 people who enjoy a small-town atmosphere with the benefits of being part of a larger metropolitan population of 300,000.


Rockford University is being assisted by the partners of Hyatt - Fennell.  Nominations and application materials should be submitted via email to [email protected]. Please specify the position in the subject line.  Applications include a letter of interest, a current résumé/cv, and contact information for five professional references and should be submitted in separate documents. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should be submitted prior to March 23, 2018 to receive full consideration.  All applications and nominations will be considered highly confidential.


For more information contact:

Cheryl Hyatt  -  724-242-0476

[email protected]



Rockford University is an AA/EOE employer




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Job No:
Posted: 2/9/2018
Application Due: 4/10/2018
Work Type: