Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (R-0983)

Job description

Fort Hays State University seeks applications and nominations for the position of Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. A successful candidate will be an ethical and experienced academic leader who as Chief Academic Officer will join the executive leadership team and, together with the faculty, guide the University to advance FHSU’s 116-year legacy of success.

Desired candidates will respect the culture and history of this student-centered institution, and if selected to serve as Provost must understand the full spectrum of the work of faculty:  the practice of great teaching, advising, supervision, and librarianship; the impact of research on the education of our students; and the role of professional service. Personal and professional qualities will have equal weight in that character, integrity, a principled approach to work, and professional philosophies must be consistent with the University’s history, traditions, aspirations, and leadership. The Provost must have the diplomacy and skill to effectively work across the organizational structure to ensure daily operations and to coordinate a unifying vision of the future, which requires progressive perspectives and an appreciation for the diversity of academic approaches offered by the University (e.g. international education, distance learning, K–12 partnerships, etc.).

The successful candidate will have a passion and respect for shared governance and collaboration, be a strong team player and advocate for academic faculty and staff, appreciate accountability, and will utilize data to inform decisions and measure success. The successful candidate will also fully understand the fiduciary responsibilities beyond financial goals, untethered from specific portfolios/ideals, as expressed through these legal concepts:

  • Duty of Obedience: faithful to the organization’s mission and goals,
  • Duty of Loyalty: act in good faith and never allow personal interests to prevail over the interests of the organization; to avoid conflicts of interest, and
  • Duty of Care: diligent and prudent management of organizational affairs; due diligence in decision making.

The Provost will build academic and community partnerships and collaborate for the well-being of the University, higher education, and the state of Kansas.


  • Earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Earned tenure and/or promotion at a regionally accredited institution
  • Has held an administrative position within the academic affairs division of an institution

Academic Background: A record of achievement that warrants appointment at the rank of professor, as well as recent experience teaching coupled with a desire to continue to teach are recommended advantages.

Academic and Administrative Experience: Evidenced commitment to student success, technology, and innovation in education are fundamental to all faculty and to the academy. Knowledge of academic affairs and the ability to work closely with colleagues in finance, student affairs, and strategic enrollment management and advancement is essential, and the ability to recognize, appreciate, and be conversant with a broad range of disciplines, including professional disciplines such as allied health programs and business, complements this position.

Professional Experience and Acumen: A demonstrated connection to the local, regional, and national higher-education communities, especially regarding current economic and diverse political realities strengthen candidacy, as does familiarity with current research and emerging trends and involvement with national, professional societies and organizations. Proven experience building effective partnerships with various educational, community, industry, and governmental entities is critical. Political stamina and the ability to stay focused and positive in an environment of uncertainty will be valuable for the Provost. Preference will be given to candidates with significant fundraising, international, and online learning experience.

Leadership Skills: Demonstrated success in an academic, administrative position in higher education, including team building and collaboration, change management, transparency in decision making, respect for other opinions and voices, and an understanding of shared governance in the academy strengthen candidacy. The ability to effectively communicate across multiple constituencies, work across boundaries, cultures, and constituent groups, and the ability to unify stakeholders for a common purpose are essential competencies for this new leader.

Fundraising Abilities: A record of successful, creative leadership in generating external resources, including activities such as grant development, partnership development, work with alumni and friends of the institution, and constituency building.

Commitment to Diversity: Demonstrated commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion among students, faculty, and staff. A clear commitment to international education and an appreciation of rural communities is essential. Experience in working closely on diversity, including curricular initiatives and global, higher-education experience, especially experience with China.

Strategic Planning Experience: Demonstrated experience leading strategic planning, substantive and decisive evaluation of academic programs, learning-outcomes assessment and accreditation, developing interdisciplinary programs, and the application of new technologies.

Managerial Skills and Experience: Demonstrated success in managing complex projects, groups, and organizations, with skills that include an ability to coordinate with and supervise others, oversee significant budgets and financial projections, plan and organize tasks, work effectively with colleagues across divisions, and make and implement difficult decisions when necessary. The Provost must be an exceptional communicator with a commitment to consultation and information sharing with faculty and staff.

Libraries and Information Technology: Demonstrated experience with, and understanding of, the extensive and important role of libraries, academic-technology support, and emerging technologies.

The Provost reports directly to the President, serves as a member of the executive leadership team, and is responsible for the successful implementation of the FHSU mission, vision, and strategic plan. The office of the Provost is committed to strategic planning, high-impact learning experiences, effective teaching, innovative scholarship, and purposeful academic service to the community.

The Provost’s role is to support teaching, scholarship, and public service through increasingly high-quality, relevant curricula in a challenging, intellectual environment at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, across all delivery modalities: on campus, online, and with international partnerships. The work encompasses faculty and staff concerns, budgeting, resource development, and shared governance, and the Provost’s goal is to encourage and sustain an environment of innovation, inspiration, rigor, support, trust, and openness that aids faculty, students, and the wider community in the search for knowledge.

Anticipated appointment date of January 2, 2019.

To ensure full consideration, please submit application by July 13, 2018.

Competitive benefit package:


  • Provide leadership for the division of academic affairs as aligned with established planning processes such as the campus strategic plan, strategic enrollment plan, and master plan;
  • Collaboratively develop and administer a systematic plan to meet the enrollment demands and opportunities of Fort Hays State University’s service area and ensure the University pursues and achieves excellence in its academic endeavors, including but not limited to quality undergraduate and graduate academic offerings, regional and national recognition of scholarly and creative activities of the faculty, and the achievement and success of its students;
  • Work closely and collaboratively with the leadership and shared governance components of Fort Hays State University, regularly reviewing and refining FHSU’s strategies for continued success;
  • Hire, develop, and retain high-quality academic professionals and build a team-oriented environment;
  • Establish, approve, and implement operating procedures for academic personnel and for the administration of the institution, in alignment with the University’s affirmative action plan;
  • Establish, approve, and implement operating procedures that protect and encourage the professional and academic accreditation of the University’s programs;
  • Ensure a university-wide academic perspective is represented in discussions of facilities planning;
  • Act as the responsible university-wide academic officer in student academic grievance cases;
  • Recommend and implement university-wide policies and procedures to encourage faculty development;
  • Provide budget oversight for the division of academic affairs and allocate discretionary funds for research and academic programs and to encourage faculty development;
  • Facilitate continuous improvement of existing academic affairs programs;
  • Oversee the evaluation processes for merit, tenure, promotion, post-tenure review, and for academically-related university support staff and unclassified professional staff, as designated by University policy;
  • Advise the President on all matters relating to the academic functions of the University; and
  • Act as the President’s liaison at national, state, and local meetings on academic affairs, serve as the University’s representative on the Kansas Board of Regents’ Council of Chief Academic Officers, and serve as needed on an international level.

Key points the organization believes will be strong attractors to top candidates:

  • This is a career-enhancing opportunity to serve as Chief Academic Officer for a forward-thinking, nationally prominent, higher-education institution.
  • The institution is fiscally strong and healthy, and is well-respected for its low debt-to-income ratio. Sources of educational revenue are diverse: international, online, and on campus.
  • Beautiful campus buildings include newly constructed Residential Life and themed Greek Life housing, along with a 48,000-ft2 Center for Applied Technology and Sculpture building and a Track & Field complex. A new Student Success Center and a separate Fine Arts Building are scheduled for construction in 2018/19, and the majority of existing buildings have been renovated. A dynamic Energy Center directs campus-wide efficiencies, and two wind generators have reduced purchased power needs by approximately 55%, resulting in annual savings on energy costs of about $700,000.
  • FHSU promotes intellectual life and cultural experiences for the community and the region through university programs and services, including theatre, music, art, and library programs throughout the year.
  • Faculty are collegial and cooperative, are personally invested in the institution and community, often know their students by name, and create opportunities for engagement where they can have a positive impact on the lives of students.

To apply for this position, please visit

Only electronic applications submitted through the webpage will be accepted.
Question concerning the electronic application process should be posed to the Fort Hays State University Human Resource Office at (785) 628-4777.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter addressing the qualifications in this advertisement, a 1–2 page statement of leadership philosophy, and résumé/CV. The candidate’s statement should address the Provost’s roles in shared governance, as an advocate for faculty and staff, and as the academic leader of the University. The leadership philosophy should demonstrate alignment also with the fiduciary roles presented in the Leadership Profile, available on the search’s website:

Applicant documents must be submitted in one pdf.

Nominations should be directed to Search Committee Chair, Jason J. Williby, at [email protected], with a contact email for the nominee(s). Reviews will continue until an appointment is made.

If you have questions regarding the position, please contact:
Name: Jason J. Williby, Search Committee Chair
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 785.628.5621

Founded in 1902, FHSU is a leading, forward-thinking university of the Midwest, with student enrollment of more than 15,000 (including 4,600+ on the Hays campus, a unique China partnership program with enrollment of 3,500+ students, and Virtual College enrollment at over 6,800+). Over 400 faculty and more than 500 professional and staff support and guide degree and certificate programs for the associate’s, bachelor's, and master's programs, and for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice, representing 31 departments within these academic divisions:

  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
  • W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship
  • College of Education
  • College of Health and Behavioral Sciences
  • Peter Werth College of Science, Technology, and Mathematics
  • Graduate School

Fort Hays State University provides exceptional opportunities for students from Kansas, the region, and the world, and the University attracts goal-oriented students who want premier learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom combined with one-to-one attention and support. FHSU students graduate with the knowledge, professional skills, and confidence to have a competitive edge in their chosen careers. Upon graduation, 95% of FHSU students find a job or placement in graduate school.

Candidates will discover a locale where professional satisfaction and career achievement are paired with an optimal quality of life. Fort Hays State University is located in Hays, Kansas, a vibrant, growing community of over 20,000 that takes great pride in the University's presence. Hays is a celebration of historic and contemporary contrasts, evidenced in its frontier roots highlighted throughout the city and local museums and in its redeveloped downtown area where residents enjoy one-of-a-kind restaurants, unique shopping, and a vibrant arts scene. This community’s commitment to the future inspires Hays businesses to reinvest locally.

A welcoming and family-centered community, Hays offers premier healthcare services, a growing high-tech and retail business community, and excellent Pre-K and K–12 schools in both the private and public sectors. The City of Hays has long been known as a safe community, and the FHSU campus is recognized by the National Council for Home Safety and Security in 2018 as one of the Top 100 Safest College Campuses in America. For entertainment, recreation, education, employment, or simply for a comfortable place to live, residents of all ages will find in Hays the elements that contribute to a safe, enjoyable, and fulfilling lifestyle.

Notice of Non-discrimination: Fort Hays State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, national origin, color, age, marital status, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, or veteran status.

Background Check: Successful finalists will have consented to and successfully completed a criminal background check.




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Job No:
Posted: 7/6/2018
Application Due: 8/2/2018
Work Type: