Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
National Louis University (NLU) is looking to honor its past while defining a bold new future as a university focused on professional pathways, preparing students to be leaders ready to address tomorrow’s challenges in the context of increasing global urbanization. NLU is dedicated to providing a career-building, life-changing education that is accessible to all students. The University offers 80 + programs across the undergraduate and graduate levels within its National College of Education, Kendall College of Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management, and the College of Professional Studies and Advancement (comprised of the Schools of Business, Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Health and Human Services). The University serves over 8,200 students per year and has experienced unprecedented growth in its undergraduate programming. Most students are from Illinois, but the University also attracts students from throughout the U.S. in its online programming.
Founded in 1886, National Louis University is a private not-for-profit university offering programs through the doctoral level. NLU is also classified as an Engaged Institution by the Carnegie Foundation and has been named as a top ten institution by Money Magazine where its alumni believe they are making the world “a better place.” The University has had more Golden Apple Award winners among its graduates in teacher preparation than any institution across the state. The University is among the top 25 most diverse national universities according to U.S. News and World Report (2019). Graduates from NLU enter the workforce earning an estimated $43,000 per year after graduation, ranking NLU among the top five of all Illinois post-secondary schools. The University has received more than $65 million in funding for applied research projects in urban development, childhood development, school improvement, and teacher preparation. NLU recognized as a national leader in closing the post-secondary completion through its innovative approach to undergraduate education.
NLU is located in the center of Chicago’s downtown loop, across the street from the Art Institute, in an area which has been recognized as America’s largest campus with over 25 institutions and 50,000 students attending a college across the city. In addition, the University has several suburban locations and a Florida regional campus.
Reporting to the President, the Vice President of Student Affairs (VPSA) and Dean of Students serves as the senior university officer providing leadership and management for co-curricular student life programs, and oversees the Students Experience Office, Residential Life, Student Conduct, Campus Safety, Student Veteran services, First-Year and Commuter Student Programming, New Student Orientation, Leadership Programs, multi-cultural services and support for international students, and Volunteer Programs; Student Activities; Counseling and support services, commencement programming, and Sexual Assault Awareness.
The Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students works collaboratively across the institution and within the broader community to cultivate and foster student success and good communication with students, parents, faculty, community agencies and the public through participation in community organizations, student organizations, and other entities which address student concerns and encourage overall institutional growth.
• Executive-level leadership, strategic planning, oversight and coordination of all student affairs departments including programming, policy development, personnel, security, student experience office, office of Student Veterans, Ombudsman services, International student services, office of residential life
• Leadership and guidance in implementing innovative, student-centered approaches to student success in curricular and co-curricular experiences. E.g. multicultural activities, student activities and events, student clubs and organizations, first-year transition programming, student conduct, counseling, and retention-focused activities
• Advance and enhance activities increasing first- and second-year student retention
• Guides assessment of programs and services to verify that student affairs programs are effective, innovative, proactive, anticipatory and responsive to student and community requirements with periodic program, service, procedures and policies evaluations
• Utilize analytics and data to design, develop and implement inventive, effective student engagement and retention programs and services
• Ensure institutional policies and practices assure fair and equitable student treatment
• Confirm all student affairs programs and services follow state and federal laws and University policies
• Attend and participate in student programming and other campus and leadership activities
• Serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet and Academic Cabinet
• Demonstrate ability to increase first- and second-year student retention
• Be able to lead innovative, high-quality and student-centered approaches to student success in curricular and co-curricular experiences
• Embrace executive-level leadership, strategic planning, oversight, and coordination of student affairs departments
• Possess knowledge of and be able to lead investigations in areas related to Title IX, Clery Act, Violence Against Women Act, Higher Education Act, and related federal laws and regulations
• Communicate effectively with student leaders to promote positive student relations
• Be comfortable with assessing and using data to drive decisions
• Be a change-agent and adept at leading through change
• Understand the needs of first-generation college students
• Possess conflict-resolution skills
• Be adept at developing collaborative relationships with internal and external constituencies
• Have effective team-building and team-management skills
• Be self-directed, well-organized, detail-oriented and focused on results
• Have the ability to work with and nurture a diverse workforce in a diverse community
• Masters required with at least 10 years of experience. Doctorate or terminal degree in higher education, student affairs, educational leadership or a closely related field preferred with record of increasing responsibility and leadership in student affairs.
• A proven ability to work well with and nurture relationships with students, faculty and staff, community members, and other stakeholders
• Supervisory and administrative skills that include oversight of contracted student support services such as dining and residence life.
• A proven leadership record
• Experience in varied higher education activities such as accreditation, compliance, and professional organization service.
• The capacity to work well with students
• An ability to interact effectively with business community and public sector
• Highly self-directed, well-organized, and comfortable completing tasks with a minimum of direct supervision
• Successful experiences in conflict resolution
Candidates must also possess deep experience and knowledge of current trends in student affairs management and implementation of best practices. The successful candidate should also have a successful history of supervising and mentoring staff, enhancing student life on a primarily commuter campus, and working effectively across the campus community. In addition, the VPSA must have experience providing responsive assistance to students and the university in crisis situations and a proven ability to create and maintain a culture responsive to student concerns. Essential qualities for the VPSA include leadership experience in student development and learning, university-wide strategic planning experience, extensive risk management experience with a working understanding of applicable higher education law, and knowledge of metrics to assess student-learning outcomes. The ideal candidate will possess strong organizational, presentation, and interpersonal communication skills, and must demonstrate effective leadership, strategic planning, writing, and intercultural skills.