Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Job description

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Job no: 498171
Position type: Staff Full Time
Benefit Status: Benefited-Non-Union
Campus: UMass Lowell
Department: Provost's Office
Salary: Salary commensurate with experience and grade/range
Applications Open: Mar 07 2019
Applications Close:

General Summary of Position:

This being an internal opportunity, only current UML Employees, irrespective of Bargaining units are eligible to apply for this position.

UMass Lowell seeks an extraordinary academic leader to serve as its next provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs to build upon and accelerate the pace of its evolution. S/he will be dynamic and visionary in helping the university to realize its academic and scholarly mission, to engage its distinguished alumni and local community and to guide the institution to new levels of achievement and renown.

Serving as the university’s chief academic officer, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs provides leadership for all academic efforts at UMass Lowell, including recruitment of students and admission with the division of enrollment management, and is a member of the executive leadership for the university.


Recognizing this time of changing landscape in higher education, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs is responsible for:

  • the articulation of the university's vision of academic distinction through implementation and fulfillment of the 2020 Strategic Plan;
  • serving as an important contributor to the development of the university’s strategic plan for the decade beyond 2020;
  • working in close collaboration with the Faculty Senate on development of academic programs and with the deans on implementation and assessment of academic programs;
  • assessing and providing adequate systems and structures to support academic programs;
  • identifying strategies and sustainable solutions in such areas as university rankings, increasing cost of research, and growing enrollment – all areas of revenue essential to sustaining increasing costs of operations;
  • faculty and academic staff appointments and performance assessments;
  • providing leadership for undergraduate, graduate, and online/continuing education programs;
  • scholarship and community service initiatives among faculty;
  • collaborating with the executive board of the Faculty Union on implementation of faculty policies;
  • effective establishment and management of the university’s operating budget in conjunction with the chief financial officer and other senior campus leadership;
  • evaluation of the performance and professional achievements of deans and encourages the conditions necessary for faculty excellence;
  • continued growth of research and its importance to the stature and sustainability of the university;
  • internal advocacy for continued integration of academic affairs and student services including enrollment, international affairs, institutional research, and financial aid;
  • regional and professional accreditations;
  • building and strengthening international partnerships both for students and faculty;
  • collaboration at the UMass system level as well as with provosts at other system campuses;
  • building relationships with the broader community, including community engagement and related activities; and
  • performing fundraising activities as directed by the chancellor.

The provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs is assisted in this effort by vice provosts as well as by the deans of the seven academic colleges (including the Honors College) and the director of libraries. The leaders of these areas comprise the Deans Council, which coordinates implementation of academic aspects of the strategic plan for the university.

In addition to undertaking the day-to-day running of the academic life of the campus under the direction of the chancellor, s/he provides oversight for implementation of all academic policies and is deeply engaged with the vice chancellors, deans, faculty and staff to bring coherence to scholarly endeavors; to help all achieve their academic and professional goals; and to create an environment in which the best teaching, learning and research can flourish.

In addition to overseeing the academic mission of the university, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs will have the opportunity to address the following key leadership and strategic opportunities for UMass Lowell.

Building upon the success of the 2020 Strategic Plan and Beyond

While UMass Lowell has seen measurable success across all pillars of its strategic plan, the next provost will bring vision and action in helping to fine tune and focus new goals in order to fulfill the 2020 vision, and beyond. In particular, there is opportunity to focus research priorities, encourage and foster interdisciplinary programs and research, set the tone for cluster hires, leverage the vibrant and diverse industry sectors in the region, and foster continued global engagement, among others.

Strengthening of the graduate programs of the university

Working in collaboration with deans and department heads, UMass Lowell has the opportunity to strengthen and grow current graduate opportunities at the master’s and doctoral level across the institution. The next provost will make decisions about focus on depth and quality of graduate programs while setting priorities in order to guide decision making about program development, incentives and enrollments.

Continued student-centered focus

Recruitment, retention and graduation are three main areas of focus for UMass Lowell as a student-centered campus. Through commitment to the collaboration of academic affairs and student affairs, the next provost will lead the vision of the student success with continued focus on return on investment, affordability and quality.

Increasing national/global reputation: students, academic programs, and research

The results demonstrate the progress UMass Lowell has made in rankings and reputation both nationally and internationally. The next provost will lead the continued push to take academic programs and research from excellent to exceptional. Intersecting this success includes the recruitment of and opportunities for global exposure of students and faculty. The new provost will provide leadership for ongoing work to promote an inclusion and equity through our WAVES and SEA Change initiatives.

Fostering an environment of innovation

UMass Lowell has achieved major transformations by fostering a culture of openness to new ideas and taking calculated risks for the progression of the institution. The next provost will need to continue this innovation evolution by leveraging technology, encouraging collaboration and empowering college and unit leadership.

Dedication to the local community and campus

The university holds a tradition of community engagement and strong relationships with the surrounding residential and business communities. The next provost will encourage continued dedication to the local community and campus.


The next provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of University of Massachusetts Lowell will:

  • Be an academic scholar with solid credentials in research, teaching and service, with a national presence and reputation; and
  • Demonstrate a successful, relevant, and progressively responsible career at the administrative level including areas of budget and personnel.

The successful candidate will embody many of the following qualifications and attributes:

  • Proven ability to be an inspiring leader and colleague within the university;
  • Able to motivate faculty and staff efforts in order to carry out the university’s mission and to align academic departments in order to ensure the coherent advancement and sustainability of the university;
  • Collaborative leadership that empowers and delegates responsibilities to deans, units heads, and colleagues;
  • Demonstrated ability to make effective and transparent decisions using data;
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting the promotion and tenure process;
  • Evidence of setting priorities within an academic unit seeking input from the bottom-up and helping to put in place the systems and structure to fulfill those priorities;
  • Commitment to the professional development of faculty;
  • Experience fulfilling a vision for academic affairs at a transformational time for an institution. Proven success of change management;
  • Broad appreciation for the spectrum of disciplines offered at a comprehensive research institution such as UMass Lowell;
  • Successful track record in building and sustaining interdisciplinary programs and research;
  • Vision for the role that academic research libraries play during the transformation of an institution;
  • Experience with and vision for the role technology plays in the landscape of higher education today and in the future;
  • Understanding of and appreciation for the role of experiential learning and applied research within a comprehensive university;
  • Appreciation for and demonstrated success in fostering an inclusive environment with a focus on diversifying student, faculty, and staff populations. Sensitivity to issues of race, culture, gender and disabilities on a university campus;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills in both informal and formal environments, oral and written;
  • Demonstrated commitment to enhancing the teaching and learning of a genuinely student-centered institution that supports student success;
  • Experience with or an appreciation for working cooperatively with faculty in a union environment at a public institution or within a university system;
  • Successful track record of large-scale budgetary accountability and effectiveness in the allocation of resources;
  • An appreciation for the distinctive qualities of UMass Lowell and a commitment to build on those qualities to ensure further excellence; and
  • Ability to work with other academic and community leaders to further develop collaborative academic initiatives.

Leadership style:

  • Highest level of integrity and a track record of ethics in leadership;
  • Sense of humor and commitment to building a positive work environment;
  • A strong advocate who sets the tone with an effective and wise blending of patience, persistence, compassion and urgency. A record of creativity and innovative problem-solving, bridge-building, and consensus-building;
  • Commitment to transparency;
  • An outgoing, graceful, highly energetic, participatory and positive demeanor; and
  • Visible on campus, open and accessible with a commitment to transparency.


The successful candidate will be an educator and a scholar of distinction, with an earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree and a record of scholarship, research, and teaching suitable for appointment as a tenured full professor.


A competitive compensation package will be provided commensurate with experience.


This being an internal opportunity, only current UML Employees, irrespective of Bargaining units are eligible to apply for this position.

The review of candidates’ credentials will begin on March 23, 2019. To guarantee full consideration, candidates should submit their application materials (cover letter and CV) by March 22, 2019. Candidates who submit materials after March 22 may be considered until the position is filled.

Please include a CV and cover letter with your application. Names and contact information for three references will be required at the time of application.




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Job No:
Posted: 3/8/2019
Application Due: 6/11/2019
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