Vice President Academic

Palo Alto, California
Apr 02, 2021
Executive Administration Jobs
Provosts, Vice Presidents
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Vice President Academic

Reports to: President & CEO

Department: Academics

Location: Palo Alto OR Costa Mesa

University Overview:

Since 1975, Sofia University has aspired to be a leader in transformative higher education offering students an education that transcends beyond a traditional learning environment. Sofia students, staff, and faculty are passionate individuals that recognize the need to be a part of something greater than themselves and seek opportunities that will provide them with the tools to empower themselves and their community. As Sofia continues to grow as a University, it remains committed to its transformative transpersonal values, as well as maintaining a high-quality and diverse workforce representative of the community it services.

Sofia University is WSCUC accredited and offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs in the fields of psychology, business and computer science. Located in Palo Alto, California, the University provides both on campus and online programs, giving students the flexibility to pursue an education rooted in transformative and transpersonal values, in a format that best suits their schedule and needs.

Position Summary:

Sofia University is seeking an entrepreneurial academic leader to oversee its academic operations and programs and provide effective strategic guidance as a special purpose, transpersonal-based university. Working with other members of the Executive team, the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, the Vice President of Academics (VPA) will oversee all academic operational and support areas including the office of the Registrar, Library, and Student Services to ensure they reflect the mission of the University and its long-term sustainability. The next VPA will join Sofia University at an exciting time in its development with an ambitious reaffirmation strategy, based on enrollment growth and financial stability. The VPA serves as an advocate for all educational programs, providing leadership to faculty, staff, and administrators to ensure consistent high-quality standards in curricula and programs that meet the needs of our undergraduate and graduate, domestic and international students.


The VPA oversees the academic integrity of the University and provides leadership in long-range planning, budgeting, community engagement, curriculum, new program development, and faculty support. The VPA will foster an entrepreneurial culture at Sofia that embraces its humanistic and transpersonal origins, innovation, promotes educational equity, and is focused on demand-based learning and student success. Working with campus constituents, the VPA will directly supervise the implementation of Sofia’s revised and reaffirmed strategic goals and lead in the development and launching of new programs and partnerships. Working with the President, the VPA will participate in strategic planning, assessment and the systematic review of all programs and the development and launching of new programs to ensure continuous improvement and long-term sustainability.

The VPA will also provide visionary leadership for its academic operations and for its community engagement. Working with the Associate Vice-President Academic Affairs and Chief Learning Officer (AVPACLO), the VPA will oversee the Academic Programs and Academic support provided at Sofia University and serve as a member of the Presidents’ Cabinet. The VPA will provide leadership and oversight for the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and work closely with the AVPACLO in providing leadership for the School of Management and Computer Sciences and Sofia’s Undergraduate College. The VPA will:

• Provide leadership and support to University academic committees, including, the Curriculum Committee, the Faculty Evaluation Committee, Provost’s Council and the Academic and Student Affairs Committee etc.

• Oversee Sofia’s assessment of academic achievement, ensuring the work supports student learning, creates actionable outcomes and meets WSCUC requirements.

• Ensure Sofia is fully compliant with WSCUC accreditation Core Commitments and Standards of Accreditation.

• Working with faculty, develop and implement assessment mechanisms to evaluate the quality of Sofia’s programs, and ensure they are current and respond to market needs.

• Working with the Directors of Marketing and Global College, design and implement new programs and strategic partnerships building on Sofia’s traditional brand and resulting in new opportunities.

• Lead or provide guidance for University-wide academic projects that address key Sofia academic policies and practices. Examples might include reviewing and revising faculty evaluations, updating reassignment time procedures, designing and implementing a pathway from our current quarterly system into a semester system, etc.

• Advance academic excellence, lead and support effective faculty governance that ensures Sofia’s long-term sustainability.

• Supervise and provide a wide range of professional development opportunities for faculty including onboarding and mentoring of new faculty.

• Review policies to align with best practices and Sofia’s strategic goals.

• Infuses diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the programs and community.

The VPA supervises academic support functions and activities to ensure Sofia’s maintains its strong focus on student service:

• Oversees the creation and implementation of the non-academic curriculum, including jobs and field internships.

• Oversees support for student services, including new student orientation, advising, supervisory and probationary committees, and their graduation.

• Ensures academic administration functions effectively, including creation of the academic calendar, multi-year course planning, fulfillment of graduation requirements, student reviews and more.

• Robustly supports recruitment and admissions through public representation, individual meetings with prospective students, participation in admissions interviews and more.

Being highly visible as an academic and community leader, the VPA will ensure educational excellence while leading people and managing the effective allocation of resources for long-term sustainability. The VPA will represent Sofia University in the community and oversee our academic and regulatory compliance to enhance additional learning opportunities.

• With clear and persuasive written and oral communication provide regular written updates to online and academic services staff; present at campus conversations, community events, and to University-wide project teams and Cabinet.

• Actively seeks collaborative opportunities with other colleges and educational institutions.

• Explores entrepreneurial offerings drawing on Sofia’s distinctive expertise.

• Functions as a key public spokesperson, thought leader and teacher.

• Supports recruitment efforts by speaking and teaching at meetings and conferences and cultivating relationships with prospective students.

• Meets with leaders of other higher education institutions and professional training programs to advance common goals and develop beneficial relationships.

• Participates in academic gatherings.

• Publishes academically and/or in popular forums.

A strategic budgeter with the ability to foster the creation, launching and funding of new programs is critical as is the capacity to build relationships and partnerships with off-campus partners to enhance the student experience. Praised for its success and innovation toward diversity, equity, and inclusion, the VPA will recruit, develop, and assist with the retention of outstanding and diverse faculty and staff. Sofia University is built on a culture of respect and understanding, highly developed Emotional Intelligence is also key to the VPA success. Hire appropriate staff, set staff goals, build teams that collaborate, and enhance a campus culture that promotes student success through recognition, transparent communication, and engaged listening.

Qualifications and Requirements:

• Minimum of an earned doctorate.

• Successful teaching, preferably full-time within a university or a college.

• Experience with online/virtual or hybrid delivery formats

• Experience as a successful academic entrepreneur establishing and nourishing new programs and strategic partnerships.

• Significant academic administrative experience, preferably within a university/ community college.

• Experience in working with WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

• Must be capable of leading faculty, be sensitive to student’s needs and interests, and demonstrate commitment to fostering excellence in teaching and learning.

• Ability to work with faculty to demonstrate excellent student outcomes in career-oriented programs.

• Proven team leader, capable of working with members of Sofia’s external communities.

• Ability to envision and advocate the importance of humanistic and transpersonal learning and education in a global context in a post COVID -19 learning environment.

• Demonstrate their success with and their ability to work collaboratively as a contributing team member of the President’s Cabinet.

• Possess excellent written and oral communication and effectual human relations skills.

Experience in accreditation activities, learning outcomes assessment, developing and launching new programs, community outreach and global education preferred.


Please submit your application to Renate Krogdahl, Director of HR, [email protected] by April 30th. In your application, please provide information, which demonstrates your understanding of, and interest in this position.

• Additionally, you will be asked to explain how your life experiences, studies or work have influenced your interest in this position.

• A cover letter addressing your qualifications for the position.

• A current resume of all work experience, formal education and training.

Conditions of employment:

Position: Full-Time, Contract, 12-months per ye

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