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Associate Vice President for Student Life and Involvement

James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia

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We are a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.

To be the national model for the engaged university: engaged with ideas and the world.

Who We Are
Established in 1908, James Madison University is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs to more than 20,000 students. JMU is regarded as one of the finest regional universities in the nation and has been continuously cited in U.S. News and World Report, Changing Times and Money Magazine as an outstanding public university. Located in the heart of Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, the city of Harrisonburg is approximately 120 miles from Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA. Known for its livability, diversity, local food, arts and natural surroundings, this Virginia Main Street community is a great place to live and work.

The Associate Vice President for Student Life and Involvement reports to the Vice President for Student Affairs and serves on the Student Affairs Senior Leadership Team. The Division of Student Affairs includes Career and Academic Planning, Center for Multicultural Student Services, Community Service-Learning, Student Life, Counseling Center, Dean of Students, Disability Services, Student Accountability & Restorative Practices, Orientation, Residence Life, University Health Center, University Recreation and University Unions. The division is an integral part of the campus community and works collaboratively with the other divisions of the university in supporting the mission, vision, and values of the university.

Duties and Responsibilities:

#1: Leadership for the Student Affairs Division

The Associate Vice President serves as a member of the Student Affairs Leadership Team. They actively engage in wide-ranging long and short-term decision-making and planning in collaboration with the rest of the Leadership Team. They participate fully in all discussions and represent their areas as well as divisional culture, vision, mission, values, and outcomes. They engage with the rest of the university community and specifically with appropriate campus partners regularly to serve the institution and Student Affairs.

#2: Leadership of Student Life and Involvement

Leads the Student Life and Involvement area at both the strategic and tactical levels. They maintain a strong understanding and connection to the trends and best practices in their area and seek to lead their team with the best knowledge and insights available. The AVP should always be seeking ways for the university, division, their area, and departments to improve in their service to JMU and our students.

The departments in this area have been grouped intentionally to create greater synergy and collaboration within the departments and across all of Student Affairs and JMU. The AVP works collaboratively with their Directors and all members of each department to develop short and long-term goals and outcomes for the entire area. They set specific expectations for each department to accomplish these goals and outcomes on aggressive yet realistic timelines. Divisional outcomes will come directly from the work of each of the Student Affairs areas. They also develop and maintain a culture in their area in line with the Vision, Mission, and Values of JMU and Student Affairs.

#3: Manage Student Life and Involvement Departments

Sets the agenda, goals, and supervises the directors of the following departments: Student Life, Residence Life, Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices, and University Unions along with centralized Student Affairs functions. Understands procedures, policies and responsibilities of all departments within the unit. Sets high expectations for each functional area and delegates authority and responsibility to efficiently and effectively achieve goals and outcomes. Exercises oversight of budget for each department as well as each area’s assessment efforts.

Advocates for the work and staff of these departments and strongly encourages partnership and collaboration across campus and with relevant external partners. Oversees all selection and onboarding processes within each area to ensure a quality, caring, and consistent experience for all members of each department. Makes a significant effort to know every member in their area through both formal and informal interactions, one on ones, and attendance at departmental meetings and events.

#4: Represent the Division and Institution

The AVP will be an active and engaged member of the university community through attendance at events and meetings and will be known to faculty, staff, and students. They should seek out opportunities to interact with our students regularly and build rapport and trust with the student community. They will also be expected to maintain involvement and participation in their relevant national and local organizations, conferences, and events.

#5: Contribution to Institutional Administration

Reflects institutional mission and values in policy development and implementation, institutional relationships, and program administration. Collaborates with other parts of the university to ensure the availability of services and avoid duplication of services. Serves on relevant University committees and task forces and seeks out opportunities to ensure Student Affairs is well-represented across campus and in our field.

#6: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Uplifts Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in their daily work and within their departments. Centers their work around the concepts of universal design and accessibility for all students and sets clear and high expectations for all services, events, and programming. Reinforces and supports the need for all staff members to fully engage in Social Justice training and educational opportunities as part of their professional development.


  • History of progressive leadership in student affairs: candidates should possess a minimum of five years’ experience as an associate/assistant vice president, director or other significant student affairs leadership position
  • A record of commitment to diversity and inclusiveness which should be addressed within the cover letter
  • Knowledge of student retention and success strategies
  • Understanding of the regulatory environment for student affairs
  • Strong commitment to holistic education and student development
  • Team player and collaborator with all areas of the university
  • Demonstrated support for a student-focused environment
  • Master’s degree required; doctorate preferred

To apply go to or visit and reference posting number F1615. Pay Range: $95,000 - $115,000.

James Madison University is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive work and educational community that is free of all forms of discrimination. This institution does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, parental status, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status.

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