Assistant/Associate Vice President for Student Success, UT System Office of Academic Affairs an...

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN
Closing date
Oct 22, 2021

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About the UT SystemThe University of Tennessee is comprised of campuses at Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, Memphis and Pulaski; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; the UT Institute of Agriculture, which has a presence in every Tennessee county; and the Institute for Public Service, which impacts city and county government and business and industry statewide. Through the combined force of education, research and outreach, the UT System serves students, business and industry, schools, governments, organizations, and citizens statewide.

The University of Tennessee System serves the people of Tennessee and beyond through the discovery, communication, and application of knowledge and is committed to providing undergraduate, graduate, and professional education programs in a diverse learning environment that prepares students to be leaders in a global society. The UT System’s delivery of education, discovery, outreach, and public service contributes to the economic, social, and environmental well-being of all Tennesseans.

The OpportunityThe Assistant/Associate Vice President for Student Success (AVPSS) reports directly to the Vice President for Academic Affairs & Student Success (VPAASS) and works collaboratively with each of the UT campuses to provide coordination of student success across the UT System. The AVPSS is expected to collaborate with campus leadership, chief student affairs officers, academic affairs and student success staff, as well as other campus stakeholders in an effort to promote a high- quality academic student experience. The AVPSS will coordinate with UT campuses in areas including, but not limited to, recruitment, retention, enrollment, access and affordability, campus change[1], transfer student success, First-Year Experience, advising, mental health and wellbeing, UT Promise[2], career development, high impact practices, mentoring and coaching, financial literacy, veteran resources, student support services, and tracking outcomes. The AVPSS is expected to support student success at all UT campuses and represent the UT System in state, regional, and national student success initiatives.

Additionally, the AVPSS provides support to the Education, Research, and Service Committee of the UT Board of Trustees, and interfaces with the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR), Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), Tennessee Department of Education, Tennessee Board of Education, Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC), Locally Governed Institutions (LGIs), and the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association (TICUA). 

The successful candidate is expected to contribute in measurable ways to the systemwide mission and fully embrace the systemwide “BE ONE UT Values.”

Primary Responsibilities The AVPSS will work collaboratively to create a vision for student success across the UT System; use data-informed tools to identify opportunities to enhance retention, persistence, and degree completion; and eliminate attainment gaps for historically underserved and underrepresented student populations. The AVPSS is expected to broadly support all aspects of student success; engage in student success activities and initiatives; work to implement strategies to further advance efforts to enhance educational excellence; and interface with UT campuses to advance initiatives for access, retention, student engagement, high impact practices, and persistence to degree. The AVPSS works collaboratively with the UT Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the UT Office of General Counsel, and the UT Office of Government Relations and Advocacy on all matters related to systemwide student affairs and student success; and is expected to develop strong working relationships with campus counterparts.

The AVPSS supports the Vice President in staffing the Education, Research, and Service Committee of the UT Board of Trustees; strategic and long-term student success planning; overseeing systemwide student success initiatives; and coordinating admission, progression, and retention standards and initiatives. The AVPSS further assists with University policies and campus implementation procedures concerning student conduct, rights and responsibilities, and implementation of the campus Student Handbooks. The successful candidate is expected to provide innovative leadership and engage in purposeful collaborations in the areas of strategic planning, communication, program development, and assessment of activities that support the systemwide goals of increasing retention and graduation, as well as enhancing the student experience. The AVPSS will interface with colleagues across UT campuses to implement and measure student success efforts, particularly in areas that positively affect access, engagement, wellbeing, belonging, and affordability, and utilize data and available evidence to identify opportunities systemwide.

Working collaboratively with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success, the AVPSS will support transfer and articulation policies and initiatives with the TBR institutions and among institutions within the UT System; collaborate on reverse transfer policy and processes statewide; review and refine student policies affected by the Tennessee Uniform Procedures Act; provide input and/or gather information for proposed legislation affecting students; and assist in preparation for budget hearings with the governor and state legislature.

The AVPSS will supervise system-level student success staff; advise the VPAASS and UT President on matters related to student success; utilize data-driven, decision-support tools to identify opportunities to enhance retention, persistence, and degree completion; and advance the use of data to inform best practices for student success to meet benchmarks for retention, graduation, and student success.

As a member of the Office of Academic Affairs and Student Success, the AVPSS will be responsible for keeping the team apprised of any issues that impact student success across UT; developing and maintaining collegial and productive working relationships with UT System colleagues, chief academic officers and chief student affairs officers of each campus; and facilitating efforts to ensure the System achieves its overall mission to educate, discover, and connect.

The AVPSS is expected to champion a culture of engagement and belonging by providing leadership in an environment that actively promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. The AVPSS will possess a deep commitment to these values and demonstrates action and accountability in advancing strategies to support them at all levels of the University.

[1] An initiative focused on creating a seamless transfer experience for students who change campuses within the UT System.

[2] A last-dollar scholarship for undergraduate students guaranteeing free tuition and mandatory fees for qualifying UT students.

QualificationsThe position requires a Ph.D. or other terminal degree (earned or in progress) in Higher Education, Student Affairs, Leadership, Student Personnel or a related field. A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible administrative experience in or with higher education, including developing and leading undergraduate student success initiatives at the university and/or system level.

Administrative and leadership experience at a multi-campus university system, a large comprehensive university campus, or other complex organization in or working with higher education is also required.

 Knowledge and SkillsThe Assistant/Associate Vice President for Student Success must demonstrate a robust understanding of higher education. Specific skills include:

deep knowledge of and experience with student services (academic and co-curricular) to enhance student success;experience developing and accessing student success interventions, tracking outcomes, and leading organizational change to address barriers to student success;knowledge of student retention theories and models, and demonstrated ability to access efficacy and course-correct;in-depth understanding of current research associated with student success and retention, student transition and development, mattering and belonging, and student engagement;expertise in the development and implementation of intervention strategies to enhance retention, engagement, student satisfaction, belonging, and graduation rates;proven ability to work across complex organizations and lead diverse teams;demonstrated expertise in developing and accessing learning outcomes for student co-curricular experiences;university policy development and implementation across multiple university campuses;rich experiences in multiple areas of student life including curriculum development;experience with initiatives related to high-impact practices, student engagement, and persistence to degree;engagement with academic advising, early warning, and student support services to enhance student success;ability to build and execute programs and initiatives designed to close student equity gaps;demonstrated leadership of campus-level and/or system-level student success initiatives;strong commitment to excellence, integrity, and transparency;demonstrated leadership skills and abilities;proven ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively with cross- functional teams;understanding of and appreciation for system and campus governance;demonstrated success in decision-making and leading transformational change;exceptional skills in communications and interpersonal relations, including excellent written and presentation skills;exceptional listening skills;demonstrated commitment to diversity, engagement, and inclusion; andability to work effectively with a wide variety of audiences (e.g., faculty, students, alumni, legislators, administrators, parents). BehaviorsThe Assistant/Associate Vice President for Student Success must exhibit qualities of emotional maturity, honesty, humility, authenticity, self-confidence, collegiality, objectivity, creativity, discretion, decisiveness, diplomacy, tact, resiliency, tenacity, adaptability, courage of conviction, and tolerance for ambiguity. Demonstrated behavioral expectations include:

  • uncompromised integrity, honesty, transparency, and trustworthiness;
  • unwavering commitment to students and student success;untiring dedication to making consistent, fair, and data-informed decisions;eagerness to learn and grow in the position;ability to foster teamwork and to work effectively with cross-functional teams; andunfailing commitment to the UT Systemwide mission, values, and strategic vision, as well as missions and strategic visions for each campus/institute. Application ProcessFor full consideration, candidates should apply electronically with a cover letter addressing their interest in and qualifications for the role, CV, and list of professional references by July 12, 2021.  

    Compensation for the position will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, and much more. Additionally, Tennessee residents do not pay a state income tax. For more information on the University of Tennessee’s benefits, visit

    Job: Executive/Administrative
    Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
    Organization: Academic Affairs
    Schedule: Full-time
    Job Posting: Jun 10, 2021, 9:56:25 AM


    Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

    UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

    The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

    Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

    As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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