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Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Success

University of California Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California

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The University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz) announces the search for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success (VCSAS). The University seeks an experienced and visionary leader to serve as Vice Chancellor and advance the student experience for its 20,000 diverse and talented students.

Widely recognized as an academically vibrant and student-centered university, UC Santa Cruz is proud of its profile as one of the most diverse campuses in the US and as a member of both the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the prestigious, ten-campus University of California system. UC Santa Cruz, founded in 1965, is distinguished by its residential "college" system through which students live and learn in small communities organized around themes of broad intellectual interest. Santa Cruz is located on the edge of Monterey Bay, approximately 70 miles from San Francisco and is ideally suited for year-round outdoor activity.

Reporting directly to Chancellor Cynthia Larive, the VCSAS provides leadership, vision, and strategic direction for a division that includes the following organizational units: Student Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Slug Support, the Career Center, Educational Opportunity Programs, Learning Support Services, Services for Transfer and Reentry Students, Student Organizations, Student Government and the Resource Centers. With a staff of approximately 200 FTE, UC Santa Cruz's next Vice Chancellor will have an opportunity for transformational leadership in designing and leading a student affairs division to meet the needs of a growing and changing student population, recognizing complex student wellbeing needs, and designing programs and services that center diversity, inclusion and anti-racist practices as organizational priorities.

The Vice Chancellor articulates and implements a vision for the Division of Student Affairs and Success that is focused on student engagement and persistence to graduation and that is consistent with the campus’s broader commitment to excellence, equity, and access. The VCSAS should be a collaborative leader with sensitivity to multiple and diverse on-and-off campus stakeholders, with particular interest on the experience of graduate students and with enthusiasm and patience for the contributions of student activists. The VCSAS should have an in-depth understanding of all aspects of student affairs and an abiding commitment to delivering a first-class student experience through transparent and creative engagement with key stakeholders. The VCSAS provides leadership and strategic direction for the Division of Student Affairs and Success while interpreting and managing the evolving and complex nature of student affairs in higher education. The VCSAS must be knowledgeable and remain current on national and global issues pertaining to student success, diversity and inclusion, health and wellness, free speech, sexual assault, conduct and compliance within the context of a student-centered, public research university. As the University transitions to its post-COVID environment, the Vice Chancellor will engage with students and faculty to assess every aspect of the student experience and consider the implication of the past two years in shaping the environment for living and learning at Santa Cruz.

The successful candidate will be a visionary, collaborative, skilled and innovative leader with exceptional administrative, financial and managerial skills, and proven experience in a dynamic and complex professional environment. The Vice Chancellor will have broad knowledge of current student affairs issues, collaborative strategies to facilitate the success of all students including those who are first generation and from low income backgrounds, and an ability to create partnerships with all University constituencies, including students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, parents and Regents. The Vice Chancellor will display integrity in behavior and decisions and a demonstrated commitment and specific experience in advancing equity and inclusion as strategic priorities. The Vice Chancellor will be expected to work successfully with internal and external constituencies, including highly engaged, local community members and advisory councils. The Vice Chancellor will represent the division and the university to the media, the public, and local and state government agencies. An advanced degree and a record of progressively responsible and relevant leadership in higher education is strongly preferred.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume, a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile and a Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement. Information about the expectations for this statement can be found at

WittKieffer is assisting University of California Santa Cruz in this search. Applications will be accepted through October 5, 2021 or until the position is filled.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Sheila Murphy
Jen Meyers Pickard, Ph.D.
[email protected]

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University’s equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to: Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. (831) 459-3676. 

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