Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Job Details

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

About Westfield State University:

In 1839, Horace Mann founded Westfield State University as the first public higher education institution without barrier to race, gender or economic class. Westfield State University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination, equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action. We are dedicated to providing educational, working and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people including minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities and other protected persons, or individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds.

Westfield State is the most residential of the state universities in Massachusetts, with over 60% of our 5600 full-time undergraduate students living on campus. The campus is ideally situated on the edge of the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts just 30 minutes from the thriving cultural centers of Northampton and Amherst, and 1.5 hours from both Boston and Albany.

Job Description:

Campus Title: Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
State Job Title: Vice President
Department: President's Office
Job Code: HA8000
FLSA Status: Exempt
Funding: 7115-0100 (State Funds)
Bargaining Unit: NUP
Job Type: Full-Time Permanent
Timeframe: 52 Weeks
Shift: Monday- Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. On call is required and will include nights and weekends
Regular Days Off: Saturday and Sunday
Supervision Received: Reports to the President of the University.
Supervision Exercised: Responsible for supervision of the Vice President of Enrollment Management, Dean of Students, Executive Director of Communication, Marketing and Branding, Staff Assistant to the Board of Trustees and Staff Assistant to this position.
Salary: Will commensurate with education and experience

General Statement of Duties:

The Vice President reports directly to, and works closely with, the President on a wide variety of administrative and executive duties, special projects, and initiatives involving the Office of the President and its priorities; works closely with the Vice President of Academic Affairs on academic priorities and planning. Responsibilities include promoting and supporting the mission and values of the University; overseeing the administrative, operational and financial affairs of the Office of the President; serving as a primary liaison between the President and the Vice Presidents; developing and coordinating special and high-priority projects and initiatives; handling questions, concerns, issues and requests on the President's behalf; serving as an advisor to, and spokesperson for (with community constituents and media), the President; coordinating communications and preparing special correspondence; and serving as a liaison to a variety of internal and external constituencies. The Vice President is a senior administrator, serves as a member of the President's Cabinet, and is responsible for the overall Strategic Planning Process for the university.

This position is required to remain on campus as a condition of employment and will be provided with housing.

Duties and Responsibilities:
Duties include but not limited to:
  • Serve as the President's primary liaison with university, government, and community leadership on strategic and operational matters pertaining to specific areas of institutional interest.
  • Serve as the main contact for the Council of State University President's, the Board of Higher Education, and the Department of Higher Education on matters not directly handled by the President. Manage the program support activities and matters of institutional significance for these agencies on behalf of the President.
  • Provide integrated policy analysis and strategic consultation to the President and leadership team on major issues affecting the university; monitoring legislative and other external decision paths to determine impact of possible outcomes on the initiatives of the university.
  • Advise the President, Vice President of Academic Affairs and other senior leadership on the best ways to position the institution with civic and business leadership, alumni, and regional elected representatives on issues that have a direct strategic impact on the core initiatives of the institution.
  • Interact with senior university, industry, government and community officials and stakeholders in the representation and development of strategic program initiatives.
  • Hear Step II grievances under the MSCA Collective Bargaining Agreement and hear Step III grievances under the AFSCME CBA.
  • Prepare and/or contribute to the preparation of reports, briefings, presentations and responses on institutional, strategic and academic issues as appropriate.
  • Coordinate special projects on behalf of the President, frequently involving the Vice President of Academic Affairs, senior leadership or cabinet members.
  • Participate with the President, Vice President of Academic Affairs and other leadership or cabinet members in institutional planning, policy development and problem resolution.
  • Serve on the Academic Planning Committee.
  • Be knowledgeable about all areas on campus and new initiatives so as to best identify opportunities with and represent the university to external groups.


Required Qualifications
  • Advanced degree required; Ph.D. preferred.
  • Minimum of seven years of executive-level experience in higher education and working with volunteer boards.
  • Experience in public or government affairs preferred.
  • Strong background in managing/leading institutional and external collaborations.
  • Experience in researching information and developing briefing documents.
  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written.
  • Demonstrated sensitivity to, and understanding of, diverse socioeconomic, cultural, disability, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Strong Leadership Skills

Additional Information:

For the majority of new employees, the minimum starting salary will apply. Specific salary for current Westfield State University employees and individuals currently working for the state of Massachusetts must be calculated individually in accordance with collective bargaining and state policies and procedures.

State job specifications for this position may be found at the department of higher education website:

Disability Accommodations:
Westfield State University understands that persons with disabilities may need assistance with the job application process and/or with the interview process. For confidential assistance regarding disability accommodations, please contact the Office of Human Resources at (413) 572-8106.

Background Check:
Employment at Westfield State University is contingent upon a background check that is satisfactory to the University. Failure to provide written authorization for a background check will nullify the offer of employment.

Application Instructions:

An on-line application is required. The successful candidate must submit an official transcript at the time of hire. Interested candidates should electronically attach the following documents:
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Contact information for three references *
  • Copy of unofficial transcript of highest degree

* Provide the contact information for reference providers in the reference section of the online application.

Deadline: The job posting will be open a minimum of ten days and, if needed, will remain open until finalists have been selected.

NOTE: If you need assistance completing your application please contact our online Help Desk. The link to the help desk can be found at the top of the page via Contact Us.
Westfield State University provides equal access to employment opportunities for all applicants, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, age, disability or veteran status in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies.

To apply, visit

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Westfield is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first co-educational college in America to offer an education without barrier to race, creed or economic status.



Founded in 1838 by educational reformer and political leader Horace Mann, Westfield State was the first co-educational college in America dedicated to free, public education for teaching professionals without regard to race, creed or gender.


The College today calls upon this rich tradition of practical innovation as it develops and refines relevant and rewarding fields of study, opportunities for service, and global experiences. Westfield's residential nature and beautiful setting at the base of the Berkshire Mountains offers every student a rich, classic college experience.

Athletics, superb outdoor recreation, 100+ student clubs and organizations, international studies, leadership opportunities, national and international guest speakers, and close connections with the city of Westfield lend a collegial air to the future-focused Westfield learning community.


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