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Vice President, Student Life

Colorado School of Mines
Golden, Colorado

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Executive Administration Jobs
Vice Presidents
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
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The Opportunity

Reporting to the President, the Vice President of Student Life (VPSL) serves as the institution’s chief student affairs officer, and provides executive leadership, strategic planning, and financial oversight of the Student Life Division. The VPSL leads a team of accomplished student affairs professionals who are committed to supporting a safe and engaging campus environment so that students can find success academically, socially and professionally. The division achieves its goals through comprehensive student programming and services in areas such as advising, student activities, athletics, residence life and dining, health services, student counseling, accessibility services, fraternity and sororities, student professional development, career services, and other campus service and support areas.

The position requires a) a sophisticated understanding of the relationship between academic and co-curricular life; b) proven and substantial experience with the role of student affairs in University-wide student success efforts; c) skills and experiences aligned with the university’s strategic plan and goals; and d) the diplomatic and leadership skills to work effectively with the university’s leadership team and across the university’s internal and external stakeholders.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Serve as a strategic advisor to the President and executive leadership in providing input, direction and guidance for advancing the University’s strategic priorities for student learning, retention, persistence to graduation, professional development, inclusive excellence, student safety and well-being, and other matters leading to successful student outcomes.
  • Provide executive leadership and management for all aspects (staffing, finance, policy, departmental organizational structure, supervision, programming/process, etc.) of the Student Life Division.
  • Develop and effectively communicate a strategic vision for the entire Student Life enterprise and provide opportunities and support for staff to turn ideas into action/work product, with particular focus on [email protected] strategic plan and associated responsibilities.
  • Serve as an advocate for students and co-curricular programming and development. Ensure that the Student Life Division has significant involvement in the development and execution of initiatives related to student success, safety, well-being, and growth in and out of the classroom. Pursue innovative ideas that build on institutional history, culture, and values and communicate strategic priorities clearly with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Lead, encourage, and support collaborative initiatives between the Student Life Division and Academic Affairs to support the success, development and well-being of students. Work closely with Academic Affairs and others across the university to ensure the successful development and implementation of signature student experiences in support of [email protected] strategic plan.
  • Manage an increasingly complex budget, including student fees, auxiliary revenues, general funds, grants, and private donations.
  • Promote positive student relations by maintaining open and effective lines of communication with student leaders. Ensure that students who interact with the Student Life Division have a high-quality experience that directly supports the vision of the university.
  • Promote and encourage inclusive excellence and diversity among students and staff. Work effectively with Diversity, Inclusion and Access professionals across the university to support the university’s DI&A strategic plan and achieve Student Life’s specific goals.
  • Create an environment that allows Student Life staff to find ways to align their efforts, expertise, interests and passions with institutional goals, desired outcomes and core values. 
  • Provide skillful leadership to students and the Student Life Division by implementing institutional programming and crisis management that addresses disruptions taking place in higher education today (student mental health, student wellness, COVID-19, social issues, etc.).
  • Ensure that institutional policies and practices provide fair and equitable treatment of all students.
  • Ensure that all programs and services within the division comply with all relevant state and federal laws and university policies.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Performs other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Earned master’s degree in an appropriate and relevant discipline or field is required.
  • Extensive and proven record of broad, progressive experience in higher education student affairs of at least 10 years with senior level management and leadership experience in higher education of at least 5 years. Experience working with science and engineering students and programs is preferred.
  • An effective collaborator and team-builder with impersonal skills and a student-centered leadership style who is people-focused and establishes a strong rapport with all constituency groups.
  • Demonstrated commitment to addressing issues of access, equity, diversity and inclusion for and with students, staff, faculty, families, senior colleagues and other university stakeholders is required.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the relationship between academic and co-curricular life, and evidence of effective collaboration across university units in developing and implementing integrated student experiences, programming, and services.
  • Proven and substantial experience in developing strategic initiatives and delivering effective university-wide efforts to support student success, well-being, safety and professional growth and development.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the role of intercollegiate athletics in advancing the mission of a university is required. Experience working with intercollegiate athletics and club sports is preferred.
  • Extensive experience supporting and supervising talented and committed staff.
  • Must be comfortable with high degrees of ambiguity and ability to make tough decisions sometimes with limited information and time compression.
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate, inspire, administer, create, supervise, make definitive decisions and manage crisis.
  • A clear capacity for effective conflict resolution, mediation, and managing difficult personnel and student situations while balancing decisiveness with compassion and understanding.

Preferred Qualifications

  • An earned doctoral degree is preferred.

About Mines & Golden, CO

Mines is consistently ranked among the top engineering colleges in the United States and ranks number one as the best public school in the state for best value colleges. Mines is located in the heart of Golden, Colorado, a western suburb of Denver.  The campus location offers a small-town ambiance with close proximity to all that the Denver metropolitan area has to offer with an abundance of cultural events, museums, theaters and sporting venues. An arid climate and an average 300 days of sunshine per year make the area an ideal place to live, work and play. We seek individuals who value a diverse and inclusive community – offering different perspectives, experiences, and cultures that enrich the educational and work experience. 

Equal Opportunity

Colorado School of Mines is committed to equal opportunity for all persons.  Mines does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), ancestry, creed, marital status, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status or current military service. Further, Mines does not retaliate against community members for filing complaints regarding or implicating any of these protected statuses.

Mines’ commitment to nondiscrimination, affirmative action, equal opportunity and equal access is reflected in the administration of its policies, procedures, programs and activities and in its efforts to achieve a diverse student body and workforce.

Through its policies, procedures and resources, Mines complies with federal law, Colorado state law, administrative regulations, executive orders and other legal requirements to prevent discrimination (including harassment or retaliation) within the Mines campus community and to address potential allegations of inequity or concerns for safety.

Pay Range


Mines takes into consideration a combination of candidate’s education, training and experience as well as the position’s scope and complexity, the discretion and latitude required in the role, work location, and external market and internal value when determining a salary level for potential new employees.

Total Rewards Mines is proud to provide exceptional benefits that include pay, health & wellness and work/life balance offerings.  Our portfolio of benefits includes medical, dental, vision, disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, life insurance, and retirement savings plans. Additionally, Mines employees are eligible for tuition benefits (for employees and dependents), generous paid holidays and leaves and discount programs.  For more information, visit Mines benefits.

How to Apply Applicants will be asked to complete an online application (personal information, demographic information, references, veterans status) and upload a resume and cover letter (required). References will not be contacted until later in the selection process and you will be informed before that contact is made. 

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