Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Associate Vice Chancellor for Career Development and Education
Following the February 11, 2022, announcement that career services professionals across its academic units would be consolidated into a single unified Career Center, Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) offers an unsurpassed opportunity to build a field-leading operation as it seeks a new Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs for Career Development and Education (AVC), with a targeted appointment date of August 2022. Please visit the official announcement for more information: https://source.wustl.edu/2022/02/danforth-campus-to-move-to-unified-career-center/
No institution is better equipped, in terms of senior leadership, campus-wide resolve, and financial and intellectual resources, to develop effective new models to serve diverse students and to guide and inform U.S. higher education’s approach to imparting life-long career readiness to 21st century graduates. A top 14, AAU-member research university, WashU’s recent investments in advising structures, facilities and need-blind financial aid provide an unsurpassed residential campus experience. Among the most formidably led and best resourced U.S. institutions of higher education, WashU reported a $15.3 billion endowment in June 2021, earmarking gains to bolster academic initiatives and student support. Washington University enrolls approximately 15,000 full-time students, half of whom are undergraduates. Nearly 17% of the undergraduate class enrolling in the fall of 2021 were considered Pell Grant eligible. The new AVC will have the opportunity to create an infrastructure that ensures every matriculating WashU student is equipped to achieve satisfying career outcomes independent of previously held identities, cultural and social capital, socioeconomic status, or earlier educational opportunity.
The AVC will join a senior leadership team of notable professional distinction, collaborative spirit, and institutional ambition that is also one of the most diverse among AAU institutions. The AVC will report directly to Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Anna Gonzalez, who in her previous appointment oversaw the Princeton Review’s top- ranked collegiate career center at Harvey Mudd College. The AVC will also work closely on strategy and fundraising with Chancellor Andrew D. Martin, who in his previous appointment led the creation of the LSA Opportunity Hub (the arts-and-sciences career center) at the University of Michigan. The new AVC will be a visible campus leader, contributing to WashU’s continuing ascent as a destination of choice for the most ambitious and promising students, faculty, administrators, and staff. The AVC will directly or indirectly supervise a team of more than 30 full-time and 10 part-time staff, with opportunities to grow that team and the campus facilities dedicated to career services.
Consolidation of career services at WashU followed a comprehensive external review and strategic planning process that found a high degree of dedication and many areas of effectiveness in current career services operations. The two-part review took place in recognition that factors outside of higher education’s control were affecting the career choices available to WashU graduates and their access to opportunities. COVID-19 and post-COVID economic volatility, globalization, novel occupations, new workplace environments and industries, as well as increased employer reliance on technology for job postings and recruitment, have changed the employment landscape. At the same time, WashU students increasingly seek employment outside the professions, finance, and consulting. Affording entry to this broader and more fragmented array of career paths requires a centralized Career Center whose leader, with direct access to WashU’s senior leadership and its academic deans, will have the authority, support, and resources to focus on strengthening external relationships and preparing WashU students to gain the post-commencement launch and workplace readiness they seek, as well as the life-long capacity for professional and personal renewal.
The AVC will augment the existing strengths of WashU’s current career services professionals, while focusing greater attention on external outreach; earlier, more sustained engagement with students in their career exploration; the evolution from a counseling to a coaching model for student career advising; collaboration with academic affairs in developing programs that alert majors to the range of career paths within each discipline and produce career-ready new graduates; and engagement with St. Louis’s civic, corporate, and cultural communities, including Fortune 500 and other major local employers.
A global city with a GDP of more than $177 million in 2020, metropolitan St. Louis has a diverse economy with strengths in the service, manufacturing, trade, transportation, and tourism industries. Eight Fortune 500 companies make their headquarters there. St. Louis has a dense cultural fabric, an international population, global presence, and a history of engaged citizenry and civil rights activism. It is a city of walking neighborhoods, with a flourishing restaurant scene, jazz clubs, a world-renowned symphony, critically lauded opera and art museums, the World Series winning Cardinals baseball team, and the Blues 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Champions. The nation’s Gateway City and nineteenth largest metropolitan area, it has a longstanding multicultural heritage and a close-knit community that is open and welcoming to newcomers. Please visit: (https://diversity.wustl.edu/stories/insiders-guide-to-st-louis/).
Qualifications: WashU will appoint an AVC who is—or who will quickly become recognized as—a field-leading career development officer. Experience working in or collaborating with a higher education institution is essential. Applications from individuals with experience in university career services, corporate university relations, human resources, institutional advancement, alumni affairs and professional services are encouraged. A master’s degree is required, with a terminal degree preferred. The successful candidate will evidence the capacity to work effectively with persons from diverse backgrounds to promote an inclusive campus and community culture. Significant, progressive management experience is required, preferably involving undergraduates and/or recent graduates, as well as employers and/or alumni. Demonstrated skills in fostering new institutional relationships, marshaling professional networks, staff supervision, budget management, and strategic planning, are essential. Candidates should evidence the ability to engage faculty, trustees, and senior administrators; to counsel creative, diligent, professionally ambitious, and service- minded students; and to cultivate and steward a resourceful alumni and parent population. The successful candidate will evidence a comfort with ambiguity, a strong but flexible management style, a process orientation, proficiency in strategic planning and assessment, skill in eliciting institution-wide buy-in, readiness for collaboration and consultation with other campus leaders, and the ability to execute strategic initiatives and meet project objectives in a timely manner.
Review of candidate materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment. A complete application will include a letter of interest, a curriculum vitae or résumé, and contact information for five professional references who can speak to the candidate’s qualifications for this position. (References will not be contacted without prior express permission.) Expressions of interest, applications, nominations, and inquiries should be directed to Washington University’s search consultant, Mr. Chuck O’Boyle of C. V. O’Boyle, Jr., LLC, at [email protected], who will furnish an internal job description upon request.