The University of Virginia seeks an accomplished, student-centered, creative, and dynamic leader as the next Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer (Vice President). Reporting to the President and EVP/Provost, the Vice President will work closely with the University’s top two leaders to provide the best possible student experience. Leading a strong team of student affairs professionals and working with students, faculty and staff, and other University leaders, the Vice President will provide strategic direction, management, and support in creating a social, physical, and organizational environment that advances the educational mission of the University.
With an enrollment of just under 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UVA is known for its student experience, access, affordability, and commitment to excellence in research. As part of the student experience, UVA takes a groundbreaking approach to student self-governance, providing students with a variety of opportunities to govern almost every aspect of life on Grounds. In the Division of Student Affairs, more than 270 professionals support the University’s students as they make real, consequential contributions to the University. Through the Honor Committee, University Judiciary Committee, Student Council, Class Councils and Trustees, and hundreds of Contracted Independent (student-led) Organizations, students hone leadership skills that they carry for the rest of their lives. The Division of Student Affairs is central in this effort, responsible for maintaining the system of student self-governance that has defined the University of Virginia since its inception.
The University of Virginia strives to be a diverse and inclusive community and one that welcomes a broad range of ideas and points of view through our commitment to free inquiry and freedom of expression. The Vice President will play a critical role in cultivating a welcoming environment for our increasingly diverse student body and for ensuring that our students have the freedom to speak, write, inquire, listen, challenge, and learn, including through exposure to a range of ideas and cultivation of the tools of critical thinking and engagement.
A three-pronged mission guides Student Affairs at UVA: to help students build community, pursue wellness, and grow as citizen leaders. Student Affairs professionals help students develop in these three essential areas by upholding policies and resources that:
•Foster a university environment that promotes students’ intellectual inquiry and responsible decision-making.
•Support students as they clarify personal values, develop a personal identity, build sound interpersonal relationships and explore career directions.
•Promote diversity, cultural richness, and full participation of all students in the University community.
•Respond to students' changing needs at varying intellectual, social, personal, and career development stages.
•Attend to students impacted by a unique status, including minority, disability, health, financial resources, and nontraditional, among others.
•Equip students to be informed and active citizens within our society.
The University welcomed its ninth president, James E. Ryan, in August 2018. Ian Baucom, who began his tenure at the University in 2014 as Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, became Provost in early 2022. The University is in the final stages of its $5B Honor the Future Campaign and is in year five of implementing the 2030 Plan, also known as the Great and Good plan, which provides a roadmap for the future of UVA focusing on strengthening our foundation, cultivating the most vibrant community in higher education, enabling discoveries that enrich and improve lives, and making UVA synonymous with service. We seek a colleague for this position who will be eager to join us in shaping the student experience at UVA for the next decade and beyond.
The University’s intention is to cultivate the most vibrant community in Higher Education; support exceptionally talented, diverse, and service-oriented students, regardless of their economic circumstances; and prepare students to be servant-leaders in a diverse, globally connected world. The Vice President will have responsibility for the strategic, programmatic, financial, and management functions that support the mission and vision of the Division of Student Affairs and its role within the broader University. The core values that guide the work of Student Affairs in serving students are academic rigor, honor, student self-governance, service, wellness, diversity, and inclusion.
The Vice President oversees a diverse portfolio, including the Office of the Dean of Students, Residence Life, Department of Student Health and Wellness (including Counseling and Psychological Services), and University Career Center. The Vice President’s central administrative office provides finance, human resource, facilities, communication, and IT support for the Division’s units.
The following are the key responsibilities for the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer:
Vision, Strategy, and Implementation
- Establish strategic direction and lead the Student Affairs organization to achieve both immediate and long-term institutional goals. This includes working with the President and Provost to shape and implement key initiatives in the University’s strategic plan focused on:
- Housing all second-year students and providing meaningful experiences to connect third- and fourth-year students living off Grounds to the on-Grounds community
- Strengthening advising for all students and ensuring that the University is meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student body (this will require close partnership with the Provost’s office and schools across the University.)
- Ensuring robust programming at the University’s new Student Health and Wellness Center.
- Deepening the University’s focus on public service, a strong relationship with the broader Charlottesville community, and a global perspective.
- Anticipate the evolution of student needs and proactively develop programs and policies related to student support and student life.
- Collaborate with and provide thought partnership to leaders across the University in all areas of student life, including extra- and co-curricular educational programming, crisis management, and conflict resolution.
- Work with the President, Provost, and other University leaders to design and implement innovative strategies that lead to student success in a welcoming, diverse community of learning and social interaction in which all perspectives are valued.
Leadership and Management
- Ensure a strong connection between Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Operations so that co- and extra-curricular efforts are closely aligned with the teaching and research mission of the University, and that resource allocations are aligned to University goals.
- Work closely with the Vice Provost for Enrollment to create a seamless student experience from the first communication with the University to post-graduate plans.
- Work with advancement professionals to lead philanthropic efforts for Student Affairs.
- Partner with the University leadership team, faculty, students, and staff to pursue opportunities to strengthen the student experience for all students and to make UVA a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone.
- Work closely with the Executive Director for Student Health and Wellness, the Associate Vice President for Safety and Security, and colleagues across the University to ensure students are able to learn and grow in a safe and healthy environment. Lead with a steady hand when crises arise.
- Create a dynamic and productive environment for seasoned student affairs professionals, and recruit, develop, and mentor staff to achieve stated goals. Promote collaboration throughout the organization.
- Serve as a visible model of educational and institutional leadership for students, faculty, staff, UVA alumni and parents, potential donors, and the higher education community.
- Manage the Division’s operations, including planning, policy formulation, personnel, and budget. Ensure compliance with federal and state laws, including those that govern students’ rights.
- Together with the Dean of Students and other colleagues, serve as an advocate for and liaison between students and the University’s administrative offices and the faculty. Advise and help problem-solve with students, staff and faculty, families and others as needs arise.
- Partner with the University leadership team, faculty, students, and staff to pursue opportunities to strengthen the student experience for all students. Actively support the tenets of the University’s mission, including its “enduring commitment to a vibrant and unique residential learning environment marked by the free and collegial exchange of ideas;” “unwavering support of a collaborative, diverse community bound together by distinctive foundational values of honor, integrity, trust, and respect;” and “universal dedication to excellence and affordable access.” Expect the same from staff.
- Engage staff in promoting student involvement in university life, including supporting students in fulfilling the responsibilities delegated to them by the Board of Visitors and student self-governance by creating a range of opportunities for students to partner with student affairs and other stakeholders to achieve goals and develop skills.
- Promote and support opportunities and interactions that expose students to different experiences and viewpoints and allow them to learn.
- Help determine and sustain policies and practices which promote a safe environment for students and that support students’ general well-being.
- Serve as a key leader in determining the University's response in a crisis, including outreach and support to students and families.
The successful candidate will be an experienced, student-centered leader who embraces forward-thinking strategies to anticipate the well-being and needs of students. The Vice President will also be a proven leader, manager, and collaborator with the relationship-building and entrepreneurial skills required to work successfully with a wide range of individuals and constituencies across the University and in the community. The following professional qualifications and personal characteristics are preferred:
- Demonstrated 15+ years of increasingly responsible leadership and management experience, with a deep understanding of student development.
- An advanced degree in an appropriate and relevant discipline or field or comparable work experience.
- Direct experience building and motivating an effective team, including direct experience in recruiting, selecting, supervising, coaching, retaining, and providing growth opportunities for a diverse staff.
- Direct budget planning and management experience.
- Demonstrated ability to foster change management and program improvement using methods informed by data, creativity, and innovation.
- Demonstrated record of success working in a highly collegial environment with other student affairs units and University and community constituencies, including building collaborative relationships characterized by mutual respect, trust, and commitment to shared goals.
- Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to student learning and development and a passion for working with students.
- Sensitive, diplomatic, and highly skilled in written and verbal communications with all constituencies.
- Demonstrated mastery of managing a major crisis, providing outstanding student advising and support, and excelling in a fast-paced work environment with multiple competing priorities.
- Experience and comfort with both making difficult, high-profile decisions under pressure and advising those who do.
- Knowledge of higher education and specific trends and issues affecting student affairs practice, including student well-being, legal issues, and regulatory expectations such as Title IX.
- Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and how these issues manifest in building community, belonging, and student health and well-being.
- Oversight of event planning and facilities operations, services, and communications.
- Exceptional judgment and the ability to make decisions and recommendations with the highest levels of integrity, fairness, and ethical standards.
- Kindness, creativity, and decisiveness, along with the capacity to engage and inspire others.
- Ambition to ensure UVA has the best student experience in higher education.
- Versatility, with the ability to lead, listen, and serve.
- A commitment to practicing open and transparent communication and inspiring trust.
- Desire to collaborate with the leadership at UVA to deliver on our educational mission in a culture that rewards teamwork.
- Ability to relate to a wide range of constituencies, including students, parents, faculty, donors, and alumni, and to appreciate the concerns of each group.
- Demonstrated sincere enjoyment from working with students.
- A high level of energy and endurance.
To apply or Nominate
The Executive Search Group, an internal executive search firm in the Office of the University of Virginia President, is assisting in the recruitment of the next Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer. To apply, please send a letter of interest and resume to UVA Workday.The search will be carried out with full confidentiality. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be directed to Nalini Turner, Managing Director at email@example.com.To learn more about this opportunity, please visit UVA Executive Search Group.
The University of Virginia is fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.
The University of Virginia, including the UVA Health System which represents the UVA Medical Center, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, UVA Physician’s Group and the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, are fundamentally committed to the diversity of our faculty and staff. We believe diversity is excellence expressing itself through every person's perspectives and lived experiences. We are equal opportunity and affirmative action employers. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, veteran status, and family medical or genetic information.