Bucknell University is pleased to announce a national search for a skilled and experienced student affairs leader to serve as the Associate Vice President and Fritz Family Dean of Students (AVP/DOS). A highly selective, residential liberal arts institution nestled in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna River Valley, Bucknell University was recently named one of the most innovative institutions in the nation. Bolstered by a strong institutional commitment to student success and well-being, as well as the resources to support this, the AVP/DOS is well positioned to lead the Division of Student Affairs and its dedicated team toward exemplary and cutting-edge practice.
Reporting to the Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement & Success, the AVP/DOS provides strategic vision, direction, leadership and oversight of all essential student programs and services grounded in national best-practice standards. The AVP/DOS oversees a robust portfolio of student life functions administered by the associate and assistant deans—including residence life, student conduct and conflict resolution, campus life, fraternity and sorority life, student development programs, co-curricular activities, new student orientation, and student health and wellness initiatives.
In addition to those listed above, responsibilities of the AVP/DOS include, but are not limited to, the following.
- Facilitates and manages all strategic planning and assessment efforts within Student Affairs to advance student learning and development outcomes.
- Creates and fosters a culture of personal growth and development for Student Affairs staff; supports them in implementing changes to service models, staffing, outreach and other areas in response to evolving student needs.
- Serves as a highly visible and accessible leader working in collaboration with staff, with a commitment to the holistic development of students through programs and initiatives focused on fostering student engagement and belonging.
- Maintains awareness and understanding of college student needs and trends and, in collaboration with the division team and campus partners, effectively translates key concepts into innovative and progressive programs and services for Bucknell students.
- Manages a complex budget composed of multiple funding sources; maintains a keen understanding of business operations and organizational systems to ensure effective stewardship of finances and resources; partners with University Advancement and others to seek external sources of private and grant funding.
- Oversees and directs the approval process for changes in Student Affairs policies and regulations.
- Serves as the chief student conduct officer; ensures compliance with all relevant laws and regulations; minimizes institutional liability by systematically reviewing University compliance with federally mandated reporting/disclosure requirements.
- Provides leadership, guidance and support in crisis management and intervention. Actively engages in addressing critical incident response; ensures that behavioral assessment, care coordination and case management meets national best-practice standards.
- In partnership with divisions across campus, develops strategy, executes vision, and ensures careful and intentional resource planning to create and support a premier residential campus experience for students.
- Partners with equity and inclusion offices to develop appropriate responses to incidents of bias; actively develops, engages in and supports University efforts in providing equal and supportive access to all educational activities, interventions, programs and services.
- Provides advice and counsel to the Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement & Success on student-related matters; represents the University and Division of Student Affairs on various community and University committees and task forces.
- Serves as a campus liaison with key University partners including the University Board of Trustees Student Life Committee and parents and families of students; maintains regular contact with the University Parents Board.
- Maintains town-gown relationships and fosters positive relations with the local community.
- With the recent strategic realignment of Student Affairs under the Student Enrollment, Engagement & Success portfolio, the AVP/DOS will play a key role in shaping the future vision, structure and operations of Student Affairs; this leader will be poised to make a significant impact on the student experience at Bucknell, while mentoring and coaching the staff that supports them.
- The recent hiring of a Vice President for Equity & Inclusion increases opportunities for the AVP/DOS to develop a strong and collaborative partnership in the development and implementation of University-wide strategic initiatives to address the engagement, belonging and success of historically marginalized communities.
- The AVP/DOS will reimagine the residential experience and work collaboratively to create a comprehensive housing plan.
- The University is deeply invested in fostering the growth, success and holistic well-being of all Bucknellians. The AVP/DOS will spearhead exciting initiatives that promote student well-being, enhance nutrition and dining, and develop vibrant student community spaces.
- In anticipation of raising significant funds to support bold and innovative ideas for student engagement, Bucknell seeks an AVP/DOS who has the vision, charisma and drive to put creative ideas and best practices into action.
- EdD or PhD in a related field.
- Minimum of 10 years of progressive leadership responsibilities in student affairs in a higher education setting; extensive experience supervising, mentoring and developing full-time staff.
- Demonstrated cultural competence and record of initiatives that enhance supports and outcomes for students from historically marginalized communities; awareness of, respect for and experience working with diverse populations; use of a social justice lens in planning, problem-solving and program development.
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills; ability to inspire confidence and trust and to work effectively with internal and external constituents, including students, parents, faculty, advisors, campus security, senior leadership and others.
- Ability to facilitate and support the development of a cross-organizational culture of collaboration, teamwork and care to promote the well-being and success of staff and the provision of excellent services to undergraduate and graduate students.
- Demonstrable expertise and experience in best practices for policy and procedure as it relates to Student Affairs, particularly crisis management, case management and student conduct.
- Demonstrated use of data, assessment, program review and evidence-based practices to inform analysis, development and planning of student initiatives, interventions and programs.
- Sound judgment, sensitivity, compassion, and the ability to negotiate complex and challenging situations while preserving relationships with stakeholders.
- Excellence in both oral and written communication, including the ability to make clear and concise presentations to stakeholders ranging from students and parents to faculty and the Board of Trustees.
- Experience managing public health issues, crisis management and emergency response, at both institutional and individual levels.
- Knowledge of and experience with technology platforms designed to support student success (student information systems, learning management systems, word processing, spreadsheets, database applications, etc.).
- Experience using mediation and/or restorative justice as a conflict resolution method.
- Experience providing strategic direction and leadership of high-level university-wide committees.
- Strong leadership skills with ability to attract, motivate, coach and develop a high-performing work team and foster a diverse and inclusive work environment.
- A strong administrative record of accomplishment in the areas of budgeting, human resource management, legal issues and technology.
Bucknell University is a highly selective, private, residential institution with a population of over 3,800 undergraduate students, in addition to a small graduate program; nearly 90% of students live on campus and over 20% are students of color. Bucknell’s vibrant living-learning community offers many ways for students to explore their interests and talents, including hundreds of clubs and organizations, 27 Division I athletics teams, a thriving arts scene, broad opportunities for civic engagement and a robust portfolio of study abroad programs across the world.
Since its establishment in 1846, Bucknell has pushed the boundaries of undergraduate education, offering a distinct mix of liberal arts and professional programs. Students can choose from over 60 majors and 70 minors across the University’s nationally recognized colleges, including the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering and the Freeman College of Management.
Bucknell is located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, about a three-hour drive from New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The borough of Lewisburg features beautifully maintained Victorian homes; a variety of restaurants, shops and boutiques; and the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University Bookstore. The area offers a cost of living that is lower than that of major U.S. cities and suburbs, highly rated local schools and outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Bucknell has partnered with Keeling & Associates in this search process. Applicants should send a cover letter and resume/CV, preferably in PDF format, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line of the email should read “Bucknell AVP/DOS.” Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Dr. Shadia Sachedina, Consultant, at email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed immediately, and all materials received by Oct. 25, 2023, will receive full consideration. The review process will continue until the position is filled.
Bucknell is committed to fostering an environment that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports the growth and development of a diverse campus community. We endeavor to enhance our capacity to value and capitalize on the cultural richness that diversity brings. We encourage all individuals to apply and do not discriminate in admissions, employment, educational programs and/or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, sex/gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, marital or family status, military or veteran status, or genetic information.