Vice President for Academic Affairs
Posted: September 13, 2023
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled
The University of Mount Union invites applications and nominations for the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA), who will report to Gregory L. King, 14th president of the University.
A private institution founded in 1846, Mount Union oﬀers a variety of rigorous and relevant academic programs that are grounded in the liberal arts tradition. Mount Union’s nearly 2,100 students can select from 45 broad-based and career-speciﬁc undergraduate majors, including recent additions in engineering, nursing, and data science. In addition, eight graduate programs are oﬀered in fields such as physician assistant studies, physical therapy, education, and business, with additions in nursing and occupational therapy slated to begin in 2025 and 2026 respectively.
Known for its academic excellence and personal approach, the institution boasts a 13:1 student- faculty ratio and an average class size of 16. Mount Union’s robust curriculum is delivered in-person and online by dedicated faculty members, 91% of whom hold terminal degrees in their ﬁelds. Of our 126 full-time faculty members, 58% are tenured, and 21% are on tenure track.
Mount Union and its programs have been recognized regionally and nationally for quality and value. Our undergraduate nursing (Nurse.org, 2023) and sport business (Bachelor’s Degree Center, 2023) programs have been ranked #1 in Ohio. Among graduate programs, Mount Union was tied for the top spot in a listing of the Best Private Institutions for Online Master of Education programs and tied for 2nd in a ranking of the Best Physician Assistant Program in Ohio (both by US News, 2023). Athletically, Mount Union has been ranked as the top Ohio Athletic Conference School and 20th in all of Division III in the 2022-2023 LEARFIELD Director’s Cup Standings. As an institution, the University is ranked #18 for Best Value and #30 overall in the Midwest Regional Universities category (US News, 2022-2023) and was named the Best Small Employer in Ohio (Forbes, 2023).
Over the past two decades, Mount Union has invested more than $200 million in the construction and renovation of modern facilities, including a natural sciences building, recreation center, apartment-style housing, a health and medical sciences facility, a performing arts center, a business and engineering building, a football coaching center, and an esports and golf facility. The institution’s commitment to diversity has resulted in a newly-constructed center for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging and the appointment of a dedicated chief diversity officer.
The University features a student-centered approach and an exceptional educational experience, offering an array of activities for cultural, civic, and social development. Students experience outstanding opportunities for success after graduation, both in the workforce and in graduate study.
A strong commitment to financial stewardship has resulted in 68 consecutive years of balanced financial operations on campus. The University’s endowment is in excess of $165 million.
The Ideal Candidate
The VPAA serves as a key pillar in the University’s structure, ensuring the support and facilitation that underlies delivery of forward-thinking, high-quality academic programming. This approach enriches the learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students.
The VPAA also serves as the chief academic officer of the University and thus assumes responsibility for Mount Union’s educational mission and academic program. In fulfilling this role, the VPAA serves as the leader and advocate for Mount Union’s academic programs and faculty. This individual is also a key member of the President’s Council and the chief liaison officer to the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees. In addition to overseeing all academic programs, the VPAA oversees key administrative areas, including the Library; the Office of Institutional Effectiveness; the Office of the University Registrar, including digital learning and design; the Digital, Written, and Oral Communication Center; the Center for Faculty Development; the Spectrum Education Center; the Center for Global Education; and the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center.
The VPAA position invites a candidate whose education, experience, and accomplishments have prepared them for contemporary institutional leadership challenges and opportunities. These include the following attributes:
• Values-centered leadership that accentuates values consistent with aims established by the University of Mount Union, respectfulness, kindness, honesty, transparency, integrity, service, and fairness in their work.
• A community-engaged leader comfortable in a small campus setting, who desires and appreciates frequent interaction with faculty, staff, and students; actively participates in community life; and is committed to being visible and accessible both on and off campus.
• An accomplished academic leader who is energized by Mount Union’s mission to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work, and responsible citizenship, capable of working with the University’s strategic initiatives, and committed to building a graduate culture on campus.
• A clear communicator who has the skills to work effectively in one-on-one settings and in small and large groups, and who is able to serve as an effective public spokesperson for the academic program and the University, both on and off campus.
• A student of higher education who has developed a broad knowledge base regarding recent trends and challenges facing higher education, and who is creative in understanding market need, digital innovation, accessibility, and academic program possibilities.
• An effective relationship-builder and decision-maker who understands the process of building consensus around ideas and courses of action – one who listens carefully and considers diverse viewpoints, and who is then able to make clear and timely decisions.
• An astute financial manager capable of careful financial planning and analysis, budget development, priority setting, and resource allocation, and assuring accountability.
Roles and Responsibilities
The ideal VPAA candidate will:
• Foster a civil and collegial environment that encourages effective teaching, professional development, scholarship, and service
• Guide the college’s academic program and initiatives
• Collaborate and communicate effectively with faculty, community partners, educational entities, and legislative bodies
• Foster intellectual growth, student learning, and scholarly and creative academic programming
• Champion access, diversity, and intercultural competence for an inclusive campus
• Lead and inspire faculty with high standards of teaching, advising, service, and scholarship
• Develop proactive external partnerships to promote the University’s academic goals, student recruitment, and fundraising
• Lead academic budget planning to optimize revenues and contain expenses
• Coordinate the evaluation of faculty for tenure, promotion, and continuation and, when necessary, collaborate with relevant faculty committees and administrative offices to devise well-structured plans for corrective action or dismissal
• Align academic resources with the mission of the University
• Establish and meet quantitative metrics for continuous quality improvement in all academic areas
• Through the shared governance structure, participate in an ongoing assessment of the academic organizational design with the goal of meeting current and future demands
The Process of Candidacy
To apply, visit the Employment Page on the Mount Union website. Candidates are asked to submit electronically in MS Word or Adobe PDF:
(1) a letter of interest that directly addresses the leadership opportunities outlined in the profile above,
(2) a curriculum vita or resume, and
(3) the names, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers of five references. References will not be contacted without first securing the permission of the candidate.
A review of candidates will begin on October 16, 2023.
Additional information about the University of Mount Union may be found on the Mount Union website.
The University of Mount Union prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, veteran status, marital or parental status, pregnancy, disability, or genetic information, in student admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or employment as now, or may hereafter be, required by university policy and federal or state law. Inquiries regarding compliance may be directed to the Office of Human Resources, Beeghly Hall, (330) 829-6560.
Co-Chairs of the VPAA Search Committee: Marci Craig, Director of Human Resources, and Sheryl Holt, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Director of the PT Program
To apply, please visit: https://apptrkr.com/4577193