The University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz) announces the search for the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success (VCSAS). The University seeks an experienced and visionary leader to serve as Vice Chancellor and advance the student experience for its 20,000 diverse and talented students.
Widely recognized as an academically vibrant and student-centered university, UC Santa Cruz is proud of its profile as one of the most diverse campuses in the US and as a member of both the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the prestigious, ten-campus University of California system. UC Santa Cruz, founded in 1965, is distinguished by its residential 'college' system through which students live and learn in small communities organized around themes of broad intellectual interest. Santa Cruz is located on the edge of Monterey Bay, approximately 70 miles from San Francisco and is ideally suited for year-round outdoor activity.
Reporting directly to Chancellor Cynthia Larive, the VCSAS provides leadership, vision, and strategic direction for a division that includes the following organizational units: Student Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, Slug Support, the Career Center, Educational Opportunity Programs, Learning Support Services, Services for Transfer and Reentry Students, Student Organizations, Student Government and the Resource Centers. With a staff of approximately 200 FTE, UC Santa Cruz's next Vice Chancellor will have an opportunity for transformational leadership in designing and leading a student affairs division to meet the needs of a growing and changing student population, recognizing complex student wellbeing needs, and designing programs and services that center diversity, inclusion and anti-racist practices as organizational priorities.
The Vice Chancellor articulates and implements a vision for the Division of Student Affairs and Success that is focused on student engagement and persistence to graduation and that is consistent with the campus's broader commitment to excellence, equity, and access. The VCSAS should be a collaborative leader with sensitivity to multiple and diverse on-and-off campus stakeholders, with particular interest on the experience of graduate students and with enthusiasm and patience for the contributions of student activists. The VCSAS should have an in-depth understanding of all aspects of student affairs and an abiding commitment to delivering a first-class student experience through transparent and creative engagement with key stakeholders. The VCSAS provides leadership and strategic direction for the Division of Student Affairs and Success while interpreting and managing the evolving and complex nature of student affairs in higher education. The VCSAS must be knowledgeable and remain current on national and global issues pertaining to student success, diversity and inclusion, health and wellness, free speech, sexual assault, conduct and compliance within the context of a student-centered, public research university. As the University transitions to its post-COVID environment, the Vice Chancellor will engage with students and faculty to assess every aspect of the student experience and consider the implication of the past two years in shaping the environment for living and learning at Santa Cruz.
The successful candidate will be a visionary, collaborative, skilled and innovative leader with exceptional administrative, financial and managerial skills, and proven experience in a dynamic and complex professional environment. The Vice Chancellor will have broad knowledge of current student affairs issues, collaborative strategies to facilitate the success of all students including those who are first generation and from low income backgrounds, and an ability to create partnerships with all University constituencies, including students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, parents and Regents. The Vice Chancellor will display integrity in behavior and decisions and a demonstrated commitment and specific experience in advancing equity and inclusion as strategic priorities. The Vice Chancellor will be expected to work successfully with internal and external constituencies, including highly engaged, local community members and advisory councils. The Vice Chancellor will represent the division and the university to the media, the public, and local and state government agencies. A Ph.D. or Ed.D. and a record of progressively responsible and relevant leadership in higher education is strongly preferred.
Role of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success
The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success provides the dynamic leadership and vision necessary to assure effective and strategic management of student affairs and student success programs, including Student Health and Wellness, Career Success, Student Development and Engagement. The incumbent works closely with other senior campus academic and administrative leaders to successfully guide the Student Affairs and Success division in support of the University of California Santa Cruz's academic mission of teaching, research, and public service.
Reporting to the Chancellor, the VCSAS heads a division that focuses holistically on student affairs and student success through units that support student health and wellness (Student Health Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Slug Support), student career success (the Career Center), student academic progress (Educational Opportunity Programs, Learning Support Services and Services for Transfer and Reentry Students) and student life programs (Student Organizations, Student Government and the Resource Centers). The VCSAS promotes an engaged and healthy campus environment through services, programs, and innovative learning experiences that create a strong sense of community among students, faculty, and staff with an emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion and civic engagement.
As a senior leader of UCSC, the VCSAS identifies important business and risk trends for campus consideration and develops, recommends, and implements appropriate campus responses to those trends. The VCSAS participates in various campus bodies, including the Chancellor's Cabinet, providing expertise and thought partnership, and provides leadership to various governance and advisory groups on behalf of the Chancellor or Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor. In addition, the VCSAS serves as Appellate Officer in the Student Judicial System, when necessary.
Serve as a senior advisor to the Chancellor on a wide range of issues including long range planning and development of student support programs, organizations and structures that support the teaching, learning, research and public service mission of the University.
Represent UCSC at University of California meetings and other system-wide committees on student affairs and success policy and direction as requested.
Maximize UC Office of the President support for campus initiatives and programs and assist in coordinating shared services across the system.
Represent the campus with government, professional, higher-education and community organizations dealing with student affairs and success.
Maintain close working relationships and seek input from UCSC academic and administrative leaders to understand and support their student affairs and success needs.
Represent the student affairs and success division in consultations with various campus constituencies and committees, and work constructively with the academic senate in a system of shared governance.
Develop and maintain multi-year strategic plans that address challenges and opportunities and determine future directions consistent with the University mission. Facilitate implementation strategies and monitor and measure goals and accomplishments.
Implement best practices for student safety in areas including but not limited to alcohol and drug use and bullying.
Work with key student groups, including but not limited to student government, Greek Life, and other student clubs and organizations to enhance student engagement, belonging and development.
Advance student success by collaborating with campus leaders to identify student achievement gaps and create holistic programs that address and eliminate these gaps.
Foster student professional development and leadership skills through participation in student organizations, student government, volunteer and community service opportunities and campus employment.
Oversee efforts within the division of student affairs and success to identify and apply for extramural funding to support student engagement, success and well-being; and when grants are received, effectively steward funding and administer projects.
Oversee the Division's operating budget, allocating resources to advance the mission of the university. Monitor financial and programmatic results through periodic program reviews and financial reports.
Develop and promote training and professional development for the student affairs and success division staff, as well as develop long-term succession plans for the division.
Develop and maintain policies, procedures, programs and standards that advance and support the academic and research goals of the university.
Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities
The ideal candidate will have the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:
An advanced degree and a record of progressively responsible Student Affairs/higher education management experience is preferred. Prior experience in a comprehensive, multi-unit organization reporting directly to senior/executive management at a large research university or its equivalent is desirable.
The Vice Chancellor will demonstrate sensitivity to, and understanding of, students from all backgrounds and commitment to developing and strengthening student programs that meet student needs and support student success and academic achievement.
The Vice Chancellor will be a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion with demonstrated ability to work with a diverse group of constituents, both on campus and in the broader community, including city, county, state, and federal agencies, and with an active and engaged group of community stakeholders.
The Vice Chancellor will have a demonstrated ability to form partnerships with university leadership to build bridges and create an inclusive vision to achieve university-wide goals. In the Vice Chancellor's prior leadership experience, a record of steady and successful leadership and persuasive influence will be evident.
As a recognized and acknowledged Student Affairs leader, the Vice Chancellor will demonstrate both a theoretical and practical knowledge of the student affairs field, including the ability to develop and execute a strategic plan to create an inclusive 'best practice' division with goals and strategies that advance the overall aspirations of the University. Using data and assessment to determine strategies for optimal programs and services for students, the Vice Chancellor will demonstrate organizational, administrative, and program management skills to diagnose critical areas for attention, effectively allocate resources, and translate strategies into action.
The Vice Chancellor will lead a talented and committed group of professional staff who are invested in the success of the students of UC Santa Cruz. In the leadership and management of a large staff, the Vice Chancellor will be an inclusive and communicative leader, a natural bridge-builder, a thoughtful listener, and a visionary leader. The Vice Chancellor will be experienced in supporting front-line providers who respond to student crisis situations and will be a trusted and confident problem solver and decision maker. As an inspiring speaker and writer, the Vice Chancellor will serve as the 'voice' of the Student Affairs and Success Division for the campus and the community.
The Division has a complex financial infrastructure and a large budget. The Vice Chancellor will have a sophisticated understanding of the sources and uses of the fiscal resources available and a commitment to the prudent stewardship of the resources under the control of the Division.
Additional skills and/or experience desired to perform this position:
A sensitivity to, and understanding of, students from all backgrounds and commitment to developing and strengthening student programs that meet student needs and support their academic achievement and personal wellbeing.
Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse group of constituencies on all levels within the organization, as well as city, county, state, federal agencies, and community groups.
Demonstrated ability to partner with university leadership to build effective bridges and to achieve university-wide goals.
Demonstrated record of accomplishment in advocating and incorporating the policy and program needs of a complex, multi-unit organization into broader organization-wide plans and programs.
Demonstrated organizational, administrative, and program management skills to diagnose critical areas for attention, effectively allocate resources, and translate strategies into action.
Demonstrated interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.
Demonstrated oral and written communication skills.
Demonstrated problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Leadership experience in strategic planning and long range planning.
About University of California Santa Cruz
Modeled on Oxford University in England, UC Santa Cruz was designed as a cluster of decentralized small colleges, where students could have daily contact with their professors, while still being part of a large research university.
It was a bold approach, informed by the ideal of a college community where faculty and students were closely connected. From the outset, UC Santa Cruz was a move toward a campus built primarily for undergraduate studies with a research emphasis.
This innovative approach, coupled with the physical beauty of the campus setting, bore fruit in the most wonderful way — a campus culture that cherished the exploration of new ideas in service of solving large problems.
Today, UC Santa Cruz continues to embody its founding principles for the current generation of students: Smaller classes where faculty and students co-create new knowledge in a safe and respectful environment that creates global citizens with the will to engage in complex problems.
It is this deep and abiding respect for approaching the great challenges of the day that makes UC Santa Cruz a compelling choice. UCSC students do not merely learn a subject, they help create new knowledge in the service of humanity. In addition, the faculty take great pride in teaching the students how to think, not what to think.
The University of California, Santa Cruz is committed to promoting and protecting an environment that values and supports every person in an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism and fairness.
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University's equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to: Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. (831) 459-3676.
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