At The Cabinet Level: Academic Affairs

As a senior/cabinet level officer of your institution, the expectation from your president and your board is that while representing your particular division, you are also able to effectively contribute in all other institutional areas, as well as articulate the challenges and goals facing your institution and the larger academic market.

Below is a broad overview of important institutional metrics in Academic Affairs.  As a senior/cabinet level officer, it is key to be familiar with:

  • The number of full and part time faculty
  • The number of tenured faculty with a terminal degree
  • The student/faculty teaching ratio
  • The number of faculty on the tenure track
  • The top academic areas—either by major or by research dollars or by faculty prominence
  • The total research dollars that come into the institution
  • Teaching load for faculty
  • Current curriculum designs or changes that are under consider by the faculty
  • Your institution’s last accreditation and status as reported by the accrediting agency
  • The overall academic standards of your students—average SAT scores, high school rank
  • Study abroad/experiential learning programs offered at the institution

Ellen Heffernan

President - Spelman Johnson

Ellen Heffernan graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in economics and government. She joined Spelman Johnson in 1996, after a ten-year career in higher education that included positions at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also a national speaker and writer on topics related to recruiting and professional development in higher education and serves as faculty for several national higher education association professional development programs. Ellen also currently serves on the executive board of the National Association of Executive Recruiters.