RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION
Reporting directly to President Barbara K. Altmann and serving as a member of the senior leadership team, the vice president of student affairs is the senior-most student affairs officer of the college and provides vision and leadership to a dynamic and student-centered division of student affairs. The vice president works collaboratively with the provost and other members of the senior leadership team to create a campus culture that enhances the student experience, provides a safe and welcoming campus environment, and fosters a sense of community across campus.
The vice president provides direct supervision and leadership to the dean of students, the director of faith and meaning, the director of the office of student and post-graduate development, the director of the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement, the director of athletics and recreation, the director of the student wellness center, and the administrative assistant. Through these direct reports, this senior leader has oversight for the following departments: the office of the dean of students; athletics and recreation; the office of student engagement and leadership; office of housing and residence life and college house oversight, including college houses; office of student and post-graduate development, including student employment; student wellness center in partnership with Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine; office of accessibility services; office of wellness and sexual violence prevention education; fraternity and sorority life; office of faith and meaning; Alice Drum Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Support; and the Ware Institute for Civic Engagement.
The vice president will advocate for and champion students, build strong collaborative relationships across campus to coordinate a holistic educational experience for students, and cultivate strong leaders throughout the division of student affairs. With a demonstrated commitment to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the next vice president will manage personnel and budgets effectively, have the ability to mentor and inspire the professional development of staff, and provide leadership and guidance in response to crises. The next vice president will nurture a culture of continual improvement, advocating a decision-making environment that is data-informed, student-centered, and outcomes-oriented. The vice president will have direct supervision of over 130 full-time and part-time professional staff and manage an annual budget of approximately $12 million, not including managed endowed accounts.
QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
A master’s degree, significant and progressive senior-level leadership in higher education administration, and a commitment to residential liberal arts education are required. A doctoral or terminal degree is preferred. The successful candidate will possess an excellent track record of leadership and accountability in student affairs work, including in-depth familiarity in one or more areas within the student affairs portfolio and significant supervisory experience. The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated respect for diversity of identities and experiences, an orientation toward equity and inclusion, and cultural competency; experience with change management; outstanding communication and relationship-building skills; strong team development, assessment, strategic planning, and fiscal competencies; and excellent problem-solving abilities.
Additionally, stakeholders identified a number of characteristics as important attributes of the vice president of student affairs:
- A creative, progressive, energized leader with a strong student-oriented focus.
- A demonstrated affinity and advocacy for the residential liberal arts college experience.
- Strong problem-solving skills with an inclusive and collaborative approach to managing change.
- Proven ability to recruit, retain, and motivate high-performing team members with a demonstrated commitment to supporting the professional development of staff members, setting clear performance expectations, providing constructive feedback, and making timely, transparent decisions.
- Evidence of success in facilitating efforts promoting student success and retention.
- Ability to build and maintain productive relationships with the president’s cabinet senior academic leaders, faculty, students, parents/families, alumni, board of trustees, and other constituents important to the success of the college.
- Experience and engagement with intercollegiate athletics, Division III-level experience strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to facilitate partnerships among academic programs and other divisions of the college.
- Outstanding interpersonal, communication, and conflict resolution skills, with the ability to successfully navigate various constituent relationships.
- Ability to ensure the offices in the portfolio of this position provide a vibrant living-learning community program for students in residence, faculty, and the campus as a whole.
- Desire to value and cultivate a commitment to shared governance, transparency, and inclusive decision-making.
- Strong understanding of contemporary student issues and values and the ability to develop a natural rapport with students and student leaders.
- Ability to remain calm and lead effectively in crisis situations.
- A positive and eager growth mindset.
- Professional demeanor, empathy, compassion, good sense of humor, highly organized, responsive, and disciplined, and the ability to relate easily to a wide range of groups.
- A good listener who can synthesize information, build consensus, and dynamically explain divisional goals and initiatives to individuals outside the division and institution.
- Leadership, flexibility, efficiency, attention to detail, and the ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines for a wide variety of assignments.
HISTORY OF THE POSITION
Margaret Hazlett, vice president and dean of students, has announced she will leave at the end of the 2023 academic year after 10 years of leadership and service to the F&M community. She was recently named head of school at Greenwich Academy and will start that new role in the summer of 2023.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE
As the senior student advocate and leader of the division of student affairs, the vice president will provide significant institutional and divisional leadership in implementing F&M’s bold strategic five-year plan, Leveraging Excellence, Accelerating Discovery (L&AD). The next vice president can listen openly, champion innovation and ingenuity, and work cohesively and industriously with campus partners to provide a student-centered experience built on institutional strengths that allows for a dynamic and inclusive college experience.
In transitioning to F&M, the vice president of student affairs will also encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges shared by college stakeholders:
- L&AD asks the campus to examine the student experience. The next vice president will bring a joyful passion for holistic student development, strong operational management, and inclusive leadership skills to craft a visionary, student-centered student affairs division.
- The next vice president will actively engage students in a holistic manner, be highly visible throughout the campus, and be regarded as a role model and trusted advocate for students, exemplifying what it means to be fully engaged with a passionate, engaged student population.
- The next vice president will be expected to center students and their diverse experiences and utilize policies, procedures, and best practices to pursue community well-being.
- The next vice president will initiate and support institutional goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion by actively leading divisional conversations for staff and students, promoting training and staff development, and cultivating an equity-minded campus culture.
- As a selective, residential, national liberal arts college, it is essential that the F&M signature house system positions bring together the expertise of the house dons (faculty) and house deans (student affairs) to evaluate the student experience and craft a modern vision for the house system that is responsive to the evolving needs of students.
- Student affairs should be considered a valued and integral partner to the academic enterprise. The next vice president will be expected to bring a highly relational spirit to cross-campus collaborations and model those expectations within the division.
- The next vice president will create a strong, vibrant, data-driven, outcomes-focused decision-making culture within the division.
- The next vice president with work to establish trust and deeply collegial relationships with the president and members of her senior leadership team by exemplifying high levels of integrity and emotional intelligence.
- The vice president and division of student affairs will continue to be a strong partner with admissions and the international center to provide support for a holistic student experience.
- The next vice president will astutely advocate for the financial and staffing resources that deliver a dynamic liberal arts student experience reflective of the needs and expectations of today’s students and families.
- The vice president will bring a comprehensive and integrated understanding of student health and well-being, and provide leadership to strengthen institutional support and campus-wide capacity to support holistic student development.
- The next vice president will develop a strong sense of team among staff and build working relationships that emphasize collaboration, consistency, and equity. Staff should feel encouraged, challenged, supported, and confident about how they contribute to the divisional and institutional vision and strategic priorities.
- It will be important for the next vice president to bring innovative thinking and creative solutions at a challenging time for private higher education. The next vice president will continue to evaluate the current offerings of student services, initiatives, and activities and make recommendations for enrichment or improvement.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
At an appropriate interval after joining F&M, a number of accomplishments will initially define success for the new vice president of student affairs.
- The vice president is a committed and energetic advocate of the L&AD strategic plan, working dynamically with a collaborative and united senior leadership team.
- The vice president will have assessed divisional strengths and weaknesses and outlined the strategic direction and long-term plan for the division of student affairs consistent with institutional mission and goals.
- The division has embraced a continuous improvement and data-informed culture.
- Students see the vice president as visible, engaging, and accessible.
- Communication and collaboration are enhanced, and innovation is encouraged.
- The vice president will have assessed the skills and knowledge of the staff, developed a strong sense of teamwork among staff, and built working relationships that emphasize an engaging and collaborative work environment.
- The vice president has maintained a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence on and off campus that is credible, collegial, and highly effective.
- The student affairs division is defined as a strong, trusted, highly functioning, well-regarded, and resilient team that works with synergy and shared purpose, readily collaborating across departmental and division lines with a demonstrated commitment to student success.
OVERVIEW OF STUDENT AFFAIRS
The F&M student affairs division contributes to the foundation of an inclusive student-centered campus that embraces lifelong learning and continuous improvement. The student affairs division provides services and programs that promote good health and well-being, enhance student learning, and develop diplomats (i.e., the leaders and citizens we need for a strong future). Through divisional work, student affairs furthers the college’s mission of graduating students who will live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to their occupations, communities, and world.
Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) is a residential college dedicated to excellence in undergraduate liberal education. It aims to inspire in young people of high promise and diverse backgrounds a genuine and enduring love for learning, to teach them to read, write, and think critically, to instill in them the capacity for both independent and collaborative action, and to educate them to explore and understand the natural, social, and cultural worlds in which they live. In its mission statement, the college seeks to foster in its students qualities of intellect, creativity, and character so they may live fulfilling lives and contribute meaningfully to their occupations, communities, and world.
The campus is located in a residential neighborhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a vital, historic city in a county of over 500,000 residents, with easy access to Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and Washington, D.C. Lancaster offers both a diverse urban environment and lush, rolling farmland. Residents enjoy charming historic districts and historical landmarks, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and dining and shopping to suit every taste.
Leveraging Excellence, Accelerating Discovery (L&AD)
L&AD is F&M’s bold and strategic five-year plan (2022-2027). It is so named to capture the community’s ambitions for the college and its ampersand, F&M’s mission, identity, inclusivity, and core values. The plan was created with the input of hundreds of faculty, staff, students, trustees, and alumni and is designed to advance the college and secure its position, in perpetuity, among the finest liberal arts institutions in the country.
Together, by leveraging excellence and accelerating discovery, F&M will achieve five key goals:
- Revitalize the curriculum to respond to and guide students’ evolving needs, goals, and interests.
- Empower students to engage in an inclusive and joyful community.
- Advance aspirations through the highest and best use of all resources.
- Center diversity, equity, and inclusion as institutional values.
- Ignite a strong culture of philanthropy, service, and rewarding engagement.
THE STUDENT BODY
Enrollment: 2,426 undergraduates
Demographics: 46% men, 54% women
Student/faculty ratio: 9:1
F&M centers diversity, equity, and inclusion as institutional values, transforming its culture to create a safe, welcoming, and equitable community where all students, employees, and alumni feel a sense of belonging and be heard.
Barbara K. Altmann – President
Barbara K. Altmann, PhD, became the 16th president of Franklin & Marshall College in August 2018.
Dedicated to F&M’s liberal arts mission and workforce preparation, Altmann is committed to deepening and broadening the connections between the Franklin & Marshall community and a changing world.
Altmann recently led the largest campaign in the college’s history to a successful conclusion. She is currently leading the college by implementing a strategic plan entitled L&AD: Leveraging Excellence, Accelerating Discovery, which will position F&M to better respond to student priorities and academic interests, invest in student and alumni success, and ensure institutional sustainability.
In addition to her leadership at F&M, Altmann is currently an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) and the Board of Trustees of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Fulton Theatre, and the Economic Development Company of Lancaster.
Before she arrived at F&M, Altmann had served as the provost at Bucknell University since 2015. A native of Canada, she received her bachelor’s degree with honors in romance languages at the University of Alberta. She earned her master’s degree in French from the University of Toronto and her doctorate in medieval French language and literature.
Altmann served for more than 25 years as a scholar of the French Middle Ages at the University of Oregon. She was a professor of French, head of the department of romance languages, and director of the Oregon Humanities Center before spending her last three years at the university as senior vice provost for academic affairs. She also served as a visiting assistant professor at Dartmouth College early in her career.
Altmann has written or edited four books and written numerous articles, reviews, and conference papers in her field of expertise. In academic circles, she has served as an elected delegate to the executive councils of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Modern Language Association.
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SALARY AND BENEFITS
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not require public salary disclosure. For more information, please contact the search consultant above. F&M offers its employees a comprehensive benefits package. Visit Benefits to learn more.
Visit the Franklin & Marshall College website at https://www.fandm.edu/
Franklin & Marshall College is committed to having an inclusive campus community where all members are treated with dignity and respect. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, the College does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices on the basis of gender/gender-identity, sex, race or ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information, family or marital status, sexual orientation, or any other protected class.
F&M centers diversity, equity, and inclusion as institutional values, transforming its culture to create a safe, welcoming, and equitable community in which all students, employees, and alumni will feel a sense of belonging and be heard.