The University of Florida (UF) is a public land-grant institution and a member of the Association of American Universities enrolling over 55,000 students, including 37,000 undergraduates. UF is among the nation’s most academically diverse universities, with 16 colleges offering 100 undergraduate degree programs, 200 graduate programs, 30 combined degree programs, and professional degrees in the areas of dentistry, law, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. The university is located in Gainesville, a city of approximately 125,000 residents in North Central Florida.

The Position

ROLE OF THE POSITION

Reporting to the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs, the inaugural Assistant Provost for Student Success (APSS) will work across colleges and units to maximize equity-minded undergraduate student success and retention university-wide and build consensus among an array of on- and off-campus partners, including administrators, faculty, staff, and students, to shape and lead the implementation of a shared vision for student success. The APSS will create a collaborative student success strategic plan that guides the university toward both virtual and physical student success space, including tutoring and other academic support services, coaching, and peer mentoring, and will develop relationships with faculty and engage them effectively in student success efforts. The APSS partners closely with the UF Thrive Center leadership to connect student participants to needed academic support services and, in concert with the thrive center director and the senior director of advising, coordinates a campus-wide effort to create supplemental, transitional programming to serve populations of students that have been historically vulnerable to graduation delays. The APSS provides direct supervision for the coordinators of tutoring and academic support and coaching and peer mentoring.

Additional duties and responsibilities of the position include:

  • Serve as primary contact for the UF Student Success effort.
  • Create and nurture collaborative partnerships with UF Student Success stakeholders (including but not limited to academic colleges and departments, Division of Enrollment Management, Division of Student Life, UFIT, OIPR, UFO, Otis Hawkins Center, etc. and their associated programs, including but not limited to, UF Promise, UF Quest, etc.) who will provide critical pillars for holistic, personalized support of UF residential and online students. Through collaborative planning, seek ways to leverage the existing skills, expertise, and experiences of staff at UF to shape the future of UF Student Success.
  • In partnership with Enrollment Management, work with K-12 outreach programs (e.g., Center for Precollegiate Education and Training) to provide connectivity to pre-college preparation programs and in-college retention programs.
  • Partner with the UF Graduate School, as appropriate, to coordinate support services beneficial to both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Provide leadership of a UF Student Success Executive Council composed of on- and off-campus partners who will serve as advocates and advisors as UF Student Success grows into its vision.
  • Ensure sufficient support for undergraduate students in tutoring, coaching, and peer mentoring. Develop other academic support services (e.g., supplemental instruction, group tutoring, faculty partnerships, etc.) as appropriate and needed.
  • Transition academic support services to physical space as feasible, following a strategic plan that includes a vision for a Student Success Center. Ensure that all campus partners are included in the planning and operation of the physical UF Student Success Center.
  • Monitor academic support services to assess impacts on timely graduation. Partner with UFIT and OIPR to create and nurture a habit of data-supported decision-making. Develop a framework for assessing student success supports and high-impact practices, with mindfulness toward student learning and equity.
  • Support the Senior Director of Advising in shaping a central transitional academic advising office and in strengthening academic advising as a critical pillar of student success.
  • Assist the Scholarship and Fellowship Coordinator in meeting established goals for student recognition and in administering Office of Undergraduate Affairs scholarships.
  • Build and implement a communication plan that includes a well-organized approach to connecting with UF Student Success partners, faculty, staff, and students. Achieve throughout UF a goal of a shared understanding of the holistic approach envisioned in UF Student Success support of students. Work with campus partners to streamline communications to admitted and current students.
  • Shape a comprehensive list of curricular and co-curricular programs and activities in the ecosystem of student support at UF. Regularly communicate to campus partners who lead these programs and activities to draw them into the UF Student Success efforts.
  • Meet and communicate regularly with UF Advancement.
  • Serve as a member of the Advisory Council for Undergraduate Affairs (ACUA). Participate in Undergraduate Advisory Council meetings when appropriate.
  • Assist OIPR in reporting student success data to the Florida Board of Governors.
  • Coordinate an annual UF Student Success Summit.
  • Partner with UF Advancement and Executive Director of Annual Giving in developing and implementing goals and a strategic plan for fund-raising for UF Student Success.
  • Seek external sources of grant funding from foundations and state and federal programs to support UF Student Success initiatives by leading and participating in proposal preparation and submission.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

The Assistant Provost for Student Success is a new position.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF THE ROLE

The new Assistant Provost of Student Success must possess a broad understanding of academic practice and theory, as well as demonstrated experience in direct student engagement. The APSS should be a dynamic and respected leader who has had success building and advancing a progressive student success program, be capable of managing multiple priorities and departments and be equipped to contribute at both a strategic and tactical level to the vibrant, student-centered culture at UF.

The new APSS must commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partner across campus for maximum effectiveness; UF is committed to building relationships as a foundation of the campus culture, and strong collaboration is an absolute necessity in all endeavors to ensure success. Student success directly touches a vast number of individuals, departments, and other entities on campus, so it will be crucial that the new Assistant Provost quickly reach out across campus to begin the process of building strong relationships and partnerships to foster cooperative programming and to be a “connector” in all instances. These connections are essential to assess real needs, design student-centered programs, and provide high-end customer service at all times. UF has good numbers related to persistence and graduation and is looking to make small incremental changes Most of the low-hanging fruit has been addressed so much of the work will need to be done on a micro-level rather than through large initiatives.

While the university anticipates increasing its formal student success infrastructure, a majority of the faculty and staff working in student success are “volunteers.” Participating in the UF Student Success effort, per se, is not their primary job. The APSS will play a critical role in but will not “own” student success. They will need to bring others along with them and possess the ability to lead people they do not supervise and synthesize the expertise in a variety of divisions across campus including academic affairs, student life, and enrollment management. There is a community of people at UF who understand student success and enthusiastically support it. They are willing and committed. A lot of groundwork has been laid in terms of crossing functional areas dispelling the notion that student success infringes on anyone’s turf. Departments have bought into the idea that student success crosses departmental lines.

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice are essential elements of the UF community, and the APSS should be a leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts. There are a large number of underrepresented populations within the institution, including a great number of first-generation students, and the student success organization needs to be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased environment at all times. The new APSS should quickly become familiar with the campus climate and proactively participate in campus initiatives for engaging in conversation and action around diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The assistant provost must serve as the public “face” of student success, be visible on campus, and be able to engage other university entities in the student success environment. It will be a prime objective of the new APSS to be visible on campus, attend critical events, collaborate across both academic and administrative units, and spend time outside the office to educate the campus on the benefits and services offered by the organization. The assistant provost must possess excellent communication skills and be able to articulate the student success “story” across the university. The ability to be empathetic, understanding, and clear in all student encounters is essential for success.

 

MEASURES OF SUCCESS

At an appropriate interval after joining the University of Florida, the items listed below will initially define success for the new assistant provost:

  • Retention and persistence statistics are strong and rising.
  • The resources connected to student success are being increasingly utilized by the students, the individual units within the organization are strong and growing, and programming is robust and frequent.
  • Faculty are fully engaged in the mission and goals of student success, and strong partnerships are being facilitated across all areas of the university.
  • Predictive analytics and intentional data analysis are being used to strategically enhance the ongoing evolution of student success.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are evident in all decisions, policies, and procedures.
  • UF stakeholders recognize the APSS as a critical voice in student success on campus, the assistant provost is visible at important events, and collaborative partnerships have been formed across campus in support of student success initiatives.
  • The student success team is working together collaboratively, professional development is prevalent, the vision for the team is clear, and the staff views the APSS is the trusted leader of the organization.
  • The APSS is engaged and enthusiastic, their goals and objectives are charted, the successes of the organization are communicated across campus, and the APSS is linking their progress to the greater university goals and mission.

Qualifications

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

A master’s degree and at least ten years of experience in an area related to student success in higher education are required. A terminal degree, supervisory experience, and experience successfully building teams are preferred. The ideal candidate will possess highly developed communication skills and an understanding of how a large public university function to enable successful collaboration across multiple areas with different operational missions. Successful candidates will be highly collaborative, innovative, strategic thinkers who can cultivate and develop initiatives that promote academic success with a particular emphasis on persistence to graduation; a strong track record in relationship-building with campus partners in both academic and non-academic areas; and strong organizational, planning, and time management skills with the ability to manage multiple, competing priorities. The APSS will have a strong record of participating at the national level in professional organizations related to student success; knowledge of student success peer-reviewed literature and current best practices, especially as related to equity-minded student academic support; and a strong record of data-driven decision-making.
Characteristics of the successful candidate (written by the search lead for this document)

Additional experiences, skills, and abilities that will be critical for success in the role include:

  • strong leadership, planning, and problem-solving skills;
  • strong organizational, planning, and time management skills with the ability to manage multiple, competing priorities;
  • effective interpersonal and verbal communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively in writing;
  • a strong track record in relationship-building with campus partners, in both academic and non-academic areas;
  • ability to work independently and interdependently and be able to establish and communicate a vision for student success at UF;

Institution & Location

OVERVIEW OF STUDENT SUCCESS AT UF

UF Student Success is a collaboration of administrators, faculty, staff, and students throughout the UF community to holistically support every UF undergraduate student. UF Student Success leverages UF’s long tradition of providing services to support undergraduate students by bringing them together into a seamless support network.

History
The idea of the UF Student Success collaboration began on November 12, 2019, during the first UF Student Success Summit, when approximately 200 administrators, faculty, staff, and students convened to center discussion around how best to support our UF students. During the Summit, President Fuchs emphasized the importance of relationships in attaining student success: We are rightly dedicated to further improving on measures of student success, such as graduation rate or student retention. But these measures are the result of educational excellence, not the cause. The point is to successfully educate students while shepherding them through a period of incredible change and growth. And in that effort, what makes the difference is the strength of positive relationships – wherever and with whomever they form at UF. This UF Student Success collaboration strives to nurture meaningful relationships for our undergraduate students.

Philosophy
If a student is remote from campus or fully a part of the campus experience, the philosophy of UF Student Success is summed up in the following statement:

“The student is the most important person on campus. Without students, there would be no need for the institution. Not a cold enrollment statistic, but a flesh and blood human being with feelings and emotions like our own. Not someone to be tolerated so we can do our thing. They are our thing. Not dependent on us. Rather, we are dependent on them. Not an interruption of our work, but the purpose of it. We are not doing them a favor by serving them. They are doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.”

Every UF employee, regardless of their role, aspires to this philosophy and is prepared to support UF students to their fullest potential. At UF, everyone affiliated with the university is considered an educator.

Definition
This aspiration is expressed in the definition of Student Success at the University of Florida:

Student Success at the University of Florida is a shared responsibility where all members of the UF community inspire intellectual growth, engagement, holistic wellness, and a solution-focused disposition that catalyzes student persistence, timely graduation, and personal achievement for societal benefit.

Gator Community
“The Pathways to Student Support offered through UF Student Success are a collaboration of a multitude of offices and employees at UF, including the Provost’s Office, Division of Student Affairs, Division of Enrollment Management, colleges, departments, and programs. We believe that no member of our Gator Community can thrive in isolation. We all need help from fellow community members. UF Student Success strives to provide a seamless support network of caring Gators for every UF student.”

Pathways to Student Success

Advising
Peer Mentoring
Coaching
Peer Tutoring

LEADERSHIP

Angela Lindner – Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs

Angela S. Lindner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering. Dr. Lindner earned a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan, her MS in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University, and her BS in Chemistry from the College of Charleston.

Dr. Lindner served as Associate Dean of Student Affairs in UF’s College of Engineering from 2008-to 2015 and started her career at UF in 1998 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences. Before joining the faculty at UF, Dr. Lindner worked in industry at General Motors and for the federal government at the US Environmental Protection Agency. As Associate Dean in the College of Engineering, Dr. Lindner was responsible for oversight of the college admission and certification processes, developing and implementing effective academic advising and counseling for approximately 6,500 engineering students, administering undergraduate curricular and assessment programs, as well as K-12 outreach and undergraduate co-curricular programs to name a few. Her experience in student retention, diversity, enrollment, and experiential has provided a foundation for success in the Office of Undergraduate Affairs, where she began her role as Associate Provost in September 2015.

Dr. Lindner encourages a student-centered approach in her leadership at UF and firmly believes in the critical balance between curricular and co-curricular experiences to achieve a complete undergraduate education.

Dr. Joe Glover – Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Joe Glover has been Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs since July 2008. Dr. Glover arrived at UF in 1983 as an assistant professor in mathematics. He chaired the Mathematics Department from 1993 to 1998 and served as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 1998 to 2001. Beginning in 2001, Dr. Glover served as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs for six years and as Interim Provost for nine months.

A listing of the administrative areas that report to the Office of the Provost is available on the Provost’s website.

INSTITUTIONAL OVERVIEW

The University of Florida was originally established in 1853 as the East Florida Seminary, and over the years the school has grown to what it is today with the absorption of other institutions throughout its history. The school is now a public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant comprehensive research university. It is consistently marked as one of the top schools in the nation for its undergraduate and graduate programs, along with the quality and amount of research being conducted on campus.

LEADERSHIP

Dr. Kent Fuchs – President

Dr. Kent Fuchs became the 12th President of the University of Florida in January 2015. Building on many years of excellence and focused leadership, the university has since reached its goal of joining the nation’s Top 5 public research universities. Previous to the UF presidency, Dr. Fuchs was the provost of Cornell University. He has served in academic leadership positions and as a faculty member of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell, Purdue, and the University of Illinois.

Dr. Fuchs told UF Board of Trustees Chair Mori Hosseini in August 2021 that he would like to transition from president to professor. Fuchs shared his plans with the UF community in January 2022 and will continue to serve through the completion in fall 2022 of UF’s highly successful capital campaign and until the next president is appointed, which is expected to occur by early 2023.

MISSION AND GOALS

Mission Statement

The University of Florida is a comprehensive learning Institution with a diverse community dedicated to excellence in education and research and to shaping a better future for Florida, the nation, and the world. The University’s mission is to enable students to lead and influence the next generation and beyond for economic, cultural, and societal benefit.

Goals

  • An exceptional academic environment that reflects the breadth of thought essential for preeminence, achieved by a community of students, faculty, and staff who have diverse experiences and backgrounds.
  • An outstanding and accessible education that prepares students for work, citizenship, and life.
  • Faculty is recognized as preeminent by their students and peers.
  • Growth in research and scholarship that enhances fundamental knowledge and improves the lives of the world’s citizens.
  • A strengthened public engagement of the university’s programs with local, national, and international communities.
  • Alumni who are successful in their careers and in life and who are proud to be graduates of the University of Florida.
  • A physical infrastructure and efficient administration and support structure that enables preeminence.

DIVERSITY STATEMENT

The University of Florida is dedicated to increasing college access and providing opportunities for all students. Celebrating the community of diverse backgrounds and experiences and offering opportunities for students to expand their learning outside the classroom by participating in programs and institutes that support and promote multicultural learning experiences.

THE STUDENT BODY

Total enrollment: 58,857
Undergraduate: 37,975
Graduate: 20,882

Male: 44.1%
Female: 55.9%
AI/NA: 0.2%
NH/PI: 0.2%

White: 51.6%
African American: 6%
Asian: 9%
Hispanic: 22.8%
Two or More Races: 4%
Race Unknown: 3.2%
Non-Resident: 2.9%

Benefits Overview

BENEFITS OVERVIEW

The University of Florida is dedicated to elevating the benefits offerings to support the well-being of faculty and staff and to be responsive to a range of individual and family needs.

To learn more about the benefits offered at The University of Florida, please visit:
https://benefits.hr.ufl.edu/

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately, and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Mark Hall at mah@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email info@spelmanjohnson.com.

Visit the University of Florida website at www.ufl.edu

 The University of Florida is an equal employment opportunity employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. The “government in the sunshine” laws of Florida require that all documents relating to the search process, including letters of application/nomination and reference, be available for public inspection.

RELATED LINKS

The University of Florida
https://www.ufl.edu/
Gainesville, FL
http://cityofgainesville.org/