The Opportunity

The University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) is a top research university with an ethnically rich and culturally diverse campus community and is highly respected as a leader in providing access to underrepresented students. Recognized by Carnegie Classifications as a doctoral university with very high research activity, UIC is the city’s largest university and Chicago’s only public research university. The university offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs within 16 academic colleges, including the highest-ranked undergraduate business program in Chicago, the nation’s largest medical school, and one of the top-ranked nursing programs in the United States. UIC serves more than 34,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. With one of the largest colleges of medicine in the nation and colleges of dentistry, pharmacy, public health, nursing, social work, and applied health sciences, UIC is the principal educator of health professionals in Illinois and a major healthcare provider to underserved communities.

The Position

Role of the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Health and Wellness/Executive Director of the Counseling Center for The University of Illinois Chicago

Reporting to the vice chancellor for student affairs, this inaugural position provides strategic leadership and vision to support student wellness and promote a holistic collegiate experience. The assistant vice chancellor for student health and wellness (AVC) develops student programs and services that support student life, promotes student learning related to health and wellness, and contributes to the university’s goal of creating an environment that fosters student success. The AVC manages and provides strategic leadership for the following units: counseling center, wellness center, and campus recreation. In addition, the AVC serves as the executive director of the counseling center. In this role, the AVC will provide strategic leadership to the counseling center and oversee the management and operations, including the supervision of the clinical and training directors. Further, the AVC will develop policies and procedures regarding student wellness to ensure compliance with all applicable policies, regulations, accreditation standards, and laws. As a data-driven decision-maker, the AVC will manage and participate in continuous program evaluations and improvements to support accreditation and implementation of best practices to support holistic student wellness. The successful leader will promote a culture of assessment, develop comprehensive assessment plans for the departments within student health and wellness, and determine methods for implementing findings for improvement and innovation.

Additional duties and responsibilities of the assistant vice chancellor as enumerated in the institutional job description include the following.

  • Facilitate and support the development of a diverse student population in the areas of health and wellness through the effective management and supervision of the three units of the counseling center, wellness center, and campus recreation.
  • Develop health and wellness promotion strategies, interventions, policies, programs, and services that address the needs of the student community with promotional strategies that include student involvement.
  • Provide consultation, education, and recommendations to the campus on issues pertaining to student wellness, including student mental health and well-being.
  • Oversee the supervision and development of a qualified, professional, and well-trained staff across the units to meet the needs of students and support their
  • Oversee and administer departmental fiscal operations (e.g., facilities, equipment) and coordinate with unit directors to develop budgets, monitor expenditures, and ensure effective stewardship of finances and resources.
  • Work with divisional leadership in the development of behavioral intervention strategies and institutional responses related to student well-being.
  • Foster and promote collaborative efforts between the units and the campus community in order to provide opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to be involved and make contributions to student health and wellness initiatives.
  • Collaborate and build partnerships within University of Illinois Health in order to address student well-being and coordinate services (e.g., Student Health/Family Medicine, Campus Care, NPI-Neuro Psychiatric Institute).
  • Perform other related duties and participate in special projects as assigned.

History of the Position

In 2021, the vice chancellor for student affairs (VCSA), J. Rex Tolliver, created the inaugural position of assistant vice chancellor for student health and wellness/executive director of the counseling center to provide strategic leadership and vision to support student wellness and promote a holistic college experience. The AVC will report to the VCSA and serve as a member of the VCSA’s cabinet.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

In transitioning to UIC, the AVC may encounter a number of opportunities and challenges. The successful leader will meet the following challenges, among others.

Embrace urban, public higher education

UIC is situated in one of the world’s largest cities; therefore, the successful candidate must embrace urban life and understand the context of an urban university. Students in this setting have a different experience than those who attend college in rural, suburban, or more traditional settings. The urban educator must be prepared to create a set of college wellness programs and services that will be effective and well-received by students who live, work, and study in a city. Common elements of urban life for college students include

  • taking public transportation to campus from dozens of neighborhoods across the city;
  • working one or more jobs on top of their academic course load;
  • contributing to the needs of their families and others in their communities;
  • managing housing and economic insecurity; and
  • enjoying a vibrant and busy environment with opportunities to meet people and participate in entertainment, culture, and sporting events.

Advance the wellness model in a diverse university environment

The new AVC must thrive in an environment with a very diverse student body with students from a variety of racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds, as well as gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities. The leader will bring passion and vision to the work of wellness in a widely diverse community. An illustration of the diversity at UIC can be seen in the fall 2021 undergraduate enrollment statistics, in which students identified as the following.

  • 21% Asian
  • 7% Black/African American
  • 35% Hispanic
  • 7% International
  • 24% White
  • 6% Other

In addition, more than a third of current undergraduates speak a language other than English at home, with over 60 languages reported. UIC is a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI).

The new AVC will find a welcoming community on campus, with the opportunity to engage in any of seven centers for cultural understanding and social change.

  • African-American Cultural Center
  • Arab American Cultural Center
  • Asian American Resource and Cultural Center
  • Disability Cultural Center
  • Gender and Sexuality Center
  • Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center
  • Women’s Leadership and Resource Center

Take a strategic, systematic approach to providing services and programs

UIC is a large, complex organization that can be difficult for students to navigate. With creativity and a problem-solving orientation, the new leader will develop systems that honor and strengthen current partnerships while creating new solutions for difficult situations that arise as the community cares for students with health, mental health, and well-being challenges. By gaining a shared understanding of the issues, considering the perspectives of others, and seeing the big picture, the successful leader will implement new ways of doing things that provide clarity to opaque processes that impede student success.

Engage actively in the well-being of college students

Student leaders at UIC have high expectations for this new leader. They hope to see someone actively meeting with students to learn about their needs and then to create structures and strategies that benefit students. They are envisioning an AVC who will be skillful in creating systems to care for a diverse student population and be a responsive, student-centered professional. With a vibrant presence on campus, students will see that the AVC enjoys working with college students and demonstrates an eagerness to solve the concerns of students at UIC.

Thrive not only as a leader, but as a member of the community

While the new leader will be active, visible, and engaged with the UIC community to promote wellness on campus, they will not be alone in the work. The AVC will be a member of a leadership team within the division of student affairs and will collaborate and consult with others to raise awareness of the wellness needs of students on campus. Other leaders on campus are enthusiastic about partnering with the AVC to generate timely solutions to student needs. The successful leader will promote an integrated approach to meeting the community’s expectations to plan for and provide wellness services and programs at UIC.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining UIC, the following will initially define success for the associate vice chancellor for student health and wellness/executive director of the counseling center.

  • Students have responded favorably to the new associate vice chancellor and report an increased level of satisfaction with an array of streamlined and well-branded resources that are easier to navigate.
  • Students have indicated that student affairs leadership demonstrates increased awareness of the issues students face related to their health and well-being.
  • The AVC will have provided leadership, vision, and management to the reporting units that drive cultural change towards becoming a community where students thrive.
  • The AVC will maintain a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence on campus that is credible, collegial, and highly effective.

Qualifications

Qualifications and Characteristics

Requirements include a master’s degree in higher education, student affairs administration, counseling, psychology, health services, public or community health, behavioral or social science, or a closely related field and seven (7) years of work experience related to the above-described duties. Qualified candidates with a doctoral degree are strongly encouraged to apply.

This position requires demonstrated effective leadership experience in a counseling center operation within a higher education setting and a robust understanding of current college health and wellness issues and challenges. The AVC will have the opportunity to innovate and lead significant change processes within a newly created organizational structure and thus must possess a superior understanding of trends and best practices in student health and well-being, health education and promotion, and in engaging students in exercise and physical activity. Creative and resourceful, the AVC will have a keen interest in developing new systems to meet the campus community’s needs. Attending to students and developing an effective staff will require significant experience supervising, training, and managing people, including focusing on process improvement and a commitment to professional development for all staff members. Understanding business operations and organizational systems, including facilities management, budgetary and financial processes, and fiscal planning, is required.

Additionally, there are many characteristics, skills, actions, and abilities that are essential attributes of the ideal candidate, including

  • demonstrated commitment to diversity with a record of providing equitable and respectful treatment to all individuals and an ability to foster positive relationships with diverse constituencies;
  • committed student advocate with demonstrated ability to relate to, engage, and connect well with students;
  • exemplary analytical and problem-solving skills, project management, and organizational skills;
  • excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills;
  • ability to work effectively and collaborate with a variety of stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and external constituencies;
  • strong and ambitious vision to create new systems to address student health and wellness;
  • foresight to create a supportive community where students can thrive;
  • innovative with awareness of leading-edge college student health approaches;
  • ability to understand student needs and effectively bridge any gaps between practitioners in the various units and students at the University;
  • understand the complexity of mental health issues in the current context of COVID-19, along with political and social challenges;
  • a holistic vision for wellness to include physical activity and exercise;
  • advanced managerial skills to support staff within the complexity of the various disciplines within the units;
  • flexible approach to how university offices and programs can support student mental health needs beyond one-on-one therapy appointments;
  • possess a desire to be actively involved in campus life and with students;
  • conscious collaborator and effective relationship builder both internally and externally; and
  • open to feedback and flexible in approaching the work.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Wellness Center, the Counseling Center, and Campus Recreation

The Wellness Center at UIC supports student learning, academic success, and retention by providing wellness services that promote healthy attitudes and behaviors, empower students to make informed choices, and enhance holistic well-being. This unit is under the supervision of the director of health, education, and wellness, Carol Anne Petersen. Services include

  • pop-up pantry for students experiencing food insecurity;
  • assistance for students experiencing housing insecurity;
  • workshops for students on communication, healthy relationships, sexual health, stress management, responsible alcohol use, and other topics; and
  • wellness coaching.

https://wellnesscenter.uic.edu/

The Counseling Center provides a wide range of mental health services to UIC students, including individual, group, and relationship therapy; outreach and consultation across the UIC community; workshops; peer support groups; and 24/7 crisis intervention services. They also help connect students to additional mental health resources at UIC and the Chicago community to meet students’ individualized needs. Under the leadership of interim director Karen Maddi, the staff is committed to social justice and proud to provide culturally affirming mental health services to UIC’s diverse student body. Services provided by the Counseling Center include the following.

  • Individual therapy
  • Relationship therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Mind-body programs
  • Limited, short-term psychiatric services for students engaged in individual therapy at UIC
  • Outreach and consultation services
  • Peer support network

https://counseling.uic.edu/

Campus Recreation, under the leadership of director Brian Cousins, promotes physical activity by providing a variety of recreational programs, services, and facilities on campus. Providing state-of-the-art facilities, fun and exciting programs, and educationally sound and healthy services, Campus Recreation offers the university community a complete recreational experience to support healthy lifestyles.

https://recreation.uic.edu

Institutional Overview

The University of Illinois Chicago traces its origins to several private health colleges founded in Chicago during the 19th century.

In the 20th century, new campuses were built in Chicago and later joined together to form a comprehensive learning community. In the last three decades, UIC has transformed itself into one of the top 65 research universities in the United States.

As part of the University of Illinois, UIC grew to meet the needs of the people of Illinois, but its deepest roots are in health care. The Chicago College of Pharmacy, founded in 1859, predated the Civil War and is the oldest unit in the university. Other early colleges were the College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Columbian College of Dentistry.

These Chicago-based health colleges became fully incorporated in 1913 as the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy was the first pharmacy school west of the Alleghenies and emphasized laboratory instruction and research.

The College of Dentistry became the first American dental school fully equipped with electric drills. The College of Medicine developed the country’s first occupational therapy program and grew rapidly to become the largest medical school in the U.S.

In the decades following incorporation, several other health science colleges were created. Together with the Colleges of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmacy, they formed the Chicago Professional Colleges of the University of Illinois. In 1961, the professional colleges became the University of Illinois at the Medical Center.

https://www.uic.edu/about/history/

https://www.uic.edu/about/visit-directions/

Chicago, IL

UIC’s campus spans 244 acres in Chicago, a multicultural city that thrives on the harmony and diversity of its 77 distinct neighborhoods. Chicago is the third-largest city in the United States, with nearly three million people. Its motto is urbs in horto, or “city in a garden,” which reflects the city’s impressive and historic park system, providing outdoor activities along Lake Michigan, in nature and bird sanctuaries, and fields and playgrounds across the city. Chicago has the nation’s second-highest percentage of commuters riding their bikes to work and 19 miles of lakefront bicycle paths along Lake Michigan.

Chicago is a city for sports fans, boasting eight major league clubs. A theatre town, patrons can choose from over 250 theatre companies, including the renowned Second City, the Goodman Theater, and the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. It is also a destination for food lovers, with many award-winning restaurants within close reach of the UIC campus.

https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/about/facts.html

Mission

UIC provides the broadest access to the highest levels of intellectual excellence. UIC’s mission is

  • to create knowledge that transforms our views of the world and, through sharing and application, transforms the world;
  • to provide a wide range of students with the educational opportunity only a leading research university can offer;
  • to address the challenges and opportunities facing not only Chicago but all Great Cities of the 21st century, as expressed by our Great Cities Commitment;
  • to foster scholarship and practices that reflect and respond to the increasing diversity of the United States in a rapidly globalizing world; and
  • to train professionals in a wide range of public service disciplines, serving Illinois as the principal educator of health science professionals and as a major healthcare provider to underserved communities.

https://www.uic.edu/about/

Strategic Priorities Refresh 2021

In a collaborative effort campus-wide, UIC undertook a process to reaffirm their commitment to their Strategic Priorities established five years ago. The process included several working sessions with faculty, staff, leadership, and external partners, among others. This refresh of their Strategic Priorities is an opportunity to reflect on their successes and define how they will continue to build on this momentum. In this refresh, they are building in more metrics to allow them to track their progress.

https://strategicpriorities.uic.edu/

Leadership

Michael Amiridis, Chancellor

Chancellor Michael Amiridis—like many UIC students—reflects the diverse, global nature of Chicago. The native of northern Greece was a first-generation college student who came to the United States to pursue graduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Before becoming UIC chancellor in March 2015, Amiridis spent over two decades as a professor, researcher, and senior administrator at the University of South Carolina.

He calls UIC “a model of a public urban research institution in this country, located in a most vibrant global city.”

“I believe with its rich history of success in high quality education, in the creation and application of new knowledge, and with its unique strengths in the health sciences and in community engagement, access and inclusion, UIC is well-positioned for the future,” he said.

As UIC’s chancellor, Amiridis heads Chicago’s largest university campus, with more than 34,000 students. The university, which holds the distinguished R1 research status in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, ranks among the top 65 out of more than 650 national universities in federal research funding.

UIC has a $3.4 billion budget, 12,000 faculty and staff, and 16 academic colleges, including one of the nation’s largest medical schools and Chicago’s first and only public law school. UIC also operates the state’s major public medical center, along with a network of federally qualified clinics and regional health sciences campuses in Peoria, Rockford, and Urbana-Champaign.

The university announced on January 14, 2022, that Chancellor Amiridis has been appointed president of the University of South Carolina and will be leaving UIC as of July 1, 2022.

https://chancellor.uic.edu/

Rex Tolliver, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Rex Tolliver was appointed Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Illinois Chicago in 2017. As the Chief Student Advocate for over 34,000 students, Tolliver provides leadership to the Dean of Students Office, Auxiliary Services, Student Engagement, Student Centers, Campus Housing, Career Services, the Center for Student Involvement, Fraternity and Sorority Life, the Counseling Center, Financial Aid & Scholarships, Student Support Services, Trio, the UIC Forum, and Pavilion. He manages a budget of approximately $400 million and provides leadership to over twelve hundred team members as they reimagine the student experience at UIC.

Vice Chancellor Tolliver has successfully spearheaded several major construction and renovation projects across campus, including the first public-private partnership. These include the Academic and Residential Complex, Student Center East and Student Center West, and the Student Services Building. He has also created a new Faculty Research Fellows program that awards grants to faculty to research study barriers to student engagement and success.

Before his role as vice chancellor, he served as the interim vice chancellor for student affairs and associate vice chancellor for student affairs and director of campus auxiliary services at UIC. He has also held Student Affairs and Finance and Administrative Services positions at the University of Arizona, LSU, and Idaho State University.

Tolliver holds a Bachelor of Science in finance and a Master of Public Administration from the E. J. Ourso College of Business at LSU and a Juris Doctor from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Academic Programs and Faculty

The University of Illinois Chicago features 16 academic colleges, 86 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, and 66 doctoral degree programs.

Students learn from award-winning professors at UIC: American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows, Fulbright scholars, and National Science Foundation Career Award winners.

With approximately 3,100 faculty members and a low 1-to-18 faculty-student ratio, UIC undergraduates have exceptional access to the scientists, artists, writers, clinicians, educators, and innovators whose work shapes our world.

https://www.uic.edu/academics/

Colleges & Schools

  • College of Applied Health Sciences
  • College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • Graduate College
  • Honors College
  • School of Law
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Pharmacy
  • School of Public Health
  • Jane Addams College of Social Work
  • College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs

https://www.uic.edu/academics/colleges-schools/

Degree Programs

  • Bachelor’s: 86
  • Master’s: 111
  • Doctoral: 66
  • Certificates: 66
  • 18:1 student to faculty ratio

Students

2021 Enrollment

  • 32,199 overall enrollment
  • 22,279 undergraduates
  • 7,789 graduate students
  • 4,131 professional students
  • 68% receive grants or scholarships
  • 1/3 of undergraduates are first-generation students

https://www.uic.edu/about/uic-at-a-glance/

Benefits Overview

Benefits Overview

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Plan
  • State University Retirement System (SURS)
  • 403(b) Supplemental Retirement Plan
  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Adoption Benefit Program
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Weight-Loss Benefit
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Supplemental Long-Term Disability (LTD)

For more information:  https://www.hr.uillinois.edu/benefits

 

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination

Review of applications will begin Monday, February 14, 2022 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 Ashley Knight at abk@spelmanjohnson.com or Quincy Martin III at qm3@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the University of Illinois Chicago website at www.uic.edu.

The University of Illinois System will not engage in discrimination or harassment against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, order of protection status, genetic information, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation including gender identity, unfavorable discharge from the military or status as a protected veteran and will comply with all federal and state nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action laws, orders and regulations. This nondiscrimination policy applies to admissions, employment, access to and treatment in the programs and activities of the University of Illinois System.