The Position


Reporting to the vice president for student affairs, the assistant vice president for wellbeing (AVP) provides leadership for staff who support student success through mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. The AVP provides oversight and direction for the center for young adult addiction and recovery, counseling and psychological services, health promotion and wellness, and sports and recreation. The AVP is responsible for the overall vision, direction, leadership, and continued development of a student-centered team and program within the division and the university offering programs and services focused on wellbeing at KSU; and, through centralized communication with campus partners, oversees the coordination and collaborative efforts among the offices within the division of student affairs, auxiliary services, academic colleges, and other campus stakeholders.

Additional responsibilities of the position include:

  • Provide leadership in the areas of planning, human resources, policy development, operations, facility, and budgetary aspects for all reporting units;
  • Responsible for continuous assessment of assigned areas, resulting in ongoing improvements, appropriate changes, and new interventions or services as warranted;
  • Engage in ongoing benchmarking of best practices to ensure strong evidence-based services and programs;
  • Develop short- and long-term goals for the areas of direct supervision to successfully implement and achieve divisional goals and objectives;
  • Establish expected outcomes for each area’s programs and services, evaluate outcomes and prepare reports as appropriate;
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and/or federal agencies as related to the programs and services within the offices;
  • In collaboration with division leadership, provide leadership and coordination in times of crisis and serve on the behavioral response team;
  • Leads initiatives supporting division priorities as outlined by the division leadership team.


A master’s degree in an appropriate area of specialization and at least seven years of progressive leadership experience in higher education are required. A terminal degree and experience in senior leadership in student affairs are preferred. The ideal candidate will possess management experience in staff development, budgeting, research, and customer service; experience and/or ability to support students and staff from a variety of diverse backgrounds and perspectives; and outstanding interpersonal, initiative, teamwork, problem-solving, independent judgment, organization, communication, time management, project management, and presentation skills.

Additional knowledge, skills, and abilities of the ideal candidate for the AVP position include:

  • A desire to remain competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses as required by the vice president.
  • Ability to serve as a member of the student affairs senior leadership team and the division of student affairs council.
  • Experience to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the major units.
  • Ability to lead and serve on divisional and university committees.
  • Ability to multitask and handle high-stress situations.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks or projects at one-time meeting assigned deadlines.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills.
  • Proficiency with computer applications and programs associated with the position.
  • Strong attention to detail and follow-up skills.


Teresa Wren Johnston served as assistant vice president and retired from KSU in the January of 2023. Johnston joined KSU in 2007 as the founding director of the center for young adult addiction and recovery (CYAAR) which has grown to include recovery support services, a thriving collegiate recovery program and community, alcohol and other drug education, and research in addiction and recovery science.


The AVP must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices and innovations concerning counseling, health promotion, recreation, and wellness, as well as technology, finances, and models for success in a large, growing, public university setting. The AVP should be an experienced or aspiring leader who has had success building and advancing a progressive program at another institution or related entity. They should be capable of managing multiple priorities and be equipped to contribute at both a strategic and tactical level to a vibrant and fast-paced division of student affairs at KSU.

The ability to grow, develop, and mentor a large and diverse professional staff while building a strong, dedicated, and cohesive team, will be critical for success. The staff in student wellbeing is large and diverse, with both seasoned and newer staff members, so the AVP must be a strong motivator with high-level supervisory and staff-development skills. The vision of the vice president for student affairs is of a division that works together to promote a holistic and comprehensive plan for the health and well-being of the student body, all the while embracing excellence and service from each of the units that make up the division. Support for the staff is critical, as professional development and involvement at all levels is expected.

Kennesaw State merged with Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) in 2014 creating an educational and economic powerhouse in suburban Atlanta. The former SPSU campus is now the university’s Marietta campus and is home to three colleges: The College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, the College of Architecture and Construction Management, and the College of Computing and Software Engineering. The culture of the campuses is distinct and will require different approaches for wellbeing programs and services.

KSU has a large, diverse student population. The university is deeply committed to cultural and ethnic diversity, support of international students, students with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ students, first-generation students, and other underrepresented populations—and encourages a culture of equity and inclusion. The AVP will be expected to continue to develop programs and services that align with those broader institutional characteristics and values.

The new AVP will need to quickly become familiar with all aspects under their purview and develop a comprehensive list of priorities. They will need to prioritize a great deal of time upon arrival for learning the nuances and goals of the internal units, the campus, and the division of student affairs, discovering the needs of the staff and the individual departments, and beginning the process of reaching out across the university to establish themselves in this position. The AVP will be expected to get out of their office, attend student and university events, listen carefully to needs and expectations and establish themselves as the “face” of the organization

Kennesaw State is a young but maturing institution on the move. The university, as well as the division of student affairs, has innovative and energized leaders so there is a fresh and vibrant environment in which to work. KSU can be nimble and think “outside the box” on many issues with an entrepreneurial spirit, possessing good resources, great talent, and highly engaged students.

The new AVP must commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partnering across campus for maximum effectiveness. KSU 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 wellbeing touches a large number of individuals, departments, and other entities, so it will be crucial that the new AVP quickly reach out across campus to build strong partnerships that foster ongoing positive relationships and 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.

It will be helpful for the new AVP to understand and/or be well-versed in at least one of the areas of supervision. While deep expertise is not necessary in all four areas, the AVP will need to build their knowledge, with the assistance of an experienced staff, to effectively support and advocate for the departments. A strong understanding of organizational development will greatly assist the AVP in this endeavor, as will effective and transparent communication skills.

Kennesaw State auxiliary services contracts with Wellstar Medical Group for student health services. There is currently a good partnership but the AVP will need to build a strong relationship with the provider.
The recreation and wellness center on the Marietta campus is currently closed for renovation and is scheduled to reopen for the 2023 fall semester. Renovations will upgrade the facility, expand the fitness space, install new equipment, and offer more opportunities to enhance community wellbeing.


The AVP will work with the vice president for student affairs to determine specific measures of success and related timetables. Campus stakeholders offer the following general metrics for the position:

  • The AVP has established strong working connections with all members of the vice president’s leadership team.
  • The AVP has thoroughly and thoughtfully assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the department’s operational and fiscal infrastructure and has developed a set of recommendations to move the department to its next best iteration.
  • The AVP has formulated and articulated a clear vision that focuses the work of all functions in their portfolio on student success and advocacy.
  • The staff and functions who report to the AVP feel supported and can connect their work to the broader vision of the department and division.
  • The AVP has established themselves as a knowledgeable and trusted partner with stakeholders across campus.
  • The AVP is visible and engaged and has earned credibility and respect from students.

Institution & Location


The Division of Student Affairs prepares students for their future by fostering learning beyond the classroom through innovative and transformative experiences.

Mission and values of student affairs

Wellbeing at KSU

Organizational Chart


Dr. Eric Arneson – Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. Arneson provides leadership and direction for much of the co-curricular student experience at KSU. He serves as the chief student advocate and expert on campus and provides direct counsel to President Schwaig and other key leaders in championing student success.

Dr. Arneson joined Kennesaw State in February 2020. Before joining the KSU family he was the vice chancellor for student affairs and campus climate at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He previously worked in senior student affairs positions at Florida International University, the University of Miami, and the University of Illinois.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University (KSU) is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. KSU offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to its more than 42,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties, entrepreneurial spirit, and Division I athletics draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Ranked a top choice for students by U.S. News, Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only six percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status.

Mission, vision, facts, and figures

Strategic planning

Organizational chart


Total enrollment: 43,268

Undergraduate: 39,005

Graduate: 4,263

Retention rate: 80%

Asian: 5%

Black/African American: 25%

Hispanic: 14%

International: 3%

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%

Not reported: 2%

Two or more races: 5%

White: 45%


Kennesaw State University prides itself on offering a premiere, personalized educational experience for leadership and engagement within a diverse nation and world. This educational experience is achieved through recognition and appreciation of the differing backgrounds and experiences reflected within the University community. Kennesaw firmly believes that sensitivity to diversity, equity, and global interdependence is central to fostering supportive living, learning, and working environments. A welcoming and inclusive climate is critical to attaining Kennesaw State University’s research, scholarship, teaching, and engagement goals. The University will engage with students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders to achieve an inclusive and welcoming campus community.


Kathy Schwaig – President

Under Schwaig’s leadership as president, KSU embarked on a comprehensive student success initiative, established new graduate degrees for in-demand fields such as financial technologies (MS) and computer science (Ph.D.), formalized a targeted strategy for enrollment growth, created a dynamic campus communication plan, and impactfully invested in the university’s research infrastructure. Prioritizing the cultivation of community as a strategic institutional goal, Schwaig relaunched a business incubator for campus and community innovators, created division plans to promote inclusive excellence, extended the capital campaign to include athletics, and launched FLIGHT26, an engagement program for first-year students.

From 2019-2021, Schwaig served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at KSU. During her time as provost, she facilitated the transition to a formal research (R2) institution and developed the R2 Roadmap to enhance undergraduate and graduate education as well as research. Schwaig led an extensive faculty hiring initiative, launched the Double Owl program, expanded the KSU Journey Honors College, and established the Provost Leadership Fellows and the Women’s Leadership Academy.

Benefits Overview

To learn about the benefits offered at Kennesaw State University, see here.

Application & 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 and questions about the status of the search may be emailed to Mark Hall at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

The anticipated salary range for this position is $120-$130,000. Student affairs staff members at KSU have the option to work remotely one day per week.

Visit the Kennesaw State University website at

Kennesaw State University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.