Salve Regina University (Salve), founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1934, is a private Catholic university located in Newport, Rhode Island, enrolling more than 2,700 students in 60 undergraduate and graduate programs spanning liberal arts and professional degrees from across the U.S. and around the world. Salve’s beautiful 80-acre historical campus, bordering the Newport Cliff Walk, is set on seven contiguous Gilded Age estates. Students from 41 states and 21 nations can compete in 20 men’s, women’s, and coed Division III varsity sports as well as participate in nearly 50 student organizations. Tradition blends seamlessly with progress at Salve, an institution dedicated to graduating men and women who positively impact the intellectual, spiritual, and cultural life of their respective communities and work for a world that is harmonious, just, and merciful.


The Position

The director of health services (director) provides strategic administrative leadership, clinical care, and supervision of Health Services at Salve Regina University (Salve). Reporting to the vice president of student affairs, the director upholds Salve’s commitment to social justice and mercy in their service to students, as both a member of the Student Affairs leadership team and as an engaged community member. The director plans, develops, organizes, coordinates, and implements the delivery of comprehensive campus health services and educational programs for students; works with campus colleagues to develop, coordinate, and support an integrated approach to serving the medical, physical, behavioral, social, and spiritual wellbeing of students; and works cooperatively with external community and public health agencies to coordinate care when needed. Operating in a dual capacity as both a director of medical services and clinician/health care provider, the director is an integral member of the Health Services team and the Salve campus community.

As a senior member of the Student Affairs Leadership Team, the director is engaged in Division-wide strategic planning and assessment activities. The director manages daily operations of the campus health center and respiratory clinic (established during the onset of COVID-19); provides direct medical care to students for approximately 50 percent of their time on a weekly basis when the campus is in session; responds to medical emergencies as required; and is responsible for the hiring, training, and development of a staff of four administrative and medical staff members, complemented by additional per diem and/or part-time medical providers who round out the system of health care services. Additional important responsibilities of the director include serving as a visible, vocal advocate for student health needs; demonstrating sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds of students; collaborating with colleagues in Counseling Services, the Office of Student Wellness, Safety and Security, and other units across the Division of Student Affairs and campus to respond to student needs and to design and deliver timely health education programming; managing and monitoring Health Services budgets and other administrative tasks that contribute to a highly professional, student-centered, and effective health services operation; advancing the application of appropriate technology to enhance efficiencies, recordkeeping, and service—including ERM system and telemedicine; administering and analyzing national health surveys and patient satisfaction surveys; extending care as appropriate for staff and faculty for the evaluation of minor illness or injury that may occur during normal work hours; and participating on or leading campus committees, task forces, and boards as requested by the vice president of student affairs.

Additional duties and responsibilities of the director of health services as enumerated in the institutional job description include the following:

  • determine appropriate Health Center medical stock, equipment, and supplies in accordance with established policies; monitor and control inventories;
  • record, review, and interpret health and psychosocial histories of patients, as well as appropriate symptom analysis;
  • apply examining skills to include screening procedures and evaluation of systems involved in specific symptomatic complaint;
  • instruct patients on the use of medication or treatment modalities and offer preventive educational measures, including counseling, that are age-appropriate;
  • order appropriate lab studies in accordance with protocols;
  • manage informal counseling around situations and developmental issues;
  • maintain communication and cooperative relationships with other state and New England colleges to share resources and health education information;
  • enhance relations with parents, social agencies, and community health providers in order to expedite comprehensive, cost-effective care for the students;
  • perform other duties as assigned by the immediate supervisor.


A master of science degree and current license as a Registered Nurse Practitioner in Rhode Island, with Rhode Island Controlled Substance license and Federal DEA prescribing license (or eligibility to obtain within six months of hire), are required. Professionals with MD or DO degrees will also be considered for this opportunity. Additional requirements include current CPR certification; a minimum of five years post-certification or post-licensure medical practice experience; evidence of solid analytical skills; and knowledge of current assessment and evaluation practices.

Documented experience as an administrator in a medical setting and experience providing medical administration and/or clinical services in a college or university setting serving a traditional, diverse, college-aged population are preferred. The successful candidate will possess a keen interest in and ability to work with a young adult population; exhibit fluency with computer applications and technology; demonstrate excellent interpersonal, cultural competency, as well as organizational and communication skills; maintain a collaborative approach to building relationships with college students, staff, campus colleagues, and external partners; demonstrate capacity for designing and delivering educational health programs; and have a commitment to Salve Regina University’s mission and understanding of the Mercy Catholic tradition.

In addition to the qualifications stated above, key stakeholders identified the following list of additional capabilities and attributes of a successful candidate:

  • possess demonstrated experience working in high stress, crisis situations—exhibit strong coping skills when faced with trauma that serve to reassure others and help to establish a sense of calm when working through difficult circumstances;
  • be equipped to make difficult decisions when necessary, yet retain a sense of humanity and high degree of care in all interactions;
  • know one’s limitations and be comfortable reaching out for help when needed—recognize that even as a leader, one is still a part of a larger team in which all members are dedicated to serving students and supporting the success of the Division of Student Affairs and the larger university;
  • recognize that supporting the health care needs of a college-aged student body requires a health services provider to be personable, informative, and empowering as young adults assume increased responsibility for their own health care;
  • be flexible and a team player—understand that changing circumstances demand creative solutions and often a quick pivot;
  • truly enjoy serving a traditional college-aged, young adult population;
  • bring a skillset that includes strong clinical skills, coupled with managerial and fiscal capabilities.

History of the Position

The position of director of health services has been held for the last five years by Sharon Capuano. As an advanced practice nurse (nurse practitioner), Capuano brought approximately 25 years of professional experience to her role. Throughout her career, she worked in numerous clinical health care settings, including hospitals, private practice, and college health services prior to joining Salve. Initially, she led a team that was contracted through LifeSpan Newport Hospital to provide health services to Salve students; however, in July 2019, the university decided to bring all health services in-house. Capuano and her team are very well-regarded and respected. Under Capuano’s leadership, Health Services quickly adapted their services to meet the needs of students in the face of the global pandemic. She recently announced her resignation in order to address the health needs of family members.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

The director of health services at Salve is a critically important member of the Student Affairs leadership team. The position is multi-dimensional as the director is both the administrative leader of the office and an integral member of the clinical provider team comprised of two additional nurse practitioners. At the present time, as the university navigates its way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the director oversees two discreet health facilities and operations—the main Health Services suite of offices located on the Garden Level of Miley Hall and a Respiratory Clinic that is housed in a specially equipped RV located at 51 Shepard Avenue.

The next director will need to initially focus on building strong relationships with Health Services staff and key campus partners, including those working in Counseling Services, the Office of Student Wellness, Dean of Students, Residential Life, and Safety and Security. It is essential that the director build an understanding of current services, operations, and personnel in order to lay a foundation for thoughtful evaluation and continuous improvement of student-centered health and prevention services.

Given the administrative demands on the director’s time, it may be necessary to recalibrate what has typically been a 50/50 split between administrative and clinical duties. In addition to the director who has served as a half-time nurse practitioner providing direct service to students, as well as providing clinical supervision to other staff, Health Services has two other nurse practitioners each working four days per week, augmented by one health services coordinator/medical assistant and one medical receptionist. The Respiratory Clinic is temporarily staffed by two nursing professionals—one working 35 hours per week (Monday – Friday) and one working eight hours on Saturday and Sunday to address symptomatic testing. Additionally, there is a budget line for per diem nursing staff that is available to be tapped when needed, either to fill in during absences of regular staff or to increase nursing coverage during peak periods. Going forward, the next director will be tasked with evaluating strategies for optimal deployment of the per diem budget, which could result in easing the demands for clinical care on the part of the director and freeing up more time for administrative responsibilities and educational/prevention programming in conjunction with other campus partners.

Additional challenges and leadership opportunities for the next director of health services, as articulated by key stakeholders, are listed below:

  • continue transition from paper to electronic records, which began in summer 2020—optimize use of the Pyramid EMR system and implement a record retention policy;
  • maintain a positive, upbeat work environment that affords ongoing professional development opportunities for staff and a sense of shared governance in which staff are valued and have input into the strategic goals and priorities of the department;
  • ensure adequate staff supervision and that all licenses are current;
  • collaborate with campus and community partners—including Counseling, Wellness, and Residential Life—on special events such as Alcohol Awareness Week, Flu Clinics, Blood Draws, and programming focused on the importance of good sleep hygiene, nutrition, etc.;
  • be a thought partner with others in the Division of Student Affairs as the university looks towards the future and expansion of the student residential population—consider how an expanding student body will impact the demands for health services and advocate for necessary resources;
  • utilize the heightened visibility of Health Services as an opportunity to promote healthy habits and raise awareness of the critical role this unit plays in supporting student success and retention;
  • creatively examine and implement innovative solutions that ensure high quality health care and personable service within the constraints of a relatively lean budget and space constraints.

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

For nearly two centuries, the Sisters of Mercy have maintained a strong presence throughout the world, and have been deeply involved in education, health care, pastoral ministry, and social services. Spanning the United States is a network of universities and secondary and elementary schools sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, who are assisted in their ministry by well-qualified lay faculty, staff, and administrators.

Outstanding among these institutions is Salve Regina. In 1934, the state of Rhode Island granted a charter to the Sisters of Mercy of Providence for a corporation named Salve Regina College. Beyond noting that Salve Regina was to exist “to promote virtue and piety and learning,” there were no specific directives. The charter left all educational options to the sisters.

In 1947, following more than a dozen years of careful preparation, the turn-of-the-century Newport mansion Ochre Court was gifted to the college corporation, enabling Salve Regina to welcome its first class of 58 students that fall. Salve Regina became coeducational in 1973 and achieved university status in 1991, at which time the school’s charter was amended to change the name of the corporation to Salve Regina University.

Salve Regina’s story continues today with faculty and administration preparing students for active roles within a global society. The rigorous course of study integrates responsible citizenship and public service, while the interconnection of academic programs forms a stable foundation for students to reflect and learn within the context of Catholic values.

As Salve Regina grows, it remains firmly rooted in the heritage of its rich past. The vision which energized the Sisters of Mercy at the University’s founding remains the same today: Salve Regina, a Catholic university of distinction, will graduate men and women who positively impact the intellectual, spiritual, and cultural life of their respective communities and work for a world that is harmonious, just, and merciful.

Institutional Leadership

Kelli Armstrong, President

Dr. Kelli J. Armstrong’s work in higher education has centered on improving the educational experience for students through research, planning, and strategy. She is particularly passionate about serving disadvantaged students and supporting the advancement of women in underrepresented areas.

A graduate of Bates College in 1986, Dr. Armstrong earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Virginia in 1987, and a PhD in higher education administration from Boston College in 1996. She also earned an executive leadership certificate in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2018.

Prior to beginning her tenure as Salve Regina University’s eighth president in July 2019, Dr. Armstrong served the Boston College (BC) community in a variety of positions, including as vice president for planning and assessment (2012-2019), associate vice president (2006-2012), and as founding director of the institutional research department (2004-2006).

Before joining the BC administration, she served as associate vice chancellor for enrollment management at the University of Massachusetts Boston (2002-2004), and as director of institutional research and enrollment services for the UMass system office and the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. She also has worked as a research analyst at Tufts University and as an assistant dean of admissions at Bates College. Her first position was as an account executive at an investor relations firm.

Dr. Armstrong is the eldest of four daughters and grew up on the south shore of Massachusetts. Next to the family’s Catholic faith and devotion to service, the most important value in their household was education, a commitment that inspired Dr. Armstrong to pursue her career in the field. She is married to Brian Griffin, an attorney, and they have two sons, David and Jake.

Malcolm Smith, Vice President for Student Affairs

Malcolm Smith, was named vice president for student affairs in January 2020. Smith joined Salve as the dean of students in August 2013. From July through December of 2019, he served as the interim vice president for student affairs.

At the present time, Smith is continuing his duties as acting dean of students; however, a search to fill the assistant vice president/dean of students position on a permanent basis is anticipated to begin in the near term. Smith has a career in higher education that spans two decades, with expertise in all aspects of student life, including student conduct and advocacy, retention efforts, policy writing, housing management, and budget oversight, among others. For three years, he served as the University’s Title IX coordinator.

Since arriving at Salve Regina as dean of students, Smith’s top priority has been to promote student success. He has gained students’ respect across campus as a staunch advocate for their voices and concerns. In his own words, Smith states that he “is genuine with students.” He believes students find it easier to talk to and be honest with someone they know cares about and respects them. Even when sharing hard truths, students never doubt that he has their interests first in mind.

During his tenure at Salve Regina, Smith led the revision of the University’s sexual misconduct policy, established the Student Conduct Hearing Board to give students a stronger voice in the University judicial process, developed a Behavioral Intervention Team to include key departments across campus, and developed a review and standards committee to give students, faculty, and staff input on proposed revisions to conduct policies.

Smith has also provided strong leadership throughout the global pandemic and been instrumental in developing the policies and protocols that have helped Salve bring students back for a residential learning experience during fall 2020. Among his colleagues and direct reports, he is regarded as a collaborative leader who readily makes himself available to support his staff and to discuss their work. Smith is respected for empowering his directors to work autonomously where possible and to also work harmoniously as members of a larger Student Affairs team. He recognizes his directors as experts in their respective areas of responsibility and views each individual as a solutions-oriented partner, vested in supporting student success.

Active in the Newport community, Smith has served on the boards of many organizations, including the Newport Community School, the Women’s Resource Center, and Quest Montessori School.

Well-respected among student life professionals across the country, Smith has presented on both national and regional levels as a member of the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators, the Association of Title IX Administrators, and the Association for Student Conduct Administration. He was the recipient of the American College Personnel Association’s 2006 Annuit Coeptis Award for Emerging Professionals.

Prior to his arrival at Salve Regina, Smith served as assistant dean of students at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was part of a team advocating for and supporting an urban university of approximately 27,000 students. Before that, he was interim director of university judiciaries at Ohio University and director of judicial and external affairs at John Carroll University. He has a B.A. in elementary education and an M.Ed. in college student personnel, both from Ohio University.

Benefits Overview

Employees of Salve Regina University receive the following core and optional benefits:

  • Health Insurance: administered by Tufts Health Plan, including Telehealth coverage;
  • Dental Coverage: administered by Delta Dental of Rhode Island;
  • Voluntary Vision Insurance: administered by VSP;
  • Flexible Spending (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts: administered by Benefit Strategies;
  • Group Life and AD&D Insurance: administered by The Standard;
  • Optional Supplemental Life and Dependent Life Insurance: administered by The Standard;
  • Long-term Disability: administered by Lincoln Life Assurance Company;
  • 403(b) Retirement Plan: administered by TIAA;
  • Optional Supplemental Personal Insurance (cancer, hospital protection, and/or personal accident insurance): administered by Aflac;
  • Voluntary Long Term Care Insurance: administered by Long Term Care Advisors;
  • Home & Auto Insurance: administered by Liberty Mutual Insurance;
  • Tuition Benefits: for employee, spouse and dependent;
  • Tuition Exchange Program: allows qualified dependents of staff and faculty with five years of full-time service to participate in scholarships for their dependent children at other TEP colleges/universities around the country;
  • CollegeBound 529: tax-advantaged 529 college savings program;
  • Employee Assistance Program: administered by Coastline EAP;
  • Employee Relocation Services: Sterling Lexicon provides a self-service relocation portal making relocating easier by simplifying the time-consuming process of sourcing key services required to move;
  • Paid Leave: in addition to liberal time off for vacation, full-time employees receive paid time off for 11 holidays, approximately four President’s Days, two personal days, and 12 sick days annually.

For more information:

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin November 13, 2020, 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 Valerie B. Szymkowicz at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Salve Regina University website at

We are sensitive to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting work and personal lives, and will offer the utmost flexibility throughout the interview process. The search committee expects to conduct initial interviews virtually for the safety and well-being of all involved.

Salve Regina University strives to provide equal opportunity in employment and education to all employees, students and applicants. No employee, student or applicant shall be discriminated against or harassed on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, disability, age, marital or parental status, military or veteran status, genetic information or any other basis protected by applicable federal or state law, in the administration of Salve Regina’s employment policies, education policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic and other University administered programs. In accordance with Title IX, it does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its educational programs or activities. Salve Regina is also committed to making its programs and campus accessible to its visitors and compliant with all applicable non-discrimination laws.