Appalachian State University, located in Boone, North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as engaged global citizens who understand their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. Appalachian enrolls over 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors. It is one of 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system.
Appalachian State University is excited to announce a senior level opportunity within the Division of Student Affairs, the Director of Intercultural Student Affairs. As an integral office within the Division of Student Affairs, Intercultural Student Affairs contributes to preparing students to be transformational leaders in a diverse world. Accordingly, this director will advance the mission and strategic plan of the university as an advocate for student success and inclusion and as aligned with the division’s goal to care for, engage, and transform students. The primary purpose for the Director of Intercultural Student Affairs (“director”) position is to develop initiatives that promote student engagement and cultivate a climate of awareness, understanding, and respect for those within the Appalachian State University community.
Reporting directly to the assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, the director will be responsible for developing and providing programs and services—primarily for minoritized students—that will support and enhance their academic, social, emotional, and overall success. As a result, the director’s efforts should result in the creation of an Office of Intercultural Student Affairs that epitomizes development and inclusive excellence. Moreover, the director will be responsible for providing opportunities for the broader campus community in order to successfully increase the community’s intercultural competence. Ultimately, the director will be empowered to work with, and will be supported by the campus community in order to create a climate which supports a welcoming and inclusive experience for all within Appalachian State University.
The director provides oversight to the Office of Intercultural Student Affairs, including four full-time staff and three graduate assistants. The director is also responsible for the supervision of the Women’s Center, LGBT Center, and the Multicultural Student Center. Additionally, this office works on an ongoing basis with partners such as: Chief Diversity Officer, Academic Affairs Director of Inclusive Excellence, academic colleges, Admissions, Financial Aid, Office of International Education and Development, Office of Disability Resources, and all units within the Division of Student Affairs related to education and intercultural programming with a focus on recruitment, retention, and success of minoritized students.
The successful candidate will have an earned master’s degree from an accredited institution in student development, higher education, counseling, or other fields related to the delivery of services and/or support to minoritized populations. A demonstrated progression of experiences which must include engagement around inclusivity, intercultural education, group facilitation, navigation of complex organizational structures, and direct support of individuals navigating challenging circumstances.
Preferred qualifications include seven or more years of progressive experience working in the field of inclusion; extensive experience with both large and small scale programming on a college campus; experience supervising full time staff as well as budgetary experience; and the ability to speak Spanish fluently. Further, demonstrable experience in advocating for success of minoritized people as well as demonstrated experience balancing varied ideas, perspectives, and conflict present when engaged with advocacy work are all preferred qualifications.
In addition to the above-stated qualifications and characteristics, Appalachian State stakeholders identified the following characteristics as important to the director:
- A charismatic, committed professional with effective experience both programming and advocating for students.
- A deep understanding of issues of intercultural competency, equity, inclusion, social justice, and how these impact an entire campus community.
- Ability to genuinely connect with, support, and relate to a highly engaged student body by being visible and accessible to all students, attending student events of all kinds, and serving as a strong resource.
- Strong supervisory skills with a demonstrated commitment to professional development and mentorship of others.
- Possess a true passion for this work and the positive development of students.
- Accessible, transparent, ethical leader with excellent communication skills to clearly articulate vision, direction, and purpose and earn the respect and confidence of the faculty, staff, and students.
- Solid strategic planning skills with the fortitude to push beyond roadblocks to achieve positive results for the office and students.
- A thought leader who is well-networked nationally.
- Highly skilled team builder with a track record of creating successful teams that are valued and respected within the community.
- Ability to work towards the successful preparation of all students to leave Appalachian State as educated, aware, and thoughtful citizens ready to contribute to the greater society in meaningful ways.
- Coalition-builder and collaborator with the foresight to reach out well beyond students to include other staff members, faculty, and local community members.
- Experience working with cultural centers and supporting students of multiple identities.
- Possess a genuinely inclusive leadership style that is confident, approachable, motivational, and transparent, with the ability to be firm, clear, direct, and consistent with staff and others.
- Open to an array of new ideas and challenges and will remain confident in decision making.
- Energetic and engaged individual with a strong sense of self and an ability to appropriately infuse humor and enthusiasm into the workplace and campus community.
- Commitment to using best practices, technology, and innovation to continually provide students with cutting-edge programs and services.
- Demonstrated commitment to a strong collaborative style and the capacity to build bridges to other departments, faculty, students, and the community.
- An empathetic leader who truly knows and is comfortable with their own identity(s) and can facilitate others in the midst of working through their own self-discovery journey.
- Ability to maintain a strong sense of curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit.
- A proven record of implementing change, establishing a vision and direction for an office/department, motivating staff and students to embrace change, and successfully creating new programs and initiatives to enhance the quality of campus life for all students.
- Appreciate the talents and expertise of staff and demonstrate a sincere willingness to partner with and advocate for their needs.
- A good listener who can translate priorities into strategic action and influence others to support change.
- Maintain a commitment to continual improvement through the effective use of assessment tools to measure the success of programs and services and the ability to make changes based on relevant data.
- Possess a portfolio of professional experience that demonstrates success in varied settings such as complex research institutions, student-centered undergraduate institutions, predominantly white institutions, and/or rural institutions.
- Budget management knowledge and experience creatively stretching a budget to do more with less.
Likely Opportunities and Challenges of the Position
The new director will encounter the following opportunities and challenges:
- Appalachian State is deeply committed to advancing multicultural competencies, equity, and inclusion efforts. The director will find an engaged environment ready to support intercultural competency, equity, inclusion, and social justice endeavors. It is important for the director to utilize Student Affairs colleagues as well as others across the institution to further enhance the office’s work.
- Create an office that truly supports the success of all minoritized students as well as assisting in the education and awareness of entire Appalachian State community.
- Earn the respect of the campus community through accessibility, visibility, transparency, and follow-through.
- Establish a vision and direction for the office with goals, expectations, and priorities that the entire office embraces.
- The new director will find a clean slate from which to build upon with the staff and students. The possibilities are exciting!
- The institution is slow to change at times; the director should remain committed and resilient.
- Work to design, implement, and grow the learning experience for all students.
- Earn the trust of the students and staff within the office through authentic relationship building, enhancing current staff’s morale, and creating a culture of honest information sharing and solicitation of others’ input.
- Be prepared to respectfully challenge students, staff, and faculty.
- Focus on faculty and academics to improve relationships as well as students’ experience in the classroom.
- Capable of reviewing the office’s past programs and services and having the confidence to ask questions and make difficult decisions when necessary.
- Lead positive change that will have a lasting impact on students and the campus culture.
- Appalachian State has exceptional students eager to work with the director to enhance the quality of the student experience for all.
- Bring a sense of entrepreneurship to the office, welcoming innovation, creativity, and positive change.
- Establish meaningful partnerships with institutional stakeholders.
- Work with a passionate staff committed to serving students to the best of their abilities.
- Take the time to truly get to know the entire staff, their roles, talents, and contributions to the department and student success.
- Dispel the misconception that this department is solely responsible for all inclusion and diversity efforts at Appalachian State; break down silos to create new partners and programs.
- Remain vigilant in efforts to secure additional resources as needed to support the office, staff, and students.
- The director must work for and support all students at Appalachian State; showing any partiality to a particular culture or community will undermine the efficacy of the new director.
- The institution is growing, with the goal of 20,000 students in 2020.
- The history of the office and lack of strong, respected leadership both represent challenges and opportunities for the director.
Measures of Success
At an appropriate interval after joining Appalachian State, the following items will initially define success for the director:
- The students served by the office feel a true sense of belonging to the institution and are comfortable sharing and learning from this director.
- The director is a trusted and valued member of the Division of Student Affairs and the Appalachian State community.
- Created an office environment focused on respect, communication, collaboration, cohesion, and service.
- The director has worked to create a foundation for the continued growth of the office and, with the staff, developed a shared purpose, core values, and goals.
- Demonstrated a collaborative leadership style that is credible and collegial while being highly effective.
- Inspired a new culture within the office focused on educating and serving all students through open dialogue, innovation, intentional programs, and creative partnerships.
- Created a deep network across campus and actively sought out new opportunities for partnerships and collaborative projects.
- Demonstrated excellent communication and problem-solving skills; will have connected with key institutional and local stakeholders; and will have a good sense of the mission and priorities of the Division of Student Affairs.
- The director will have started to break down the old perceptions of the office.
- Academic Affairs is aware of the office and their work.
- The formation of a strong staff that feels supported, valued, empowered, and unified; increased morale and professional development opportunities for all staff.
- Acclimated and embraced the culture of Appalachian State and is enthusiastically involved, visible, and engaged in all aspects of campus life.
- Earned the respect of the campus community through accessibility, authentic communication, and programs and services aimed at honoring the multiple identities of students.
- Supported and advocated for the staff as well as students’ needs and concerns.
- Increased the use of assessment and data-driven decisions within the office.
History of the Position
In the past, this position has struggled a bit at Appalachian State. The office was not well connected yet was seen as “the’” office solely responsible for multicultural education and initiatives. However, with the departure of the last director, Student Affairs has made a concerted effort to better understand the office and its unique needs. This has resulted in a name change to more accurately reflect the work of the entire office and centers. The office was formerly called the Multicultural Student Development Office. In addition, a new staff position was added to help with the overall efforts of the office. Also, the entire assistant vice chancellor’s team has a renewed sense of ownership in the shared responsibility of not only supporting minoritized students, but in the continued education and development of the entire campus community around the principles of intercultural competency, equity, inclusion, and social justice.
The above changes, coupled with the institution’s desire to do a national search to attract the very best candidates, demonstrates their commitment to inclusive excellence and the knowledge that things must change. This provides an excellent opportunity for the new director to make a profound impact.
The Office of Intercultural Student Affairs
The Office of Intercultural Student Affairs, a part of the Division of Student Affairs, contributes to the academic mission of Appalachian State University by providing marginalized and underrepresented students with mentoring, advocacy, community and identity affirmation; as well as by offering multiple and varied learning opportunities for all Appalachian students to develop an appreciation for diversity and different perspectives, enhance self-awareness, increase multicultural knowledge, and strengthen intercultural competency.
Intercultural Student Affairs aspires to offer leadership, advocacy, and serve as a resource to all Appalachian State University constituents and residents of Northwest North Carolina in matters concerning inclusion. Intercultural Student Affairs also aspires to contribute to a campus-wide conversation that advances the University’s commitment to an inclusive learning environment for everyone.
Organizational Chart for the Office
Appalachian was founded in 1899. The pioneering spirit necessary to overcome the mountains’ hardships quickly characterized the institution, giving Appalachian a special niche in higher education that continues today. After more than a century, students still feel the pull of this unique place to transform their lives, and Appalachian has remained focused on providing students with educational experiences that are not only life-changing but world-changing.
Appalachian State University began as Watauga Academy, founded in 1899 by Dr. B.B. Dougherty, his brother D.D. Dougherty, and D.D.’s wife, Lillie Shull Dougherty. They shared the dream of helping children in North Carolina’s “lost provinces” discover educational opportunity to match the splendor of the mountains in which they lived.
This tiny academy quickly evolved into a school preparing quality teachers to serve our state and beyond. Building on this strong foundation, Appalachian grew into a destination of choice for high-achieving, intellectually curious students wanting to be engaged in the community.
The university became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1971 under the leadership of Dr. Herbert W. Wey (1969-79). He introduced innovations that earned Appalachian national recognition as an institution of change, all while enrollment doubled to about 9,500.
Under his leadership, Appalachian implemented the student teacher program, College of Business, continuing education program and Watauga College, a small residential college within the greater university. It also secured the New York Loft and App House in Washington, D.C., for off-campus scholarly activities. To ensure the university’s continued innovation and success, Wey created the Appalachian State University Foundation, Inc. to solicit support from individuals, corporations, and businesses.
Wey was a prolific writer and researcher. Peers referred to him as the “educational innovator” for encouraging faculty to develop and practice new theories of teaching and learning.
Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s, intermediate, and doctoral degrees.
- 17,518 undergraduate
- 1,762 graduate
- 17,653 in state, 1,627 out of state
- 17.4% ethnically diverse
- 16:1 student/faculty ratio
- 27 – average class size
Dr. Sheri Everts, Chancellor, Appalachian State University
Dr. Sheri Everts joined Appalachian State University as its eighth leader in July 2014. Previously, she had been provost and vice president for academic affairs at Illinois State University since 2008.
A Nebraska native who attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse, Everts graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in English instruction and secondary education. After teaching middle school and high school English in Kansas and Nebraska, she returned to UNL, where she earned a master’s degree in literacy education and English (1991) and a doctorate in administration, curriculum, and instruction (1994).
Everts began her higher education career in 1994 as an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Rising through the academic and administrative ranks at UNO, she was named assistant vice chancellor for academic and student affairs in 2000, promoted to associate vice president in 2003, and named interim senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs in 2006. She served in that interim capacity until June 30, 2008, when she left Nebraska to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at Illinois State University. She also served as interim president at ISU.
Under Everts’ leadership, Appalachian has distinguished itself as the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina. By ensuring a sound foundation in terms of the university’s physical infrastructure and the goals and strategic initiatives that empower human potential, Appalachian provides the highest quality setting in which students can grow and learn how to navigate life successfully. Specifically, between 2014 and 2018, enrollment grew to more than 19,000 and the university increased underrepresented students by 37%, first-generation students by 39%, and rural students by 11%. In 2017, Everts launched the Chancellor’s Innovation Scholars Program to support research and practice related to the innovation of higher education. In 2018, she led the charge in opening the Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork in Walkertown, North Carolina—which serves approximately 300 K–5 students with research-based practices, state-of-the-art literacy instruction, and exemplary classroom instruction and administration—and cut the ribbon on the new Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences. Appalachian continues to be a leader in sustainability, in part by hosting the annual Appalachian Energy Summit—a platform through which UNC System campuses have worked together to avoid more than $924 million in utility costs.
Chancellor Everts’ priorities for moving forward as a campus community include:
- articulating the ways Appalachian defines sustainability;
- increasing the diversity of our student, faculty, and staff populations;
- improving wellness, health, and safety for our campus community;
- integrating global learning into and beyond our classrooms;
- supporting faculty and staff;
- providing innovative and creative opportunities for our students to engage in and showcase their research;
- emphasizing the significance of the difference we can make in communities here and across the world through civic engagement;
- securing the necessary resources to energize and sustain these strategic initiatives and support our world-class faculty, staff, and students; and
- maintaining a focus on slow and steady enrollment growth.
- Health Insurance
- Vision Care Plan
- Dental Plan
- Health Care Spending Account
- Dependent Day Care Flexible Spending Account
- Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
- Cancer Insurance
- VOYA Life Insurance
- Retirement Plans
For more information: https://hr.appstate.edu/hr-services/benefits
Review of applications will begin January 29, 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 Heather J. Larabee at email@example.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.
Visit the Appalachian State University website at www.appstate.edu
Appalachian State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. The University does not discriminate in access to its educational programs and activities, or with respect to hiring or the terms and conditions of employment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation.