Position Description

Summary

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience, The Director of the Office of Community Standards and Student Accountability provides comprehensive leadership, management, and organization for the office, overseeing a broad portfolio of responsibilities that support an institutional focus on student success, a culture of excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and a vision for cutting-edge technology and nationally recognized best practices in student conduct. The Director is responsible for administering, managing, and further developing the non-academic conduct process, as well as developing and maintaining office operations, including oversight of human resources, budget, and quality of services. The Director also provides vision and direction to students related to community standards and how to engage in community through a values-based approach. The Director partners closely with several individuals/departments on campus, including, but not limited to, the Title IX Coordinator, the Office of Legal Counsel, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Police Department, and the University Compliance Office, to oversee the University’s compliance efforts for laws and regulations relating to student misconduct, as well as collaborating with various external departments and off-campus entities to develop and present campus education and training. The Director manages a staff of five, including three direct reports, and oversees a budget of $220,000.

The Position

Specific Responsibilities

Supervision and Leadership

  • leads the Office of Community Standards and Student Accountability in the Division of Student Affairs
  • facilitates strategic planning for the area
  • develops departmental policies and operational budgets
  • directs all human resource functions for the office, including staff selection, performance management, promotion, termination, and evaluation
  • provides professional development opportunities for staff
  • supervises up to two Assistant Directors, graduate assistants, interns, and a part-time Office Service Specialist
  • receives reports about, investigates, prepares, delegates, and manages the investigation and resolution of alleged violations involving students pursuant to University policy and federal statute
  • incorporates the philosophy of promoting student development while upholding University student conduct standards
  • utilizes national trends related to rights and responsibilities, restorative justice, and conflict management/mediation
  • manages the formal and informal processes of non-academic student conduct at UAB
  • supervises and manages assessment to include evaluation of processes and regulations to ensure fair and equitable procedures
  • engages in systematic planning and assessment
  • tracks trends and generates and analyzes reports, in comparison to peer institutions
  • provides and utilizes monthly metric reports to make decisions regarding processes, sanctioning, and trends on campus
  • coordinates and collaborates with campus entities concerning investigation of student behavior; collaborators include, but are not limited to, Division of Student Affairs colleagues (Housing and Residential Life, Counseling Services, etc.), University Police, associate and assistant deans, deans, and faculty
  • serves as the liaison with the Office of Compliance related to EthicsPoint complaints
  • investigates and delegates case authority of cases related to anonymous reporting
  • creates, implements, and evaluates educational sanctioning for students found in violation of the Student Conduct Code

Management of Resources and Processes

  • manages the conduct and case management software for the University
  • assigns roles, functions, processes, and reports within the case management system and delegates responsibilities to individuals and groups
  • serves as the liaison for Academic Integrity and the Academic Honor Code, which includes Maxient training for Academic Integrity Coordinators, as well as updating code language, processes, letters, and sanctions in Maxient
  • co-chairs the inter-disciplinary non-clinical decision-making team for students of concern, the CARE (Communicate.  Assess.  Refer.  Educate.) Team
  • trains and provides ongoing education for CARE Team
  • provides communication to clarify potential problems or threats, coordinates intervention strategies to mitigate risk, develops long term resolutions, and utilizes internal and external resources to ensure student support
  • implements reporting structure for CARE Team, to include how someone submits reports, processes for the reporting, and processes/guidelines for response
  • develops, implements, and monitors processes to work with student groups and registered student organizations regarding Student Conduct Code violations and compliance issues
  • collaborates with University Police Department and any other local and federal enforcement agencies
  • assists in the coordination of the Campus Crime Statistics Report (Clery)
  • designs, implements, and evaluates training of students, faculty, and staff who assist in the student conduct processes and who serve on University hearing panels
  • coordinates all University hearing panels, to include assignment of the panel, scheduling, scripting, and communicating all aspects of each panel
  • coordinates Student Conduct Code review, to include chairing a review committee, coordinating changes for approval, and disseminating changes throughout the campus community
  • coordinates changes in the Policy Library with Compliance
  • when delegated by the Assistant Vice President for Student Experience and/or Vice President for Student Affairs, completes threat assessment and management tasks

Programming and Office Communication

  • collaborates with campus partners to develop and implement programming and educational initiatives regarding prevention and fostering a sense of community
  • provides overall educational initiatives related to community standards, including University and divisional values, the University Creed (The Blazer Way), and the Student Conduct Code
  • develops a comprehensive marketing and communication plan for Community Standards and Student Accountability
  • educates students, faculty, and staff regarding services available through the office
  • creates, implements, and evaluates educational sanctioning for students found in violation of the Student Conduct Code

Other Duties

  • serves on the Divisional Crisis Response Team on-call rotation
  • serves on divisional and university committees, as necessary and at the approval of supervisor

History of the Position

The Office of Student Conduct and Outreach was a part of the Division of Student Affairs beginning in 2015, when Dr. John R Jones III was hired to lead the return of the Division to UAB. Emily Feinstein served as the Director of Student Conduct and Outreach until December 2017, and, in August 2018, Johnathan Adams was hired to lead the department. During COVID19, the office experienced significant increases in cases and in the complexity of cases in both areas of the office, and a decision was made to split the office into two unique and separate departments. The Office of Community Standards and Student Accountability (formerly “Student Conduct”) was created in May 2021, newly named to highlight the importance of UAB shared values, the University Creed (The Blazer Way), and the educational approach related to behavioral standards in a community. Adams left the position in August 2021, and currently, the Associate Director for Student Assistance and Support (formerly “Student Outreach”) is serving in the Interim Director role until a permanent replacement has been identified.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position 

The new Director of the Office of Community Standards and Student Accountability must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices and be a content expert in the areas of student conduct and accountability, Title IX, Clery Act, and other federal and state requirements related to student rights and responsibilities. The Director should be comfortable managing crises and complex situations, as well as advancing new trends and innovations as solutions, in support of the code of conduct for the UAB campus. Knowledge of and experience in change management, comprehensive collaboration, and strategic visioning in a multifaceted setting on a large, public campus are essential for success. The Director should be an experienced and energetic leader, unwaveringly committed to cooperation and partnering at the highest level, possessing a deep understanding of professional and transparent communication principles, and equipped to contribute at both a strategic and operational level at all times.

The Office of Community Standards and Student Accountability, through its programs and services, strives to help students mature and become contributing citizens to UAB and the Birmingham community. The office endeavors to create a university culture of excellence that is self-disciplined and where civility is embraced through a values-based approach to community standards. The following were identified as opportunities, priorities, and challenges that may face the new Director upon arrival.

  • The new Director must commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partnering across campus for maximum effectiveness; UAB 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. Community Standards and Student Accountability touches a number of campus entities both internally and external to student affairs, so it will be crucial that the new Director quickly reach out across campus to build strong relationships and partnerships to foster ongoing positive interactions and be a connector and unifier in all instances on matters of student conduct. The new Director should, at their earliest convenience, conduct both internal and external listening tours in an effort to interact with campus stakeholders, determine mutual needs, insure inclusive practice, and tell the “story” of Community Standards and Student Accountability.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential parts of the UAB community, and the Director should be a leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts. There are a large number of underrepresented populations within the institution, and Community Standards and Student Accountability needs to be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased environment at all times. The new Director should be a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion in all its forms and should strive to nurture and embrace these concepts throughout the organization.
  • The new Director will lead the effort for the consideration of restorative justice practices in conduct resolution.
  • The new Director should exhibit strong communication skills through personal interaction, public presentations, and curation of a thoughtful online presence, and should confidently assume the position of “expert authority” related to matters of student conduct, advising the University community on upholding the rights and responsibilities of students and the institution.
  • There is a fresh and vibrant environment in which to work in the Division of Student Affairs at UAB. The division is operating at an extremely fast pace, with change and growth occurring rather quickly both internally and across the University, so the new Director should expect to quickly learn the position, develop a plan, and begin implementation just as quickly. There will be a great opportunity to be creative, with a measure of autonomy to put their professional mark on the program and establish new benchmarks for many years to come.
  • The successful candidate will demonstrate creativity, leadership, and collaborative energy to address issues such as the current political climate, student mental-health issues, and social justice concerns that will continue to have an impact on student-conduct policy and practice.
  • The new Director should be prepared to promote and manage a strong, high functioning team that is poised to support one another as the office addresses numerous difficult and sensitive student conduct cases and should facilitate high productivity while also attending to the personal impact this work has on staff members through active support of positive coping mechanisms and ongoing professional development.
  • The new Director must support the ongoing work and professional training of Student Housing and Residence Life, other Student Affairs colleagues, the Title IX Office, and members of the CARE team, as well as coordinate with the Behavior Threat, Assessment and Management Team to identify and assess student behavior perceived to be threatening, harming, or disruptive to the student and/or to others.
  • Across the board, stakeholders reiterated that they like working at UAB, are very supportive of each other, enjoy the vibrancy and fast pace of the University, feel much camaraderie, and believe that there are many opportunities to make a big difference in this role. Enrollment is growing, construction is at a premium, and the University is a growing influence in the Southeast. Birmingham is also a rapidly growing and developing city, and UAB is, in large part, fueling this growth, so the new Director can expect all those amenities that come along with a large metropolitan city, as well as the great atmosphere and hospitality of the South. With a nationally renowned children’s medical center and UAB Medical, the only crisis hospital in the Southeast, exceptional healthcare is only one of the many benefits that are available in Birmingham.

Qualifications

Qualifications

A master’s degree in higher education administration, counseling, college student personnel, or other relevant field, with five years of progressively responsible full-time related experience is required. Previous experience in a collegiate student conduct and/or outreach environment, strong organizational abilities, the ability to build and support a cohesive team, and excellent written/oral communication skills are highly desired. Other preferred qualifications include prior experience with Title IX, including adjudication and/or investigation; proficiency working with behavioral intervention teams – non-clinical, interdisciplinary, decision-making behavioral teams for students of concern; and previous experience with a wide variety of student conduct, to include bias-related incidents, registered student organization conduct (including Greek-letter organizations), and gender-based behavioral concerns. An understanding of student development and leadership theory and its impact on practice, a demonstrated commitment to diversity, and the ability to foster strong working relationships with internal and external stakeholders are highly desirable.

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

The University of Alabama at Birmingham traces its roots to the 1859 founding of the Medical College of Alabama and the 1936 opening of the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama. In 1945 the Medical College of Alabama was moved from Tuscaloosa and the University’s Medical Center was founded in Birmingham. In 1954 the Extension Center was moved to a newly-constructed facility adjacent to the Medical Center, bringing together for the first time the University’s two academic components in Birmingham. Later, in November of 1966, the Extension Center and the Medical Center were administratively merged to form the “University of Alabama in Birmingham,” an organizational component of the University of Alabama (in Tuscaloosa). In 1969 UAB became an independent institution, one of the autonomous universities within the newly created three-campus University of Alabama System.

Today, UAB is a comprehensive urban university with a nationally recognized academic health center. UAB is the only public, four-year degree granting university in the state’s largest metropolitan area. UAB is the largest research institution in the state of Alabama and is the largest single employer in the state.

Ray L. Watts, MD – President

Ray L. Watts, MD, UAB’s seventh President, has demonstrated visionary leadership in education, research, and patient care throughout his career.

A Birmingham native and graduate of West End High School, Dr. Watts earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering at UAB in 1976. The collaborations he had with biomedical engineering students as an undergraduate sparked an interest in medicine and, four years later, he graduated from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis as valedictorian of his class.

Dr. Watts completed a neurology residency, medical internship, and clinical fellowships at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a two-year medical staff fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Thereafter he joined the faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, where he was part of a team that created an internationally renowned research and clinical center for Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

Dr. Watts returned to UAB in 2003 as the John N. Whitaker Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology. There he led the development of an interdisciplinary research program aimed at translating scientific breakthroughs into promising new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and played a key role in the establishment of the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. He also was named president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation.

In 2010, Dr. Watts accepted the position of Senior Vice President and Dean of the School of Medicine at UAB, and later was named to the James C. Lee Jr. Endowed Chair. As Dean, Dr. Watts – in partnership with UAB Health System and Health Services Foundation leaders – initiated the AMC21 strategic plan to make UAB “the preferred academic medical center of the 21st century,” which has led to the recruitment of outstanding faculty, the launch of programs to accelerate research and drug discovery, and establishment of a third regional medical campus in Montgomery, among other successes.

Dr. Watts was named president of UAB in February 2013 by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System. He initiated and is leading UAB’s most comprehensive-ever strategic planning process with campus- and community-wide partnership. During his tenure, UAB has made tremendous strides in all areas of its mission, including record enrollment and development of novel academic programs, record research funding and the University’s international competitiveness, impactful service to the local and global community, and construction of new state-of-the-art facilities and campus beautification as part of the UAB Campus Master Plan.

Dr. Watts and his wife Nancy, who worked at UAB as a nurse before retiring, have five grown children.

John R. Jones, PhD – Vice President for Student Affairs

Dr. John Jones was named Vice President for Student Affairs in June 2015. Dr. Jones provides leadership and direction to the Division of Student Affairs, which consists of Campus Dining, Campus Recreation, the UAB Career Center, Disability Support Services, Hill Student Center, Housing & Residence Life (including Second Year Experience), Marketing & Communications, Off-Campus Student and Family Engagement, Community Standards and Student Accountability, Student Counseling Services, Student Health Services, Student Involvement & Leadership (including Fraternity and Sorority Life), Student Media, Student Multicultural & Diversity Programs, Student Assistance and Support, Title IX, Veteran Services, and Wellness Promotions.

 

Dr. Jones earned his PhD in higher education administration from the University of Iowa and joined University of North Carolina-Pembroke (UNCP) in 2013 as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, promoting student learning and personal growth by providing strategic leadership and vision for programs, services, and opportunities that encourage student success.

Prior to UNCP, Dr. Jones worked in college administration at Purdue University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and Northern Illinois University. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Student Conduct Administration, the Madame Walker Urban Life Center in Indianapolis, and the Center for Academic Integrity. Dr. Jones also served in the Army National Guard for 18 years.

Benefits Overview

Benefits Overview

  • Traditional medical plans
  • Consumer driven health plans
  • Dental plans
  • Vision plans
  • Retirement programs
  • Educational assistance for employees and families
  • Life, accidental death & dismemberment and disability insurance
  • Vacation and sick leave

 

For more information:  https://www.uab.edu/humanresources/home/benefits

Application & Nomination

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin October 29, 2021, 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 J. Scott Derrick at jsd@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the UAB website at http://www.uab.edu

UAB is committed to equal opportunity in education, and employment, and the maintenance and promotion of nondiscrimination and prevention of discriminatory harassment in all aspects of education, recruitment, and employment of individuals throughout the university.