The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system. With 1,300 faculty members and more than 30,000 students, UMass Amherst is the largest public university in New England and is ranked among the top 30 public universities in the nation. The campus, located on nearly 1,450 acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, 90 miles from Boston and 175 miles from New York City, provides a rich cultural environment in a rural setting close to major urban centers. UMass Amherst is a highly residential campus, with over 13,000 students living in university housing.

The Position

Responsibilities of the Position

Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life (SACL) and serving as a member of SACL’s leadership team, the Executive Director for Wellbeing, Access and Prevention, under general direction and informed by priorities supporting student success, leads and provides strategic direction for a cluster of programs and services supporting the psychological and physical wellness of UMass Amherst students. Functional areas of responsibility include administrative oversight of the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH), Center for Health Promotion (CHP), Campus Recreation, and Disability Services. Several key focus areas provide an administrative framework for the work performed by this position; including, resource alignment, program assessment, data-informed decision-making, and strategic planning. Success in this role will be based in large part on the Executive Director’s ability to build excellent, collaborative intra-/inter- departmental teams; establish and sustain positive working relationships with departments across Student Affairs and Campus Life, University Health Services, Human Resources, and other related stakeholders; implement programs and services that respond nimbly to identified needs and trends; ensure compliance with applicable laws, policies, guidelines and related requirements; ensure the implementation and performance of effective administrative and financial management systems; allocate and align resources to their best and most effective use; and, demonstrate the impacts of wellness programs on campus Student Success goals.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Establish and sustain holistic, multidisciplinary, multidimensional approaches to support student wellness and wellbeing. Engage wellbeing, access and prevention related units in cultivating a collaborative commitment to student success and serving related student needs. Includes planning and program/service delivery/outreach efforts that respond effectively to emerging issues and trends.
  • Provide administrative oversight and direction for a cluster of wellness-related programs and services, including, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH), the Center for Health Promotion (CHP), Campus Recreation, and Disabilities Services. Includes area and department level strategic planning and goal-setting.
  • Manage allocated funding, staffing, technology, and space resources to their best and most effective use. Align resources to best meet related wellbeing, access and prevention programs (WAPP), SACL, and campus goals. Serve as primary WAPP advocate in resource discussions and decisions. Build and manage WAPP budgets that meet operating requirements. Ensure staff members possess/attain appropriate competencies to satisfactorily perform assigned roles. Establish and maintain staffing levels required to meet needs. Provide technology resources needed to support the work of aligned staff members. Analyze and allocate space resources to best meet operating priorities.
  • Ensure assessment of programs and services on a regular basis and demonstrate the use of results on related decision-making. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, program effectiveness, service delivery models and practices, staffing plans, utilization analyses, application of best practices, and resource alignments.
  • Lead related compliance efforts across all aligned units. Ensure all staff members understand related expectations, protocols, and requirements. Includes compliance with all licensure and accreditation requirements.
  • Maintain a comprehensive working knowledge of areas of responsibility sufficient to understand applicable operating principles and to inform strategic planning and decision-making.

Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

The successful candidate must have an earned MBA, MPH, or master’s degree in a directly related field and a record of ten or more years of progressively responsible management of wellness-related programs or services, including five years at the department head level. An earned doctorate or terminal degree in a related field and experience working and supervising successfully in a unionized environment are preferred. Superior knowledge of contemporary theories and practice related to wellness and wellbeing of college students and exceptional knowledge and application of contemporary service delivery models and corresponding staffing plans in direct service settings are also essential. In addition, the Executive Director must have excellent planning and project management skills, with emphases on budget development and resource utilization; exceptional ability to relate to and communicate clearly and effectively with broadly diverse constituencies utilizing multiple spoken, written and electronic media and modalities; and, experience leading and implementing strategic planning initiatives, including advancing the training and development of staff at all levels. Strong knowledge of contemporary assessment practices/techniques and the use of data in decision-making action will also be important considerations in the selection of the Executive Director.

Stakeholders at UMass identified additional characteristics and attributes when considering the position of executive director (in no particular order).

  • Passion for wellbeing, access, and prevention, and the ability to effectively share this enthusiasm and knowledge with others.
  • Demonstrated leadership ability with excellent management skills and the ability to build a solid framework to effectively develop and manage a new, complex organization.
  • Credible, engaging, supportive, and approachable supervisor with knowledge of the responsibilities of each staff member’s position, respect for their work and contributions, and proficient at advocating for staff and students, their programs, and needs.
  • Strong future thinker and collaborator committed to advancing wellbeing throughout SACL and the entire campus community.
  • Adept at analyzing needs and making hard decisions when necessary.
  • Comfortable with data collection, analysis, and data-driven decision making—and the systems and assessment measures that support these processes.
  • Experience leading in a culture of change with the capacity to motivate staff to accept and embrace change.
  • Proficient at formulating policies and protocols to guide and support the work of the cluster.
  • Deep understanding of principles of diversity and social justice, with the ability to enhance equity and inclusive communities with students and staff of various social, cultural, and educational backgrounds.
  • Genuinely enjoy working with students and helping all students experience success.
  • Solid financial knowledge and budget experience.
  • Highly energetic individual with a strong sense of self and ability to appropriately infuse humor and enthusiasm into the workplace and campus community.
  • Demonstrated commitment to a strong collaborative style and capacity to build bridges to departments, faculty, students, and the community to facilitate open discussions and joint ventures advancing wellbeing.
  • Compassionate, 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.
  • Knowledge of strategic planning, project development, and organizational change management.
  • Maintain a commitment to continual improvement and professional development by encouraging staff to be actively engaged in professional associations and alert to evolving trends and emerging best practices.
  • Capacity to equally hold staff accountable and celebrate accomplishments and positive contributions.

History of the Position

This is a newly-created position centered around wellbeing and student success. The executive director has the unique opportunity to create new initiatives, programs, and services to enhance the holistic approach to students’ wellbeing in the broadest sense, while melding together the talents and efforts of four existing offices. This position has the ability to help shape campus culture at UMass for many years to come.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

The departments within this new cluster have not historically collaborated closely on programming and services at UMass, s0 one of the challenges for the new executive director will be to successfully develop programs across the diverse departments in this new cluster. The cultures of the departments and the backgrounds and experiences of the staffs vary significantly. For example, the Campus Recreation staff members have typically progressed through student affairs programs in higher education, while the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health staff have professional experience within their health care professions, and many have experience outside higher education. The staff of all departments, however, are enthusiastic about opportunities to collaborate on programs and align their services to maximize their ability to serve students.

In transitioning to UMass, the executive director of wellbeing, access and prevention will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key University stakeholders.

  • The interim status of the leadership of all four of the clusters’ departments presents the executive director with an exciting opportunity to select their leadership team.
  • The executive director will be expected to support current programming efforts, but also to create new programming, services, and initiatives for the newly created cluster.
  • The new executive director will need to exhibit patience and be supportive of all staff members as there may be some growing pains in the creation of the new organization.
  • Create a strategic plan and help share the new cluster’s story and how their services positively impact retention and student success.
  • This position has the opportunity to craft the wellbeing message and establish a wellbeing model for UMass and shape how this impacts the students and institution.
  • The staff members in the departments exhibit a strong work ethic and are exceedingly respectful of their colleagues.
  • Meet the level of critical thinking, continuous learning, and awareness of trends and best practices needed to successfully contribute to the SACL leadership team.
  • Working with the cluster to eliminate the duplication of services while also enhancing and developing new services.
  • The current staff members expect the new executive director to advocate for resources needed to make the new cluster successful. There is a desire on the part of staff members to have someone “sitting at the table” representing them.
  • Help the clusters’ departments to understand how they each fit into the bigger picture of not just SACL, but the entire university.

Measures of Success for the Position

The following items will initially define success for the new executive director.

  • The executive director will have reviewed departmental and personnel strengths and weaknesses, formulated a structural plan for the organization, and have taken the appropriate time to meet with their staff and truly understand each staff member’s role and how they contribute to the larger organization.
  • The executive director will have maintained a leadership style that is credible and collegial while continuing to be highly effective.
  • The executive director will have worked to increase the awareness and visibility of the cluster.
  • The executive director will have the confidence of upper administration to be included in all decisions effecting the cluster.
  • The executive director will have created a team within the new cluster and developed, with the staff, a new mission and organizational goals.
  • The executive director will demonstrate 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 UMass.
  • The executive director will become a valued member of UMass by collaborating with colleagues on all aspects of student wellbeing, access, and prevention.

An Overview of the Department

This new wellbeing cluster is comprised of four offices: Campus Recreation, the Center for Health Promotion (CHP), the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH), and Disabilities Services.

Campus Recreation

Mission

Campus Recreation, an integral part of the educational mission of the University of Massachusetts and Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life, provides comprehensive recreation and student development opportunities, as well as exceptional programs, services, and facilities. Through positively reflecting the interests and values of the UMass community, we actively promote and encourage a lifelong commitment to health and wellness.

Vision

Inspire growth as leaders in collegiate recreation and challenge norms to awaken potential and change lives.

Core Values 

  • Customer service is met by understanding the needs and wants of participants.
  • Excellence is achieved through research, assessment, and collaboration.
  • Safety is job one.
  • Education strengthens the value of our program beyond the immediate experience.
  • Integrity is fostered through principles of fairness, mutual respect, and personal responsibility.
  • Fun inspires moments of optimism and happiness one smile at a time.

Programs

Programs include Fitness and Wellness activities from Zumba and Spinning to several different yoga styles. Personal training and nutrition advising are available. Aquatics includes recreational swim, swim lessons, and lifeguard certification. During the academic year, over 40 different Intramural Sports events, leagues, and tournaments are scheduled.

Center for Health Promotion (CHP)

The Center for Health Promotion (CHP) offers innovative programs, entertaining events, important health information, and outreach and consultation services.

Peer Health Educators are active across campus, with information, support, and fun activities.

Also at the CHP:

Mission

The Center for Health Promotion advances healthy living as a strategy that supports academic and personal success.

Students who interact with the center’s programs, services, and staff empower themselves to make health-enhancing choices for individual and community wellbeing; engage fully in their academic and personal lives; and enhance their leadership skills.

Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH)

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) offers a community of care to UMass Amherst students to help them cope with stress or anxiety, find strategies to overcome challenges, promote mental wellbeing, and succeed in college life and beyond. CCPH services include: workshops and consultations; crisis intervention; brief (generally 3-5 sessions) individual, couples, and group therapy; behavioral medicine; medication management; psychological assessment; suicide prevention training; campus consultation and education; and community referrals.

Disability Services

Disability Services at UMass Amherst is committed to full access for all persons at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and embraces the philosophies of diversity and multiculturalism. Direct services are provided for all types of disability. Disability Services also provides information and referral on issues of accessibility, as well as training and staff development to the University community.

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

The University of Massachusetts Amherst (otherwise known as UMass Amherst), the Commonwealth’s flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

UMass Amherst faculty and staff are top performers in terms of the number of awards and recognitions they receive. UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship public research university, is one of the nation’s top universities for research as measured by national and international rankings, academic citations, and research funding. The campus spends more than $200 million on research each year, demonstrating its contribution to the nation’s position as a technological and economic leader. The University has consistently been named a top producer of Fulbright award winners. Additionally, UMass Amherst engages the community with 359 programs, partnering with 499 organizations in 21 states, and involving 86 different campus units. Other notable accomplishments include recognition as a leader in social justice and being one of the first campuses to announce a policy to divest investments in South Africa. UMass Amherst is ranked among the top 10 research universities nationwide for its commitment to leadership in sustainability. The University is also distinguished by its W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies; the Stonewall Center, one of the longest established centers supporting the LGBTQIA community (over 40 years); the Center for Women and Community, supporting victims of violence; and the Office of Disability Services, supporting students with disabilities in maximizing the quality of their university experience.

For a more comprehensive introduction to the University, visit http://www.umass.edu/gateway/about .

The Community and Five College Consortium

Amherst is a town in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, in the Connecticut River Valley. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,819, making it the largest community in Hampshire County (although the county seat is Northampton). The town is home to Amherst College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, three of the area’s local five colleges.

Five Colleges, Incorporated is a nonprofit educational consortium established in 1965 to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions, which include four private liberal arts colleges and the Amherst campus of the state university. The consortium is an outgrowth of a highly successful collaboration in the 1950s among Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which resulted in the founding of a fifth institution, Hampshire College, in 1970.

Five Colleges, Incorporated promotes and administers long-term forms of cooperation that benefit faculty, staff, and students. These include:

  • shared use of educational and cultural resources and facilities, including a joint automated library system, open cross registration, and open theater auditions;
  • joint departments and programs; and
  • inter-campus transportation.

Their proximity to one another in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts favors five-college collaboration, as does their commitment to liberal arts and undergraduate education. Five Colleges, Incorporated is a long-standing member of the Association for Consortium Leadership (ACL), a national organization of consortia.

Amherst is conveniently located near major metropolitan areas, with Boston and New York City less than two hours away by car. Bradley International Airport, the closest major airport, is located just north of Hartford and is about an hour from campus. Amtrak and Peter Pan Bus Lines also offer public transportation options for the campus community.

For more information about Amherst, visit the Chamber of Commerce at http://www.amherstarea.com/

Strategic Plan

From our founding as a land-grant university with a mission to educate the sons and daughters of Massachusetts to our rise within the ranks of the finest public universities in the nation, the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been guided by the enduring vision to create public impact through innovation. Yet, each era provides new challenges and opportunities. To ensure future innovation and impact within our immersive, residential undergraduate and graduate education model in a rich research environment, we must become more effective at demonstrating our value to our many constituencies while operating in ever-more challenging resource environments. In order to effectively address these challenges and set an agenda for the campus, to serve as a guide for unit planning, and to enable resource allocations that align with strategic priorities, the campus embarked upon a broad-based, multi-stage strategic planning process in 2012. Through a Joint Task Force on Strategic Oversight (JTFSO) comprised of faculty, students, staff, and administrators, and with consultation from diverse campus constituencies, the Phase I document, “Innovation and Impact: Renewing the Promise of the Public Research University,” was produced and continues to serve as a guide for planning and implementation across the campus.

During Phase II in the 2013–2014 academic year, JTFSO fleshed out campus priorities and direction in order to create developmental plans to set the stage for unit planning in Phase III. With Diversity, Outreach and Engagement, and Internationalization as cross-cutting themes throughout the planning process, the development of a comprehensive Diversity Strategic Plan began during Phase II. To enable us to move toward a more intentional system of resource allocation, The Joint Task Force on Resource Allocation (JTFRA) was formed in Fall 2013, and began to explore different resource allocation models that can be employed to align budgets with strategic priorities in the future, with initial piloting of a model-informed resource allocation system in the following year.

During Phase III in the fall of 2014, administrative units, schools, colleges, and departments drafted plans for Part I: Destination of Choice, focusing on undergraduate education. During the spring of 2015, departments developed plans for graduate education and research for Part II: Investment of Choice. These plans, along with updated performance indicator data, were the basis for the integration of planning and resource allocation in Academic Year 2015-16. Administrative unit plans for resource allocation were also developed, along with launching the Joint Subcommittee on Administrative Costs and Services to develop recommendations for the review of administrative and support costs and the Campus Planning and Resource Committee (CPARC) to integrate the work of the joint task forces JTFSO and JTFRA into the future.

This foundation continues to inform the Academic Year 2017-2018 Resource Allocation and Planning process toward a transparent, consultative, and evidence-based resource allocation process that focuses our strategic priorities to achieve our fullest potential as the commonwealth’s Flagship public research university.

A related priority for the University is its commitment to diversity, which is summarized in the Diversity Strategic Plan: https://www.umass.edu/diversity/sites/default/files/diversity_strategic_plan_2015.pdf

Leadership

Kumble R. Subbaswamy, PhD, Chancellor

Kumble R. Subbaswamy became the 30th leader of UMass Amherst on July 1, 2012. He has emerged as a popular and well-regarded chancellor for his pursuit of academic excellence, promotion of research and outreach, and initiatives aimed at addressing campus climate, diversity, and culture.

Subbaswamy has overseen the opening of new cutting-edge academic and athletic facilities, including Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community, the Integrative Learning Center, the Life Science Laboratories, and the Football Performance Center. He has made sustainability a campus priority, and he is focused on strengthening community relationships, supporting area communities, and increasing access to the University’s rich academic and research resources.

Championing an open and transparent leadership style, Subbaswamy enacted a comprehensive campus-wide strategic planning process to continue to build on the successes of UMass Amherst in the coming years. As part of fortifying the future, Subbaswamy has played a key role in UMass Rising, a $300 million fundraising campaign and the largest in campus history.

Subbaswamy has instituted plans to improve the UMass educational experience by introducing more opportunities for undergraduate research experiences and integrative and team-based learning and to increase enrollment of students from diverse backgrounds.

Before coming to UMass Amherst, Subbaswamy served since 2006 as provost at the University of Kentucky. A physicist, he joined Kentucky’s faculty in 1978 after serving as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine. During his first 18 years at the University of Kentucky, he served as associate dean of arts and sciences and as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

In other administrative positions, Subbaswamy was dean of the college of arts and sciences at the University of Miami from 1997 to 2000. Then he left to become dean of arts and sciences at Indiana University Bloomington, serving until 2006, when he moved to Kentucky. He holds a bachelor of science from Bangalore University, a master of physics from Delhi University, and a PhD in physics from Indiana University. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1989. His primary research area is the optical properties of novel materials and nonlinear excitations. He has published more than 60 articles and co-authored a book on the local density theory of polarizability.

Enku Gelaye, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs and Campus Life

Enku Gelaye, who has held the post of vice chancellor since 2014, oversees staff and programs that promote the intellectual, physical, and emotional wellbeing of more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Her office’s responsibilities include residential life and off-campus student services, registered student organizations, advocacy and inclusion programs, counseling and psychological health, and the university police department.

Gelaye joined UMass Amherst as associate vice chancellor and dean of students in 2011 and served a year as interim vice chancellor. She led a division-wide organizational review and restructuring process of the office and oversaw development and implementation of the UMatter at UMass initiative, which promotes a climate of responsibility to prevent sexual assault, misuse of alcohol and other drugs, bias-related activities, bullying, harassment and violence, and depression and suicide.

She has a J.D. from the University of Georgia and a B.S. from the University of Tennessee.

The Academic Program

The University of Massachusetts is a five-university system led by a president and a board of trustees. Each member campus is led by a chancellor. As the flagship campus of America’s education state, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the leader of public higher education in the Commonwealth, making a profound, transformative impact for the common good. UMass Amherst ranks among the nation’s top 30 public universities, moving up 10 spots during the past year in the U.S. News & World Report’s annual college guide.

Schools and Colleges

  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Humanities and Fine Arts
  • College of Information and Computer Sciences
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Commonwealth Honors College
  • Isenberg School of Management
  • School of Public Health and Health Sciences
  • Stockbridge School of Agriculture
  • Graduate School

Academic Quality and Student Success

  • Applications doubled during the past decade, and about 41,800 students applied for 4,700 seats in the class of 2019. Academic quality stands at an all-time high with combined SATs at 1,268 and high school GPAs at 3.89.
  • The Commonwealth Honors College recruits high-achieving students, with SATs at 1,386 and GPAs at 4.27. In 2013, UMass opened one of the nation’s premier residential honors colleges, a $188 million, six-building complex for living and learning.
  • The range and quality of UMass Amherst’s academic offerings are nationally recognized. More than 28,000 students are enrolled, including nearly 22,000 undergraduates from 71 countries and 50 states.
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education has recognized UMass Amherst as one of the nation’s top-producing research universities for student Fulbright scholarships during 2014–15. The current 14 Fulbright scholarships are a campus record.
  • Students benefit from state-of-the-art facilities. Over the past decade, UMass has seen $1.4 billion in new construction and renovations with another $1.4 billion in improvements in the works.

Student Body and Admissions Statistics 2017

Undergraduate Enrollment

  • 21,734 undergraduate enrollment
  • 77 percent in-state
  • 23 percent out-of-state

2017 Entering Undergraduate Class

  • 42,398 freshman applications
  • 57 percent admit rate
  • 4,700 students
  • 30 percent ALANA (African-American, Latino, Asian, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Native American)
  • 3,460 in-state students
  • 900 out-of-state students
  • 400 international students
  • Average GPA* – 3.89 (4.0 scale)
  • GPA middle 50 percent – 3.70 to 4.10
  • Average SAT – 1,283 (Evidence Based Reading & Writing/Math)
  • SAT middle 50 percent – 1190 to 1340
  • Average ACT – 28
  • ACT middle 50 percent – 26 to 31

*GPA is based on academic courses only and weighted for Honors and College level courses per the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education

Transfer Profile

  • Average GPA – 3.36
  • Joint Admissions/MassTransfer – 370
  • 1,150 students
  • 3,800 transfer applications

Academic Offerings

  • 12 academic colleges
  • 112 bachelor’s degree programs
  • 5 associate’s degree programs
  • Average class size: 36
  • 81 percent of classes have fewer than 40 students

Faculty

  • More than 1,300 full-time instructional faculty
  • 92 percent hold the highest degree in their fields
  • 18:1 student/faculty ratio

Retention Rate

  • 91 percent

Graduation Rates

  • 6-year graduation rate: 76.5 percent
  • 5-year graduation rate: 75 percent
  • 4-year graduation rate: 67 percent

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin November 20, 2018 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 hjl@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the UMass Amherst website at umass.edu

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity Employer of women, minorities, protected veterans, individuals with disabilities, and other protected group members.