The Position


Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – Health and Wellbeing, the Executive Director of the Student Health Center directs the daily operations of the Center and works as a member of the Division of Student Affairs (DSA) Health and Wellbeing leadership team, collaborating in support of a health promoting campus. The Executive Director provides visionary leadership and management of services and programs designed to promote and enhance student health, wellness, and success while ensuring adherence to federal, state, and local health regulations. The Executive Director administers an effective and efficient organization through short- and long-term planning and assessment, develops semi-annual and annual reports, and devises long-term strategic plans. The Executive Director oversees a budget in excess of $4.3 million and provides strategic leadership over operational, business, and financial services for the Student Health Center to include but not limited to reporting, payroll and human resources processes, fiscal planning, negotiation, and management of contracts and purchasing agreements. Further, the Executive Director plans for potential crises and ensures business continuity in the event of building or system disruptions or a pandemic event. The Executive Director negotiates with insurance companies to provide comprehensive medical insurance for eligible students, monitors services provided, and oversees the administration of all aspects of student insurance programs. Moreover, the Executive Director oversees strategic marketing and communication plans to advance the Student Health Center and coordinates outreach with other university departments, community health agencies, and other health-related resources. The Executive Director oversees and directs staff, including recruitment, evaluation, training, development, setting priorities, and allocating resources for student health programs and services in accordance with university policies.

Additional duties:

  1. Directs the Student Health Center leadership team, appropriately delegating responsibility for decisions to those with expertise in those areas (i.e., medical director and associate directors).
  2. Advises staff of changes to regulations and requirements affecting the Student Health Center.
  3. Represents the Student Health Center by serving on various university committees as an administrator, including the Division of Student Affairs Health & Wellbeing leadership team, administrative liaison with the College of Medicine and other health-related professional Colleges, and as an advisor to the Health Center Advisory Board.
  4. Directs the collection, analysis, and interpretation of statistics relevant to program planning and ensures that quality standards are maintained including applicable accreditations and regulation compliance. Regularly evaluates programs and services and develops and implements policies and procedures.
  5. In coordination with Facilities Management, oversees facility maintenance, renovations, repairs, and major equipment purchases.
  6. Partners with Campus Safety to ensure effective and safe building operations including security and fire prevention.
  7. Partners with other University of Houston (UH) departments to build relationships to better service the students.
  8. Performs other job-related duties as required.


A master’s degree in a related field and a minimum of five years of directly job-related experience is required; a terminal degree is preferred. In addition, candidates must possess a minimum of three years of progressive management/administrative experience in a healthcare setting; experience in a higher education health clinic setting is preferred.

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

  • Even temperament, professional demeanor, mission-driven, highly organized and disciplined, and the ability to relate easily to a wide range of groups.
  • Decisive leader who is flexible, efficient, and has the ability to prioritize and see initiatives through to completion.
  • Innovator with a futuristic orientation and a willingness to try new opportunities, remain informed on new trends and best practices, and lead significant change processes when appropriate.
  • Adaptable to changing circumstances and committed to continuous assessment and improvement.
  • Strong supervisor who clearly communicates expectations, delegates effectively, and supports professional development and lifelong learning.
  • Facilitator of change with the capacity to build alliances and bring others on board with a mindset for strategic, forward-thinking, and innovative approaches.
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills and comfortable maintaining a highly visible and engaged role, actively working with a wide variety of constituents.
  • Good listener who is creative, solution-focused, detail-oriented, flexible, and adaptable with a good sense of humor.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and familiarity with, marketing and promotion of health care services to a student audience.
  • Be an individual of integrity and high ethical standards.
  • A dynamic leader that is a good listener, open-minded, team-oriented, and willing to advocate for staff, their programs, and needs.
  • Demonstrate the skills, courage, and fortitude needed to lead change, advance new ideas, and think outside the box—must be willing and able to try new approaches, cannot be risk-averse.


The Executive Director of the Student Health Center position has been vacant since April 2022. Immediately following the departure of the Executive Director, Dr. Jon Rusciano, Chief Psychiatrist at the University of Houston, was appointed to serve in the role on an interim basis. Rusciano will continue to serve on an interim basis while the University of Houston conducts a national search for a permanent leader.


In transitioning to the University of Houston, the Executive Director of the Student Health Center will encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges, as shared by key campus stakeholders:

  • The University of Houston stakeholders seemed genuinely interested in participating in discussions about this position, and there was a sense of unity in support of identifying a competent and visionary individual who can promote and develop the Student Health Center, set departmental priorities, and continue to boldly lead successful student health services initiatives into the future.
  • Campus stakeholders repeatedly noted that the University of Houston has an institutional culture that emphasizes a strong sense of team, mutual support, accessibility, approachability, and a highly collaborative approach to work. The Executive Director will find a peer group and colleagues that are welcoming, promote open communication, emphasize an orientation toward service, and share a passion for progressive and forward-thinking administration.
  • Campus stakeholders are committed to the vision of student success and are dedicated to offering the best programs and services possible. The Executive Director should make it a priority to quickly get to know the culture of the student body as well as key stakeholders, learn their particular needs, develop trust and confidence across the board, ascertain the programs and services that they conduct, and be prepared to provide comprehensive professional support while overseeing the ongoing development of a strong team.
  • The next Executive Director must possess a broad and deep understanding of national trends and best practices with regard to student health services, as well as an exemplary record of strong organizational and team development skills. The Executive Director should be an experienced, equity-minded leader capable of managing complex situations and possess an unwavering commitment to the wellbeing and support of students.
  • The Executive Director will want to establish themselves as a strategic, innovative, and decisive leader who quickly builds rapport with students, faculty, staff, partners, colleagues throughout campus, and external collaborators. The Executive Director should conduct a “listening tour” to foster open communication, increased transparency, opportunities for feedback, and stakeholder involvement.
  • Support for the staff is critical, as professional development and involvement at all levels is expected. Long-serving staff bring a wealth of history and professional knowledge to the table, while newer staff bring fresh perspectives and progressive energy. Navigating through the needs of this multidimensional and intergenerational structure, as well as quickly getting to know the staff and its strengths and needs, will be exciting and rewarding for the new Executive Director. Setting a strong, strategic vision for the Student Health Center will be a critical priority for the Executive Director and will set the stage for comprehensive short- and long-term success.


The items listed below will define the new Executive Director’s success throughout the first year of employment.

  • The Executive Director will have developed and maintained a proactive, highly visible, well-respected, and established leadership presence on and off campus that is credible, collegial, and highly effective.
  • The Executive Director will have developed a leadership team that will be defined as a strong, highly functioning, well-regarded, valued, and resilient team that works with synergy and shared purpose, readily collaborating across departmental and division lines with a demonstrated commitment to student success.
  • The Executive Director will have demonstrated clear, effective communication, good rapport, and trust among internal and external campus stakeholders.
  • The Executive Director will have established clear goals and objectives, monitored progress, and demonstrated measurable outcomes regarding the Student Health Center.
  • The Executive Director will have more broadly and clearly branded the Student Health Center and its services to its multiple stakeholders in a way that delivers on the message of lifelong wellness, draws students into personal health care management throughout their time at the institution, and has outcomes that speak to success with health management and the support of University of Houston students.
  • Students and the campus community will have responded favorably to the new Executive Director and reported an increased level of satisfaction with an array of streamlined and well-branded resources that are easier to navigate.

Institution & Location


The following areas comprise the Health and Wellbeing portfolio within the Division of Student Affairs:

Health and Wellbeing Leadership

Chris Dawe, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs — Health and Wellbeing

Dawe joined the University of Houston as the AVP for Health & Wellbeing just under a year ago.  An industry leader for more than 29 years, Dawe’s experience is rooted in leadership and consulting roles within higher education and community with proactive, upstream wellbeing impacts (recreation, wellness, health promotion, and community-building). He has consulted and worked in Canada and the U.S. including as AVP for Health and Wellbeing at Northwest Missouri State University, Director of Recreation and Wellness at Northern Illinois University, and Director of Recreation at Mount Royal University. Dawe has also served in a number of volunteer industry leadership roles including NIRSA’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the planning committee for NASPA’s Wellbeing and Health Promotion Leadership conference. He’s currently serving as the Chair of the U.S. Health Promoting Campuses Network.



The University of Houston Student Health Center offers primary care and medical specialty services. The Student Health Center provides affordable and accessible medical care and pharmacy services and provides care for acute and chronic illnesses as well as minor trauma.

Mission and Diversity Statement of the Student Health Center

Organizational Structure

The Student Health Center is staffed by board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, medical assistants, registered pharmacists, and administrative personnel.

Organizational chart


The University of Houston, located in the nation’s fourth-largest city, is a public, urban institution of higher education chartered by the State of Texas. Founded in 1927, UH is the flagship institution in the University of Houston System and the third-largest university in Texas with over 46,000 students and 2,800 faculty. A Tier One public research institution and one of the country’s most vibrant and ethnically diverse universities, UH is a dynamic hub of creativity and progress with award-winning faculty, innovative research centers, and alumni who have become international leaders.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Strategic Plan

The Student Body (Fall 2022 Data)

Total enrollment: 46,700

Undergraduate: 37,282

Post-baccalaureate: 760

Graduate: 6,939

Special professional: 1,719

African American: 10.9%

Asian American: 22%

Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.1%

Hispanic: 33.2%

International: 9.4%

Multicultural: 2.9%

Native American: 0.1%

Unknown: 1.4%

White: 20%

Diversity Statement

The University of Houston embraces diversity and recognizes its responsibility to foster an open, welcoming environment where students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds can collaboratively learn, work, and serve. The University of Houston values the academic, social, and broader community benefits that arise from a diverse campus and is committed to equity, inclusion, and accountability. Diversity enriches the university community and is a driving force instrumental to institutional success and fulfillment of the university’s mission. UH is committed to engaging in an ongoing dialogue to thoughtfully respond to the changing realities of an increasingly interconnected world.

Institutional Leadership

Renu Khator, Chancellor and President

Renu Khator has served as chancellor of the University of Houston System and president of its flagship University of Houston campus since January 2008. She broke boundaries and glass ceilings with these appointments, as she became the first female chancellor in the State of Texas and the first Indian immigrant to lead a comprehensive research university in the United States.

During her first decade of leadership, Khator guided the remarkable transformation of the University of Houston into a top-tier institution that has become nationally recognized for its unique blend of academic accomplishment, research innovation, athletic achievement, and dedication to the success of a significantly diverse, determined student body.

Today, UH enjoys an enrollment of more than 46,000 students, awards nearly 11,000 degrees annually, offers more than 275 undergraduate and graduate academic programs and has a $6.4 billion economic impact on the Greater Houston area each year.

Since arriving at UH, Khator has concentrated on making sure the university reinforces the economic and cultural strengths of the city of Houston. To that end, UH has focused on energy, the arts, and health care while maintaining an overall pursuit of excellence in the higher education arena. Recognizing that a great city deserves a great public university, Khator launched an ambitious program shortly after her arrival to elevate UH’s standing in the academic community. In 2011, in approximately half the predicted time, UH earned Tier One status for highest research activity from the Carnegie Foundation.

That unprecedented success has been followed by a string of similar achievements, including the opening of Houston’s first medical school in nearly 50 years, being awarded a Phi Beta Kappa honor society chapter, more than tripling the number of National Academy members on the faculty, dramatically improving the graduation rates and the launch of a bold strategic plan to become a top 50 public university.

Under her guidance, the university consistently earns accolades for its students’ achievements, such as Princeton Review’s “50 Colleges That Create Futures” and “Best Value Colleges.” It also ranks 45th in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 social mobility index ranking and among the top 100 universities in the world for utility patents.



For information on the benefits offered at the University of Houston, see here.

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. A resume with an accompanying cover letter may be submitted via the Spelman Johnson website at Nominations for this position and questions about the status of the search may be emailed to Quincy Martin III at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895 or email

The salary range is $145,000 – $150,000.

Visit the University of Houston website at

The University of Houston is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Additionally, the University prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.