THE OPPORTUNITY

A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University (KSU) is one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. KSU offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to its more than 37,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties, entrepreneurial spirit, and Division I athletics draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Ranked a top choice for students by U.S. News & World Report, Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only six percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status.

The Position

ROLE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS AT KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY

Reporting to the president, the vice president for student affairs (VPSA) advises the president and university leadership on matters pertaining to student life while providing leadership to multiple areas impacting the student experience. The VPSA oversees the dean of students, student centers, student activities, student counseling services, fraternity and sorority life, intramural and recreational sports, family programs, cultural and community centers, student disability services and student veteran’s services. The VPSA ensures divisional compliance with institutional mission, vision, and values; utilizes ongoing assessment plans and data to create, enhance, and modify programming to fit the needs of the student body; engages in a strategic planning process that supports an environment of leadership, teamwork, and professional responsibility; and promotes positive student relations by maintaining effective lines of communication with student leaders and by serving as a strong advocate for the non-academic, extracurricular needs of students. The VPSA manages approximately 250 full-time staff and a $21.5 million budget.

Additional specific responsibilities of the position include:

  • Prepares and manages annual budgets, including reviewing and approving program expenditures, establishing and monitoring annual revenue projections, and developing relevant programmatic funding proposals.
  • Works with the senior vice president for academic affairs to ensure the division is providing appropriate support and resources to ensure student academic success.
  • Works with the chief diversity officer to create programming that will continue to foster an environment that encourages the knowledge of and respect for those of other cultures or backgrounds and the development of skills to engage with individuals from differing experiences.
  • Assures the effective delivery of student services by monitoring workloads and prioritizing staffing needs.
  • Works with the Student Affairs team to develop and sustain a structured plan and process for student crisis response and management, to include a communication plan for students, parents, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Works with the development office on fundraising initiatives to increase giving to departmental programs.

HISTORY OF THE POSITION

Kathleen “K.C.” White served as vice president for student affairs from July 2015, to September 2019. Dr. Gloria Laureano Fuentes, senior associate vice president for student affairs, is serving as interim vice president for student affairs until the search for a permanent vice president for student affairs is complete.

OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

President Pamela S. Whitten began her tenure in June 2018 and has brought a tremendous focus on student success to KSU. She is committed to building a “best in class” student affairs organization that will serve as a benchmark for similar institutions across the country. The VPSA must be viewed as a highly regarded expert on issues of student development, evolving trends impacting student life and the programs and services designed to support student success, and the diverse student body served by KSU.

In the past 20 years, KSU has evolved from a primarily commuter campus to one with a significant population of students living on campus or immediately adjacent to campus. The university continues to enhance its residential character through programs targeting on-campus students and services that connect them to the residential experience.

KSU has a large, diverse student population. Faculty and administrators must think creatively about how best to respond to the needs of varied constituents, including a significant population of Pell-eligible, first-generation, traditionally underrepresented students and student-veterans.

In transitioning to KSU, the new vice president for student affairs will also encounter the following opportunities, priorities, and challenges:

  • Manage the operations of a large, complex division that serves multiple campuses with numerous competing priorities.
  • Build effective collaborative relationships with the president’s cabinet members and other senior leadership.
  • Conduct ongoing assessments of services, programs, and activities in regard to quality of service, staffing, and effectiveness within all areas.
  • Create institutional buy-in while serving as an agent of change, demonstrating sensitivity to the wide range of experiences and perspectives students bring to the university.
  • Collaborate with direct reports to create a division that shares common mission, vision, and values.

QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS

The successful candidate will minimally possess a master’s degree in an appropriate area of specialization and at least 10 years of significant leadership experience in a student affairs administrative position at the university level. The ideal candidate will possess a strong commitment to inclusive excellence; a demonstrated ability to enhance the university experience for diverse student populations; a demonstrated ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with cabinet members, academic leadership, athletics, the university police department, and other university and community support organizations; and outstanding interpersonal, teamwork, problem solving, project management, and presentation skills. The successful candidate will be recognized as an innovative leader with a proven history of being student-centered, collegial, accessible, inclusive, interactive, and able to effectively advocate for students.

Additionally, the following characteristics and attributes were identified by various stakeholders when considering the position of vice president for student affairs:

  • Understand the challenges, needs, and unique capabilities that a diverse population of first-generation, traditionally underrepresented population and Pell-eligible students, as well as international, nontraditional, commuter, residential, graduate, and student-veterans bring to higher education and understand the strategies for supporting their success.
  • Advance forward-thinking, innovative ideas to keep the institution on the forefront of trends and best practices
  • Exhibit strategic thinking and an ability to contribute to discussions of university issues beyond student affairs.
  • Possess a high degree of positive energy and enthusiasm that will inspire, motivate, empower, and stimulate students, administrators, and staff to achieve their full potential.
  • Be adaptable to changing conditions and demonstrate the ability to implement effective change management strategies.
  • Serve as an astute relationship-builder forging collaborative partnerships with academic affairs, fiscal affairs, the campus community, and the local community.
  • Create a culture that values measurable learning outcomes, assessment, and accountability.
  • Exhibit the ability to fundraise and understand the importance of philanthropic giving.
  • Understand the importance of the residential student experience and the contributions of residence life to campus life.
  • Demonstrate success in being a persuasive, effective, and politically sophisticated advocate for student life and the student body within the larger university community, and be comfortable articulating the value of student engagement and the value of student life contributions to the overall educational experience.
  • Take a leadership role in national professional organizations and encourage staff members to actively participate in their professional associations.
  • Be a hands-on leader when necessary, but also delegate appropriate responsibilities to staff members and ensure accountability for outcomes.
  • Be visible and engaged in all types of campus, student, and community activities, events, and student interaction.
  • Empower staff to reach personal and professional goals through a supportive work environment, positive staff development, and calculated risk-taking.

THE INSTITUTION DIVISION/DEPARTMENT: AN OVERVIEW

An Overview of the Division of Student Affairs

Vision Statement

Kennesaw State University’s Division of Student Affairs prepares students for their future by fostering learning beyond the classroom through innovative and transformative experiences.

Mission

The Division of Student Affairs supports students and enhances their collegiate experiences by complementing academic pursuits with transformative living, learning, and leading opportunities. We foster inclusive and welcoming campus communities that contribute to students’ holistic development and empower them to be engaged and ethical citizens.

Values

Integrity – We will be honest, authentic, and trustworthy at all times.

Inclusion – We will create and maintain a diverse community of learners that appreciates openness, equity, and equality.

Community – We will enhance on- and off-campus engagement opportunities by strengthening relationships and creating shared experiences.

Discovery – We will create a dynamic environment that nurtures students’ curiosity for self-exploration and lifelong learning.

Civility – We will foster awareness and appreciation of our commonalities and differences through meaningful dialogue and thoughtful action.

Learning and Development Outcomes

The Division of Student Affairs offers out-of-class programs, services, co-curricular programming, and individual interaction to ensure students are achieving the following learning and development outcomes:

  • Knowledge acquisition, integration, construction, and application
  • Cognitive complexity
  • Intrapersonal development
  • Interpersonal competence
  • Humanitarianism and civic engagement
  • Practical competence

Institution & Location

INSTITUTION: AN OVERVIEW

Institutional Background/History

Quality Academics

Kennesaw State has been elevated to an R2 classification—a doctoral institution with high research activity—by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Learning. The university has more than 150 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.

Top Majors

Programs up to and including doctoral degrees that prepare students for the advancement of professional pursuits are especially attractive and are offered in all colleges of the university. Award-winning academic programs produce the highest number of teachers and nurses in Georgia, the state’s second-largest business school, and the state’s second-largest engineering college. Popular majors include:

  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Communications
  • Management
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering

Campus Life

A sprawling institution spread across two campuses, consisting of 130 buildings and facilities for academics, operations, culture, recreation, and residential living situated on more than 587 acres.

Chartered in 1963 by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia as a commuter school, Kennesaw State now serves over 37,000 students and has become a destination campus where more than 5,200 students live in eight distinctive residential communities in Kennesaw and Marietta. Students who reside on campus and those who commute have access to a full-range of world-class facilities, resources, and activities.

Engaged Citizenship

Kennesaw State was named among the top 10 percent of institutions nationally by the Carnegie Foundation for its ongoing collaborative efforts with the larger community.

There are more than 250 student organizations encompassing student governance and media, co-curricular clubs, athletics, Greek letter organizations, campus ambassadors, community service, and advocacy.

Economic Impact

Kennesaw State has an economic impact on the local and regional economy of more than $1.4 billion.

Global Reach

Kennesaw State’s Division of Global Affairs leads a comprehensive array of scholarly, educational, and service-related programs on behalf of the entire university, while administering more than 60 international studies programs, offering more than 100 courses, and organizing more than 130 distinct international education events.

The University has partnerships with academic, governmental, and business institutions around the world, including CIFAL, the first United Nations training center to be hosted by a university.

Alumni

KSU has more than 110,000 alumni worldwide.

Growing in Research

The university has seen a rapid rise in funding for research—more than $35 million over the last five years—leading to new knowledge and discoveries by faculty and hands-on opportunities for students. In 2019, the University was elevated to an R2 classification as a doctoral institution with high research activity.

Athletics

Kennesaw State’s NCAA Division I athletics program includes 18 varsity sports teams, with multiple national, regional, and conference championships in baseball, softball, soccer, and men’s basketball.

  • NCAA Division I, Atlantic Sun Conference, and Big South Conference (football only)
  • 8 men’s varsity sports
  • 10 women’s varsity sports

About Kennesaw, Georgia

Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, located in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. Known from its original settlement in the 1830s until 1887 as Big Shanty, it became Kennesaw under its 1887 charter. It had a population of 29,783 according to the 2010 census. Kennesaw has an important place in railroad history. During the Civil War, Kennesaw was the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862.

Mission and Vision Statements

Mission

At Kennesaw State, we serve as a powerful example of the impact a student-centered, research-driven university education can deliver. We help students succeed through exploration, collaboration, and rigor, uniting a diverse spectrum of backgrounds and talents. At KSU, students become the individuals who people want as colleagues and leaders.

Vision

Kennesaw State will exemplify the power and promise of a student-centered, research-driven university. Authentically diverse, uniquely attainable, and endlessly impactful, we will unleash the potential in every student we serve.

Foundational Pillars

Kennesaw State delivers each and every day on five, foundational pillars.

  • Student centered success
  • Research with relevance
  • Learning through engagement
  • Future ready graduates
  • Power of perspectives

Strategic Plan

Kennesaw State University, as a member of the University System of Georgia, is a comprehensive, Carnegie R2, institution. We offer over 150 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to more than 37,000 students in 13 colleges. While most of our students are from the state of Georgia, our diverse student body also represents much of the United States and nearly 100 countries. We place a high value on both excellent teaching and insightful, pragmatic research. We nurture strong relationships in our civic, academic, and economic communities. Our faculty and staff are committed to the success of Kennesaw State University and its students.

To read about the 2018-23 Kennesaw State University strategic plan:

https://planning.kennesaw.edu/index.php

Dr. Pamela S. Whitten – President

Pamela S. Whitten was named Kennesaw State University’s fifth president on June 12, 2018, by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, following a nationwide search. Whitten began her tenure on July 16, 2018. As president, she has made improving the student education and experience her top priority, by enhancing the availability of in-demand courses, growing summer enrollment, initiating new faculty and advisor hiring, creating scholarships, and strengthening the research capacity of the university.

Previously, Whitten served as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia (UGA) from February 2014 to June 2018. As the chief academic officer, she was responsible for overseeing instruction, research, public service and outreach, student affairs, and information technology.

Prior to serving as provost at UGA, Whitten was director for telemedicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center before she joined Michigan State University, where she worked her way through the faculty ranks and eventually served as dean of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

An internationally recognized expert in the field of telemedicine—the remote delivery of health care services and information—Whitten has conducted research with funding from multiple state and federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Commerce. She has published two books and more than 100 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters.

Whitten holds a PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas, a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Tulane University.

Academic Programs and Faculty

Kennesaw State University’s mission is to provide educational programs that serve a diverse student body, which includes young adults who enroll as freshmen or undergraduate transfers and a large number of older adults who return or transfer to the university at different stages in their lives for undergraduate or graduate study. Evening and weekend programs are designed to accommodate experienced professionals seeking academic advancement. Faculty, staff, and administrators are committed to providing a challenging and facilitative collegiate environment that fosters high-quality academic preparation, critical thinking, global and multicultural perspectives, effective communication and interpersonal skills, leadership development, social responsibility, and lifelong learning.

The foundation for all undergraduate majors is a comprehensive and coherent general education program that promotes internationalized and connected learning in the liberal arts tradition. Kennesaw State offers more than 100 accredited disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and professional undergraduate, baccalaureate degree programs in the arts, humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, accounting, business fields, architecture, engineering, teacher education specialties, computing and information systems, and nursing. An expanding array of graduate degrees exists in education specialties, accounting, business fields, public administration, professional writing, conflict management, and nursing. We also offer a number of applied undergraduate and graduate certificate programs, as well as numerous minors.

Kennesaw State University offers over 70 fully online degree programs, certificate programs, hybrid online programs, and more than 400 courses in online and mixed-model versions. Designed and taught by KSU faculty, online learning at Kennesaw State offers high quality degree options with online learning convenience and flexibility. Online courses and degrees at Kennesaw State University are fully accredited and held to the same learning standards, rigors, and expectations of quality that our on-campus courses and programs require.

The College of Professional Education serves students seeking professional development opportunities and skills for high-demand careers. The college offers more than 40 in-person and hybrid certificate programs and more than 350 online courses. Subjects range from culinary, HR, and paralegal to technology, management, healthcare, and beyond. Community programs include summer camps for rising 1st through 12th grades, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) for adults 50 and older, and personal enrichment classes. CPE also partners with colleges on campus to help bring their prestigious non-credit programs to a wider audience. The college is housed in KSU Center, a comprehensive venue for conferences and employee training.

The Student Body

Enrollment, fall 2019: Preliminary 37,760 students; 49% female; 51% male

Benefits Overview

Kennesaw State University offers a wide variety of benefits for employees, including:

  • Medical plans
  • Dental and vision plans
  • Life and AD&D insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Health savings account
  • Accident and critical illness plans
  • Employee assistance program
  • Disability plans
  • Retirement plans
  • Leave provisions
  • Tuition assistance program

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and will 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 Laura Puckett-Boler at lpb@spelmanjohnson.com or Mark Hall at mah@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Kennesaw State University website at www.kennesaw.edu

Kennesaw State University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.