The Opportunity

Founded in 1923, Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) is a public university located in Nacogdoches, Texas, and is one of three independent public universities in Texas. Though the university is located in rural East Texas , the vast majority of SFA students come from the greater Houston or Dallas-Fort Worth areas. SFA has served students from 48 states outside Texas and 73 countries outside the United States. SFA enrolls more than 12,000 students, offering 120 areas of study, including approximately 80 undergraduate majors and 44 graduate degrees, as well as three doctoral programs through its six colleges. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, and its athletic teams, the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks are members of the Southland Conference and compete in Division I for all varsity sports.

The Position

Role of the Vice President for Student Affairs for Stephen F. Austin State University

Reporting to the president, the vice president for student affairs (VPSA) is responsible for providing intellectual and administrative leadership of services and activities for students that are compatible with the philosophy and objectives of the university.  The VPSA serves as an advocate for all students in the university community, sustaining a high level of direct involvement with students and being deeply engaged in their campus experiences.  The division of student affairs includes campus recreation, health services, student affairs (student rights and responsibilities, counseling services, center for career and professional development, orientation programs, student engagement, and student spirit programs), auxiliary services (residence life, Baker Pattillo Student Center, printing and postal services, and testing services), student publications, and the university police department. The VPSA works collaboratively and effectively with the offices of the provost; diversity, equity, and inclusion; enrollment management; and the university vice presidents, deans, faculty, and others throughout the university and community to foster co-curricular and curricular experiences; directs the development and implementation of short-range and long-range strategic planning and philosophy for the division; and advises the president, other university administrators, and faculty on matters concerning student affairs, student services, programs, and activities. The VPSA oversees a budget of $23.5 million and provides leadership for 153 staff.

Additional essential functions of the position include:

  • supervises the work of the division’s staff members to plan and develop programs and policies that enhance the quality of student life
  • recommends divisional policies and procedures to the president
  • represents the division on various university councils and committees
  • works with directors in assessing effectiveness of current programs and services, modifying as necessary and/or implementing new programs and services
  • evaluates annual budgets
  • provides sound fiscal stewardship and oversight of financial reporting
  • understands and supports revenue enhancing and cost-saving initiatives
  • reviews student judicial process procedures and ensures student conduct, development, and student-related policies and services are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations
  • maintains awareness of current findings, trends, technology, insights, and policy conversations in the field of student affairs
  • serves in a leadership capacity in civic and governmental agencies to reflect university needs
  • and develops, supervises, and initiates any projects, programs, or assignments for the president.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

Dr. Scott Gordon, SFA president, is seeking an entrepreneurial thinker. He values vision, strategic thinking and enthusiasm in his senior leadership. In association with those attributes, the VPSA will need to be comfortable working with a high-performing cabinet that values creative thinking, innovation,  idea-sharing and discourse. The VPSA will be engaged in cabinet discussions that require discretion and sensitive action. In addition the VPSA will need to remain current on the significant national issues facing higher education and the literature associated with them.

The university affairs division has been renamed student affairs to more accurately reflect its primary functions. The only change to the organization was moving Title IX, multicultural affairs, and student disability services to the office of the chief diversity officer. In August Dr. Michara DeLaney-Fields, previously the university’s assistant dean for student affairs in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, was named SFA’s first chief diversity officer. Established as an executive position housed within the office of the president, the CDO role was created to provide collaborative, strategic and results-oriented leadership for institution-wide diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

  • The university’s dining contract with Aramark expires in 2021 and an RFP process is underway. SFA has retained a consulting firm to assist with the development of the RFP and with the evaluation of the proposals. Aramark has held the contract for 35 years. Plans for a new dining hall are on hold until a new contractor is selected. The facility is fully-funded ($23 million).
  • SFA currently has approximately 5,000 beds on campus. The university has developed and will continue to expand eight-week academic terms. SFA is examining creative residence options for students who are interested in traditional or flexible semester dining and housing.
  • The new VPSA will be expected to research and recommend innovate housing opportunities to fit the needs of traditional and non-traditional students. As a part of the recommendation, different pricing structures will offer flexible campus living arrangements for various student needs.
  • SFA maintains a high profile in the Nacogdoches community. The VPSA will be a visible member of the community and will need to quickly develop relationships with key stakeholders.
  • The new VPSA should demonstrate a leadership style that is credible and collegial while being highly effective. It is expected that the new VPSA will develop strategic learning outcomes—and will maintain student affairs as a high-functioning division while focusing on the academic and personal development of students.
  • The VPSA will embrace the mission and vision of the university and ensure that they are reflected in the decisions of the division.

Measures of Success

The following items will define the vice president for student affairs’ success throughout the first year of employment:

  • The VPSA will have established a high profile at SFA and actively engaged in dialogue and public relations with a broad group of constituents to build awareness of the issues facing students and the role that student affairs plays in enhancing the student experience.
  • The VPSA will have completed an appropriate assessment of student affairs’ mission, services, structure, and staffing.
  • The university plays an important role in the Nacogdoches The VPSA will have connected with key stakeholders and be visible in the local community.
  • There will be a common understanding of the role student affairs staff should play in achieving the university’s priorities, and institutional mission will be evident across all stakeholders.
  • Trust will have been developed among staff across the division. Responsibilities will have been delegated to the appropriate departments, and leaders will have been held accountable for outcomes.
  • The new VPSA will have demonstrated innovative and entrepreneurial ideas related to student programs, activities and divisional efficiencies.

Qualifications and Characteristics

A master’s degree in student affairs administration, counseling, or a related field and 10 years of related experience are required. Related experience must include student affairs in higher education with accountability for strategic planning, change management, consensus building, budgeting, management, staff leadership, as well as experience working with students and handling confidential information. A terminal degree is preferred. The ideal candidate will also possess knowledge of federal, state, and local laws, statutes, regulations, codes, and standards related to the areas of responsibility; knowledge of student development theory, techniques, and research associated with ensuring the success of diverse student populations; the ability to establish and maintain a good rapport with students, staff, faculty, regents, university guests, and the general public; and the ability to engage students and to create and enhance their connection to the institution and each other.

Additional required knowledge, skills and abilities include:

  • knowledge of, or the ability to learn, university policies and procedures
  • knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services (This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.)
  • organizational skills in managing projects simultaneously while maintaining a satisfactory work product
  • skill in using computer applications including spreadsheet, database, and word processing software
  • ability to plan, implement, and evaluate programs
  • ability to manage a budget and work within the constraints of that budget
  • ability to exercise sound judgement in making critical decisions
  • ability to be highly collegial and consultative
  • ability to develop and sustain collaborative relationships
  • ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written form
  • ability to work with and maintain confidential information with discretion
  • ability to handle difficult and stressful situations with professional composure
  • ability and desire to promote a favorable image of the university
  • ability to train and supervise others.

Additional capabilities and attributes identified as important by SFA stakeholders include the following:

  • highly collaborative—able to work with senior officers as well as faculty, staff, students, and partners in the Nacogdoches community
  • approachable, visible, and engaged in all facets of campus life
  • entrepreneurial—able to generate innovative solutions to complex problems
  • committed to ongoing efforts to enhance the integration of student affairs and academic affairs that support student success and transformation
  • be a visionary and possess the ability to translate institutional strategy into operational goals
  • a commitment to excellence demonstrated by the ability to set high goals, provide guidance and resources to achieve said goals, complemented by a broad understanding of the role of effective assessment to document, measure, and improve performance over time
  • possess a work style that invites collaboration and encourages team building
  • articulate a sophisticated understanding of current student affairs trends and best practices, and the key issues facing today’s college students
  • have an understanding of the current and evolving demographics of the SFA student body and be passionate about student access and success
  • demonstrate a commitment to a diverse student body, including the needs of nontraditional, international, part-time, and graduate students
  • demonstrated knowledge of student conduct, legal issues, and crisis/emergency management
  • high level of emotional intelligence, empathy, and concern for others, including the ability to navigate controversy with civility and respect
  • a willingness to take action when necessary based on the values and priorities of student access, social justice and equity, and student learning and engagement
  • and a commitment to professional growth and development for self and staff members.

Overview of the division of student affairs

The division of student affairs (formerly university affairs) provides transformative experiences for SFA students with:

CO-CURRICULAR PROGRAMS that create opportunities for students to engage in active and high-impact learning; with

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES that strengthen students’ connections to the university and each other; and with

SUPPORT SERVICES that enable everyone in the university community to fulfill their personal and professional goals.


The division of student affairs includes:

  • Campus Recreation (Ken Morton, Director)
    • Employee Wellness
    • Fitness & Wellness
    • Intramural Sports
    • Outdoor Pursuits
    • Sports Clubs
  • Auxiliary Services (Carrie Charley, Director)
    • Baker Pattillo Student Center
    • Card Services
    • Residence Life
    • Dining services (contract)
    • University bookstore (contract)
    • University Printing
    • SFA Post Office
    • Testing Services
    • Reservations and Conferences
  • Divisional Operations (Laura Turner, Budget Analyst)
    • Budget Management
    • Divisional HR
  • Health Services (Janice Ledet M.D., Director)
    • Student Health Clinic
  • University Police Department (John Fields, Chief of Police)
    • University Police
    • Emergency Management
    • Parking & Traffic
  • Student Affairs (Dr. Adam Peck, Dean of Student Affairs and Assistant Vice President
    • Center for Career and Professional Development
    • Counseling Center
    • Student Rights & Responsibilities
    • New Student Orientation
    • SFA Spirit Teams
    • Student Engagement
  • Student Publications and Divisional Media (Amy Roquemore, Director)
    • The Pine Log (Student Newspaper)
    • The Stone Fort (Yearbook)
    • Divisional Media

Institution & Location

About Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches is a 300-year-old city known as the “Oldest Town in Texas.” It is located in the heart of Deep East Texas, centrally located between Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, and Shreveport, Louisiana. Nestled between three national forests and only a short drive from two of the largest lakes in Texas, Nacogdoches is home to Stephen F. Austin State University and has a population of 33,000. Also designated the Garden Capital of Texas, Nacogdoches is recognized for its natural beauty, creeks, and trails.

Education was one of the major issues faced by the Republic of Texas after it gained its independence in 1836. In 1844, the citizens of Nacogdoches petitioned the new government for a charter to establish Nacogdoches University. The charter was granted in February 1845. The university operated in a temporary home until January 1858, when it moved into a building on Washington Square. The University Building is one of the finest architectural structures in Texas, and it is the only building from a university chartered by the Republic still standing. It has been in continuous use for school purposes, except for two years during and after the Civil War.

In 1845, Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a United States annexation proposal, and Texas was admitted into the Union as the 28th state. When states began leaving the union to form the Confederacy, Governor Sam Houston fought to keep Texas in the Union. He lost this battle, however, and Texas seceded from the Union in 1861. Nacogdoches had both Confederate and Union soldiers on her soil during and after the war. Nacogdoches University served as a hospital for two years during this period.

The town suffered with the rest of the South in the Reconstruction years that followed the war. However, by 1880 there were brick buildings and the town’s first bank had been established. In 1882, the Houston East and West railroad came to Nacogdoches. After the turn of the century, local citizens began to lobby the state to establish a teachers’ college in Nacogdoches. This dream became a reality in 1923 when Stephen F. Austin Teachers College was opened. The institution went on to become a university offering a broad range of academic studies. Nacogdoches is considered one of the most historic towns in Texas, and its rich heritage attracts visitors from around the world.

For more information about Nacogdoches, visit the Chamber of Commerce website at:

Mission and Vision Statements

Our Mission

Stephen F. Austin State University is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work, and service. Through the personal attention of our faculty and staff, we engage our students in a learner-centered environment and offer opportunities to prepare for the challenges of living in the global community.

Our Vision Statement

An aspirational vision of the future to guide our work

[1] SFA will have a distinct and stellar reputation based on the transformational learning experiences we provide for all our students in an exceptional setting. We will not use the term “transformational” lightly. We will be deeply committed to providing high impact, experiential learning for all SFA students.

[2] Our students will be engaged and empowered. They will know that we care about them and that we have high expectations for their performance and success. Our students will graduate with the marketable skills and qualities necessary to be leaders in their respective fields. Employers will seek out our students because of a demonstrated reputation of a solid work ethic. Their moral compass will be strong and true.

[3] We will expand our reach and increase our enrollment, not merely for the sake of growth, but because we are committed to our responsibility to the people of Texas to prepare more citizens to lead our state into the future. By seeking and accepting diverse students with a strong potential for success and providing them the resources and experiences to capitalize on their promise, the percentage of SFA students graduating also will increase.

[4] We will achieve financial sustainability by meeting tough choices head-on and making smart decisions about the future of the university. We will diversify our revenue streams, allocate our resources strategically, increase our private funding, and achieve meaningful enrollment growth. We will invest in our people and achieve appropriate levels of compensation, reward, and recognition. Professional development for faculty and staff will be seen as an investment and not an expense because our people are the greatest asset we have.

[5] We will be an innovative university. We will reach our students where they are and prepare them for life-long learning and career responsiveness in the twenty-first century. We will use cutting-edge teaching techniques and advanced research methods both inside and outside the classroom. We will be a forward-thinking university that not only is responsive to the realities of higher education but also is a leader in academia. Technology will be appropriately and sensibly infused throughout the campus in our classrooms and operations. It will facilitate-not drive-how we teach and work together.

[6] Our campus culture will be open, collaborative, and engaged. We will have an energetic and respectful workplace where civility, inclusivity, and accountability are guiding principles for everyone. We will become well known for the high quality of our faculty and staff. People will feel valued as employees of the university and work hard to sustain the sense of community that distinguishes us. Communication will be robust, transparent, and trusted.

[7] Our brand and identity will be authentic, clear, and understood by all our stakeholders. People will know who we are, what we contribute to the local, regional, and state communities, and what matters to us as a university. We will be known as trusted partners. We will leverage the strengths of our stakeholders, including community colleges, businesses and industries, K-12 institutions, and government entities. These partnerships will enable us to provide a stellar learning experience for our students and contribute to the quality of life of everyone we touch.

Strategic Plan Overview

Our Overarching Goal: Transformative Experiences for SFA Students

We will engage our students in experiences that prepare them for the challenges of living in a global community.

Our Foundational Goal: Meaningful & Sustained Enrollment Growth

Through an appropriate mix of relevant programs, delivery methods and locations, we will attract an increasing number of students seeking to prepare themselves for the future. Enrollment growth will be evidence of our productive participation in achieving the state’s strategic goal for developing a more educated population. In addition, growth provides the foundation for our ongoing fiscal sustainability.

Our Supporting Goals:

  • Attract and Support a High-Quality Faculty & Staff
    Our faculty and staff are the university’s greatest assets. It is all of us together who engage our students in the high-impact practices that provide the transformative experiences they seek. To successfully fulfill our mission, we must attractand retain highly qualified people.
  • Foster Academic & Co-Curricular Innovation
    As the needs of our students evolve, so should our curricular and co-curricular programs. We will be innovative in the ways we reach our students and prepare them for lifelong learning and successful careers in the 21st century.
  • Redefine University Culture
    We will have an energetic and respectful workplace where civility, inclusivity, and accountability are guiding principles for everyone.
  • Increase Connections
    We will embrace the strengths of our stakeholders to better enable us to provide a stellar learning experience for our students and contribute to the quality of life of everyone we touch.


Dr. Scott Gordon–President

Dr. Scott Gordon was confirmed as the ninth president of Stephen F. Austin State University on Aug. 17, 2019.

A native of Malone, New York, Gordon was a first-generation college student and received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Cortland. He earned a master’s degree and doctorate in botany and mycology from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and holds certifications from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education in educational management and leadership.

Previously serving as Eastern Washington University provost, Gordon oversaw more than 500 faculty members in six academic colleges, with responsibility for academic policy and planning, distance education, international programs and institutional research.

Prior to Eastern Washington University, Gordon served for 22 years at the University of Southern Indiana.  During this time, he served in a variety of positions, including over 10 years as the Dean of Science, Engineering, and Education.

Academic Programs and Faculty

The student-faculty ratio at Stephen F. Austin State University is 20:1, and the school has 28.5 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at SFA include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Health Professions and Related Programs; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies; and Visual and Performing Arts. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 70 percent.

SFA is home to six colleges renowned for exceptional faculty, research, and teaching. Stephen F. Austin offers more than 120 areas of study, including more than 80 undergraduate majors, 44 graduate degrees, and three doctoral programs.

The Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture is nationally recognized and houses one of only two schools of forestry in the State of Texas (and the only forestry college in the timber-producing East Texas region).

In addition to the main campus which is located on 417 acres, the university maintains a 642-acre agricultural research center for beef, poultry, and swine production and an equine center; an observatory for astronomy research; a 2,649-acre experimental forest in southwestern Nacogdoches County; and a 25.3-acre forestry field station on the Sam Rayburn Reservoir.

Since 2007, Stephen F. Austin has served as the headquarters of the Association for Business Communication. It is also the home of the National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops, which in 2011 discovered a potential cancer-fighting agent from the extract of giant salvinia, one of the world’s most notorious invasive species.

Colleges and Schools

  • Nelson Rusche College of Business
    • Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy
  • James I. Perkins College of Education
  • College of Fine Arts
    • School of Art
    • School of Music
    • School of Theatre
  • Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
  • College of Liberal and Applied Arts
    • School of Social Work
  • College of Sciences and Mathematics
    • School of Nursing
  • Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing
  • School of Honors
  • The Graduate School

Organizational Charts for the Campus

Benefits Overview

As an employee of Stephen F. Austin State University, you have the following benefits available to you:

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Short and Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Retirement Plans
  • Supplemental Retirement Options
  • Leave Options
  • Tuition Benefits
  • Discounts
  • Meal Plans
  • Wellness Plans

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately 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. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Mark Hall at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Stephen F. Austin State University website at

Stephen F. Austin State University, an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer and Educator, is committed to excellence through diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to sex, race, creed, color, age, national origin, religion, or physical or mental disability as required by law.