Vice President for Academic Affairs
Canisius College, a Catholic, Jesuit university, seeks a strategic, visionary and accomplished academic leader to serve as its next Vice President for Academic Affairs. The VPAA will help lead the college through the development of a fresh academic vision that meets the needs of students, excites faculty, and inspires innovation and collaboration. The Vice President for Academic Affairs reports to the President and serves as a key member of his senior leadership team. The VPAA is responsible for all academic programs, including traditional and online offerings. The VPAA also collaborates closely with other senior leaders and plays an integral role in the planning and implementation of institution-wide initiatives.
The selected candidate will work with faculty and administration to align resources to support existing programs and develop new strategies for the future. The selected candidate will also advance a culture of assessment that utilizes data to drive operational and program improvements, and promote a genuine commitment to shared governance. A track record of leading change and the proven ability to advance initiatives from inception through implementation will be critical to the VPAA’s success.
Canisius remains committed to the excellence and continuous improvement of its academic offerings while ensuring that its programs are relevant and responsive to current market needs. The college community is eager to welcome a new VPAA who will demonstrate an understanding of its unique mission, collaborative culture, and strategic priorities, particularly its ongoing initiatives to develop programs that are innovative, responsive to the market and aligned with the institution’s focus revenue development. In support of that effort, the Vice President for Academic Affairs has the following broad responsibilities:
- Serve as the chief academic officer of the college with primary responsibility for all academic activities.
- Work in close consultation with the Senior Leadership Team on academic program matters related to recruitment, admissions, and financial aid policies.
- Chair the Academic Program Board, which is the primary academic body to review and recommend approval for new programs and to implement and review academic policies. In addition, the APB establishes procedures and policies for the periodic review of academic programs to evaluate their quality, relevance to mission, productivity and continuous improvement.
- Exercise academic leadership of the faculty in formulating and implementing the strategic objectives and academic policies of the College; convene and preside at meetings of the entire faculty; and provide the faculty with information about, and a forum for discussion of the major academic issues facing the College.
- Work in close collaboration with the Deans, department chairs and the Committee on Faculty Status to make recommendations to the President in all matters concerning the appointment, promotion, tenure and review of members of the instructional faculty.
- Work in close collaboration with the Director of Mission & Identity to further integrate the mission & identity strategic goals into the academic culture of the college.
- Work to encourage faculty research in ways consistent with the policies of the Faculty Handbook and the resources and mission of the college.
- Encourage innovation in the development of online programs that support and advance the mission of the college and respond to market demands.
- Advance academic cooperation with external partners and facilitate collaboration with other higher education institutions.
- Represent the college to external audiences and support institutional advancement activities; encourage the deans and key faculty to become more actively engaged in fundraising and grant-seeking.
- Provide leadership for the advancement and implementation of appropriate technology in all academic and administrative areas.
- Oversight of the Griff Center with a dual report to the VPAA and the VPSA. The Center encompasses academic success, academic support, career services, veterans’ affairs, retention and students in distress including rebranding and a more efficient process to focus on the various areas of the Center.
Qualities and Qualifications
The successful candidate will have an expansive vision for academic excellence and its relevance to today’s students, distinguished academic credentials, outstanding leadership skills, proven administrative experience with the ability to make difficult decisions, and a track record of moving innovative initiatives from inception to completion in a shared governance environment. They will have an engaging interpersonal style and superb communication skills.
- Academic and scholarly accomplishments: An earned doctorate with earned tenure in a prior position and demonstrated excellence as a teacher, scholar and collegial member of an academic department.
- Personal qualities: The ability to listen carefully; act with integrity, honesty, compassion, flexibility, the ability to build trust across the institution and demonstrate pragmatism and resiliency in the face of challenges, patience and a sense of humor.
- Commitment to students: Student-centered with a commitment to excellence in teaching; a strong understanding of the college’s liberal arts tradition and core undergraduate programs but with an understanding and appreciation for strong graduate and non-degree programs offered in a variety of ways, including face-to-face, hybrid and online.
- Commitment to Inclusive Excellence: Demonstrated commitment to advancing the college’s mission through a wide range of practices that celebrates diversity and promotes inclusivity of people of all abilities, identities, life experiences and perspectives.
- Commitment to colleagues and working effectively across the college: Readiness to listen with care, be responsive and to work with faculty, staff, and others to reach critical decisions in a timely manner; the ability to communicate effectively about difficult decisions, and the commitment to advocate for faculty and institutional shared governance.
- Commitment to building effective relationships internally and externally: A genuine commitment to collaboration, collegiality and shared governance on campus; the ability to be a strong team player and partner to the president, deans and senior leadership team; the willingness and capacity to represent Canisius and its initiatives effectively to its diverse external constituencies. Show leadership in fostering and creating new collaborations with WNY and other institutions. Develop and articulate the role of Canisius in the WNY renaissance (for example, encourage growth of collaborations with institutions in Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; economic development opportunities; K-12 schools; and non-profit organizations), and also seek opportunities to serve the poor and marginalized in our community (through the New Buffalo Institute or Center for Urban Education, for example).
- Inclusive and transparent interpersonal leadership style: A commitment to the inclusive and collaborative leadership that is a hallmark of Canisius and its close-knit, relationship-based culture and community; a superb and transparent communicator with the ability to listen, facilitate, and motivate faculty and academic staff to realize their professional and institutional aspirations along with the capacity to evaluate initiatives with decisiveness in a timely, fair and purposeful manner.
- Leadership goals: Function as an inspirational leader who can provide both visionary and creative leadership. A strategic thinker with the proven ability to lead a planning process that results in specific and actionable short and long-range plans to achieve institutional objectives and move the college forward.
- Successful pursuit of academic excellence: Demonstrated ability to assess the strength, stature and relevance of an academic program; a strong understanding of what academic excellence means in today’s world, including a view of academic excellence that addresses the hopes and aspirations of the faculty and provides the skills and competencies our graduates need to succeed in a global economy.
- Innovative Management Skills: Previous experience in a managerial role in an academic institution; an entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to cultivate a climate of innovation, energy, creativity and intellectual excitement. Exceptional fiscal, analytical and administrative skills; the ability to imagine and develop new degrees, certificate and other types of programs, particularly in the online environment, that will generate revenue and enhance financial stability.
- Academic compliance, accreditation, and assessment leadership experience: Proven track record of coordinating assessment and accreditation efforts, and the preparation of reports to various accrediting agencies.
- Contribution to the college’s Jesuit mission and tradition: A strong and authentic commitment to the college’s Catholic and Jesuit mission and identity.
The Office of Human Resources at Canisius College utilizes an online recruitment management system.
Individuals who need reasonable accommodations under the ADA in order to participate in the search process should contact the Office of Human Resources at (716) 888-2240.
To apply, go to https://www.canisius.edu/about-canisius/employment-canisius. Nominations and applications are invited. Review of credentials is underway and will continue until the position is filled. Interested individuals should provide a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and the names of five references who will not be contacted without permission. All materials should be submitted by January 26, 2020.
Canisius College, a Catholic and Jesuit University, has as its foundation the fundamental values of academic excellence, leadership, faith and social justice. Canisius is committed to educating and preparing men and women to become leaders in their professions and their communities, and in service to humanity. The college is an equal opportunity employer committed to recruiting, supporting, and fostering a diverse community of outstanding faculty, staff and students.
Compensation and Benefits:
This is a full-time position. Benefits are available the first of the month after the full-time employee’s date of hire and include – health, dental and vision insurance, life and long term disability insurance, and retirement plan enrollment is available to full-time employees with contribution from College after one year. Paid holidays, vacation, personal leave and sick leave. Tuition benefits are also available for full-time employees and their qualified dependents.