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Search underway for Vice Provost for Student Affairs

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Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Stanford University


Stanford University, located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is one of the world’s leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to societal challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world. The Stanford community includes approximately 7,000 undergraduates, 9,000 graduate students, 2,000 faculty and over 12,000 staff. The University has a fundamental mission of teaching, research, and learning, and has produced numerous Nobel Laureates and other leaders in every field of science, art, education and business. Under a new President and Provost the University is currently engaged in an exciting process of long range strategic planning. We seek a colleague for this position who will be eager to join with us in shaping that vision of Stanford for the next decade and beyond.

Stanford seeks an accomplished leader for the position of Vice Provost for Student Affairs. The mission of the Student Affairs division is to educate students to make meaningful contributions as citizens of a complex world. Reporting directly to the Provost of the University as the University’s senior student affairs officer, this position provides leadership to both undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and other University officers in the area of student life. The Vice Provost shares with them responsibility for providing the best possible educational experience for students, and for creating a social, physical, and organizational environment that advances the educational mission of Stanford. The Vice Provost is responsible for anticipating and addressing the rapidly-evolving needs of students and for demonstrating the University’s values of respect, inclusiveness and purposefulness.

The Vice Provost oversees the Student Affairs units that support undergraduate and graduate students largely outside the classroom. These units may include but are not limited to: residential education, the student health center, counseling and psychological services, the registrar, career education, diversity education and first-generation programs, graduate life, student unions, student activities and leadership, fraternity and sorority life, the center for public service, accessible education, the international student center, seven ethnic/cultural community centers, student financial services, student conduct, alcohol policy and education programs, and the office for military-affiliated communities. In addition, the Vice Provost’s central administrative office provides finance, human resource, facilities, communications and desktop support for the division’s units. Student Affairs has an annual budget of more than $78 million and a professional staff of nearly 300.

The Vice Provost works in partnership with many offices including Residential and Dining Enterprises and Undergraduate Advising and Research both of which have a dotted line reporting relationship to the Vice Provost. The incumbent participates in general University management as one of a small number of senior officers on the Provost’s and President’s cabinet.


The Vice Provost is responsible for:

  • Serving as the University’s senior student affairs officer, providing leadership to university officers
    and faculty in all areas of student life related to undergraduate and graduate students including
    daily operations and services, co-curricular educational programming, crisis management and
    conflict resolution;
  • Anticipating the evolution of student needs and developing proactive and evidence-based policies
    related to student services and issues of student life on campus;
  • Working in close partnership with the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Vice
    Provost for Graduate Education on all aspects of the student experience;
  • Creating a dynamic and productive management environment for a group of experienced and
    diverse student affairs professionals within the vice provost’s organization;
  • Serving as a visible model of educational and institutional leadership for students, faculty, staff,
    Stanford alumni and parents, and the higher education community;
  • Establishing strategic direction, deploying assessment initiatives and leading the key components of
    the Student Affairs organization to achieve both immediate and long-term institutional objectives
    within resource constraints.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Strong leadership and management skills, consistent with those required to direct a complex, decentralized organization;
  • A broad and flexible (conceptual and analytical) thinker with exceptional interpersonal skills and personal charisma who shares the institution’s values of inclusiveness and respect for all;
  • Superior communication skills (written and oral); highly articulate with the ability to listen and to calm, persuade, influence empathize and educate through words and style;
  • Ability to make difficult high-profile decisions under considerable pressure and to maintain a high-energy level and graceful demeanor despite a strenuous schedule that includes frequent evening and weekend events;
  • Exceptional respect for and understanding of the needs of a highly diverse and rapidly changing student body at both the undergraduate and graduate level;
  • Understanding of large-scale events and programs that represent the institution to its many audiences;
  • Significant experience formulating policy about matters of support for students and of general student welfare, based on an educational vision that is grounded in an understanding of how students learn, develop, live in communities, and deal with conflicts and differences;
  • Knowledge of current issues in higher education, particularly in the student affairs/services field;
  • Strong desire to partner and collaborate with the academic leadership of the institution for delivery of Stanford’s educational mission;
  • Ability to establish collegial relationships within and outside of the University, to work collaboratively on matters of policy, to appreciate the needs and priorities of other University units;
  • Ability to relate to a wide variety of constituencies, including students, parents, faculty, and alumni, and to appreciate the concerns of each group;
  • Ability to work effectively with the media;
  • Bachelor’s degree and at least ten years of experience leading a complex organization that is accountable and responsive to diverse stakeholders. Advanced degree preferred.

Stanford University is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer and is committed to recruiting and hiring qualified women, minorities, protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Please address inquiries, nominations, and applications by Friday, May 26, 2017 to: and

 Finalist must successfully pass a pre-employment background check.

Download: Vice Provost for Student Affairs (PDF)