Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the nation’s oldest and among the top-ranked private, technological research universities, seeks a highly accomplished leader to serve as the Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students.
Under the leadership of President Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., Rensselaer offers degrees from five schools: Engineering; Science; Architecture; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and, the Lally School of Management, as well as an interdisciplinary degree in Information Technology. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer offers more than 145 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The university provides rigorous, engaging, interactive learning environments and campus-wide opportunities for leadership, collaboration and creativity.
The University currently enrolls 5,539 undergraduates and 1,166 graduate students in residential programs.
The Division of Student Life supports Rensselaer’s over-arching goal to achieve greater prominence in the 21st century as a top-tier world-class technological research university with global reach and global impact. In accordance with the Rensselaer Plan 2024, Student Life will endeavor to produce students who graduate with intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication and a global view. Therefore, Student Life will support and assist students in achieving personal and academic success as members of groups and communities help create enthusiastic alumni/alumnae, and help Rensselaer to educate the leaders of tomorrow.
With this mission, and an ongoing commitment to meeting the goals and priorities outlined within the Rensselaer Plan 2024, one of the institute’s highest priorities is Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students (CLASS). CLASS is the Rensselaer model for distinctive student engagement that is predicated on clustering as the mechanism for student growth and transformation.
Through CLASS, students are connected to a network of faculty, staff, and other students who provide support, guidance, challenge and opportunity.
Under the leadership of a new Vice President, Frank E. Ross III, Ph.D., Student Life is undergoing exciting change to build on the success of CLASS. The AVP/DOS will have the opportunity to develop programs to further advance the transformative student experience at Rensselaer.
As Rensselaer prepares to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its founding in 2024, it is critical that we draw on the perspectives of multiple disciplines in order to make progress for our nation and the world.
Today, just as we are positioning Rensselaer for its third century of service, the world is at a watershed moment—shaped by three factors: humanitarian challenges of increasing complexity and interconnectedness across the globe; the consequent need to create graduates who are global citizens and lifelong learners; and, the ever increasing availability of technologies in connecting people and divergent sources of information in new ways. What is required is a new paradigm for teaching, working, learning, and research, which we have termed “The New Polytechnic.”
Using advanced technologies, The New Polytechnic enables collaborations between talented people across disciplines, sectors, and global regions, in order to address the complex problems the world faces. This vision of The New Polytechnic is already making a difference in the global impact of our research, in our innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of our students.
About the Position
The Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students (AVP/DOS) is a new position resulting from a reorganization of the Division of Student Life, and will provide leadership for a comprehensive portfolio of Student Life programs that advance CLASS. Reporting to the Vice President for Student Life, the AVP/DOS ensures high quality, out-of-class opportunities and a robust living/ learning environment that contributes to students’ intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication and global view.
As a member of the Student Life leadership team, the AVP/DOS oversees policy, procedures, and support systems that contribute to the well-being of students and the campus community with responsibility and accountability for functions within the Campus Experience portfolio, including: Student Living and Learning (Residential Commons, Greek Life Commons, Off Campus Commons), Student Activities (Student Union, Campus Recreation, Student Government) and Student Rights, Responsibilities and Judicial Affairs.
The Vice President for Student Life will rely on the Assistant Vice President/ Dean of Students in numerous key areas, among them: creation of and responsibility for assessment strategies to measure CLASS outcomes and key performance indicators through the Campus Experience portfolio; development of a performance-based budget for fiscal responsibility; and the alignment of Campus Experience initiatives with the goals of the Rensselaer Plan 2024 and the overall goals of the Division of Student Life.
The Successful Candidate
The successful candidate must possess a thorough knowledge of student development theories and their application to students at a highly selective technological research university. The ideal candidate will also have the requisite skills to employ best practices and ensure CLASS is fully realized throughout the Campus Experience portfolio.
Candidates must have a strong working knowledge of legal and compliance issues related to student affairs, including Title IX. She/he must possess a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion, and have experience with assessment, strategic planning and budget development.
A Master’s degree in higher education administration, student personnel or a related field and minimally eight (8) years of progressively responsible student affairs experience including service at the Director or Dean level is required.
How to Apply
Interested candidates should send a letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position, a resume, and contact information including e-mail addresses for five references. The application packet should be sent electronically to AVPDOS@wspelman.com. The subject line in the email should be AVPDOS.
Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Bill Spelman at Bill@wspelman.com or at 585-787-9742.
Confidentiality will be maintained, and references will not be contacted without prior knowledge or approval of the candidate.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a strong institutional commitment to diversity and is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.