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Southern Methodist University (SMU) invites inquiries, nominations and applications for an experienced, innovative, committed, and collaborative professional to serve as the next Associate Vice President and Dean of Students.

About SMU

DallasHall2SMU, a global research university with a liberal arts tradition, has seven degree-granting schools. The University’s 11,000 students, more than 6,000 are undergraduates.  More than half of the undergraduates come from outside of Texas. The University’s profile benefits from an endowment of $1.5 billion and a recently completed fundraising campaign, which raised a record $1.15 billion to enrich faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. From its origins, SMU was shaped by the entrepreneurial spirit of the region. The University is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry.

SMU is a leading private University located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, a dynamic region with leading high-technology companies in the aerospace, defense, energy, information technology, life sciences, semiconductors, telecommunications, transportation, and biomedical industries. Some of the top companies and research institutes with a strong presence in the DFW area include Texas Instruments, Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed-Martin, Turner Construction, Jacobs Engineering, Trinity Industries, Huitt-Zollars, Inc., The Beck Group, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Baylor Research Institute.

The Division of Student Affairs provides guidance, support services, educational programs, and social activities designed to complement the academic interests of SMU’s students.  The division is committed to creating opportunities that allow students to build leadership skills, maintain health and well-being and become contributing members of the community.

In concert with Launching SMU's Second Century, the University's strategic plan for 2016-2025, the Division of Student Affairs is essential to SMU’s mission of "shaping world changers who contribute to their communities and excel in their professions in a global society." As a community of student-centered professionals, the Student Affairs division develops robust student experiences and forges strategic partnerships with University and community stakeholders to serve the entire SMU community. 

About the Position

foreveramustangReporting to the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. K.C. Mmeje, the AVP and Dean of Students is a member of the vice president’s leadership team, and works collaboratively with academic deans and other university leaders. The AVP and Dean of Students serves as the chief associate for the Vice President and represents the Vice President at functions and activities, as needed. 

The AVP and Dean of Students oversees the areas of: Student Conduct & Community Standards, Department of Student Support, Caring Community Connections (CCC), Violence Prevention & Support Services, the Dr. Bob Smith Student Health Center (including medical services, counseling and psychological services, community health promotion, pharmacy, and laboratory services), and the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. The AVP and Dean of Students serves on a variety of University committees and task forces, plays a critical role in the University’s response to Title IX complaints, and serves as a member of the President’s Commission on Substance Abuse Prevention. With approximately 35 staff reporting to the AVP and Dean of Students, the incumbent will additionally be responsible for an overall budget of approximately $2.5M.

Specific duties include but are not limited to these:  

  • Plan, design, develop and deliver student programs and services that reflect the goals of the University; provide leadership for ensuring quality in all aspects of the University’s non-academic student experience with a clear focus on successful student outcomes.

  • Recommend, develop and implement policies, procedures and practices that foster and promote student success; recommend department and operational structures, personnel, and resources to ensure a student-centered environment at all levels.

  • Prepare appropriate reports; analyze and evaluate data, outcomes and metrics to be used in strategic decision making.

  • Supervise Associate Deans, Executive Director, Administrative Coordinator, and student affairs staff member at the SMU-in-Taos campus.

  • Maintain a comprehensive student support/accountability system through the Department of Student Support, Advocacy, and Accountability that incorporates elements of care and accountability.

  • Serve as a member of the Dean of Students On-Call Duty Rotation.

  • Coordinate training and education for the University staff and faculty communities and external units to ensure proper understanding of and connection to resources provided by the Office of the Dean of Students.

  • Ensure financial sustainability. In collaboration with the Vice President for Student Affairs and the division’s financial liaison, develop the annual budget, setting appropriate targets for revenue and expenses.

  • Support student organization or University activities and special events through attendance and/or participation.

The Successful Candidate

GR8 8250The successful candidate will be a strong, outgoing, persuasive, charismatic, and articulate leader known for fairmindedness, consistency, resourcefulness and creativity in developing and presenting sound and well thought out ideas. He or she will be able to function and lead effectively in a climate of continuing change. Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills are central to this position, particularly in the areas of giving vision and direction to staff and working effectively with students and parents. The successful candidate will also have demonstrated knowledge of, and experience working with student conduct, emergency response and crisis management, and student health services. He or she will have strong collaborative skills, and be an effective manager, an excellent evaluator of staff performance, a resourceful and insightful mentor, and a strategic decision-maker.

The incumbent must have demonstrated substantial, successful experience developing, promoting, and managing student-centered programs, preferably on a residential campus; skill and accomplishment in the areas of collaborative work with internal and external constituencies, conflict resolution, strategic planning, and sensitivity to issues concerning equal opportunity, advocacy, and student success; have a demonstrated track record of leadership, management, and resource development.

The successful candidate should possess a minimum of ten years of increasing responsibility, with at least five being at the leadership level. A Masters in Education, College Student Personnel, Counseling or related field or in a traditional academic discipline is required; a doctorate is preferred.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should send a letter of application and resume that relates skills, abilities, knowledge and professional experiences to the stated qualifications for the position and notable achievements. The packet should be sent to  The subject line in email should be AVPDOS. 

Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Susan Salvador at or at 585-230-4013 or Megan Spelman at or at 585-366-4329.

The process will continue until the position is filled.

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.  The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

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