Michigan Technological University seeks applications and nominations in their search for the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

Michigan Tech is located in Houghton, Michigan and is home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries around the world. Our seven Colleges and Schools develop, apply, and communicate science, engineering, technology, and mathematics in more than 120 graduate and undergraduate degree programs.

Founded in 1885, Michigan Tech is a leading public research institution. With more than $78 million in total research expenditures and 19 research centers and institutes, the University fosters a world-class and diverse faculty, staff, and student population. Our beautiful campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.

Michigan Tech is an ADVANCE Institution, and has twice received National Science Foundation funds in support of efforts to increase diversity, inclusion, and the participation and advancement of women and underrepresented individuals in STEM.

Job Description

Position Information: Basic Details

 Position Title

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students


Dean of Students Office


Administration and Student Services Bldg., Room 130

 Position Type




 Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1.0=100%)


 Appointment Term (in months)

12 months

 Pay Type (Salary or Hourly) *subject to    -FLSA determination by HR


 Title of Position Supervisor


Position Summary Information: Essential Duties and Requirement Details

University Required Statement:  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Job Description Summary


  • The Vice President For Student Affairs and Dean of Students (VP/DOS) provides university-wide leadership and vision that fosters overall student engagement, retention, and academic success, and improves campus life for all students. The VP/DOS will be regarded as a trusted and collaborative leader, working closely with the different academic and administrative units across campus, for the holistic development of students.


  • The VP/DOS reports to the President and serves on the President’s Council. Additionally, they will work collaboratively with the Provost and serve as a member of the Deans Council.


  • The position provides leadership and administrative oversight--including policies, budgets, facilities, and personnel--within the Dean’s Office, Residential Education and Housing Services, the Office of Academic and Community Conduct, International Programs and Services, Student Affairs Information Systems, the Waino Wahtera Center for Student Success, Career Services, Student Leadership and Involvement, Mental Health and Well-being, and Disability Services.


Essential Duties &

Responsibilities (other  duties may be assigned)

  • Provide leadership to the Division of Student Affairs, guiding services and programs as well as University-wide initiatives.
  • Serve as an active member of the President’s Council.
  • Provide vision and oversight for the development and implementation of services, activities and opportunities that complete the student experience and enhance students’ participation in campus life, with the specific purpose of increasing student retention, persistence and graduation rates.
  • Support the division’s planning and development, with particular emphasis on high- impact practices, student development, wellness, diversity and inclusion, and community involvement.
  • Spearhead advocacy for undergraduate and graduate students, assessing their unique needs and interests, voicing student concerns, assisting in the redress of problems, and effecting change when necessary.
  • Advise Undergraduate Student Government.
  • Be a highly visible, accessible and approachable advocate for students.
  • Provide direct supervision, training and evaluation of programs and staff in all oversight units.
  • Advise the president, executive leadership, deans, other University administrators and faculty on matters concerning students and student affairs.
  • Provide leadership in the areas of long-range and short-range planning, human resources, policy development, and operational, facility and budgetary aspects for all reporting departments.
  • Work effectively with a wide variety of constituent groups, including students, families, University staff, faculty and the community.
  • Maintain an awareness of current issues, latest findings, trends, technologies and best practices in higher education, specifically in areas of direct supervisory responsibility.
  • Foster a culture of evidence-based decision making and ensure periodic comprehensive assessment of all programs for effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction. 
  • Be on call for emergencies and other incidents with potential student impact.
  • Support the system of internal controls developed by the University, the Division of Student Affairs and individual departments. Uphold all applicable laws, regulations, policies and procedures.
  • Prepare financial reports and supervise the budget process for areas reporting.
  • Serve as a member of the University's Early Intervention Team.
  • Lead and serve on various division and University committees.
  • Promote strong communication throughout units and across stakeholder groups.
  • Represent the division at university events related to orientation, admissions, student programs, alumni, and athletics.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Required Education,  

Certifications, Licenses

(minimum requirements)

  • Masters degree in college student personnel, educational leadership, counseling, communications, psychology or a related field is required.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

  • Seven or more years of full time, professional experience in higher education demonstrating increasing levels of responsibilities, supervision, professional experience and leadership.
  • Experience working effectively with varied student populations, including students from diverse cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, international students, students with disabilities, first-generation students, LGBTQIA+ students, students from various socio-economic backgrounds, and veterans.
  • Experience fostering student engagement through social, cultural, leadership, educational and recreational experiences.


Desirable Education and/or  Experience

  • An earned doctorate in college student personnel, educational leadership, counseling, communications, psychology or a related field. 
  • Ten years of supervision and leadership experience.


Required Knowledge,

Skills, and/or Abilities

(minimum requirements)

  • Knowledge of student learning and development theory, retention programs, restorative practices, and continuous improvement.
  • Knowledge of administration and use of assessment instruments, appropriate technology, strategic planning to lead Michigan Tech into the future.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills that foster focused and collaborative working relationships among colleagues, subordinates, faculty, staff and the overall constituency base of parents, alumni, the community and general public.
  • Highly effective oral, written and presentation communication skills.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

  • Substantial progressive executive and managerial experience in student life/affairs administration, with particular expertise in the areas of improving student life and the student experience.
  • Proven success working with a diverse faculty, staff and student body, and with all members of the academic and campus-wide communities.
  • Record of creativity and noteworthy success in implementing inclusive initiatives that attract and retain a diverse student body and improve student life.
  • Leadership experience in developing collaborative relationships with internal and external constituencies.
  • Demonstrated success developing and implementing short and long-term organizational goals, objectives, strategic plans, policies, and operating procedures which respond to the changing needs and requirements of the university’s student community and the national higher education landscape.
  • A visible profile that fosters communication both on campus and with external constituencies by engaging students, parents, faculty, community agencies, state and local officials, and members of the general public through participation in community organizations, student organizations, and other entities which address student concerns.
  • Fiscal management skills to lead a large and complex student affairs budget with multiple funding sources and align resources with strategic priorities.
  • Commitment to advance student success by fostering experiential learning environments which prepare students to become responsible ethical citizens in a global society.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of risk management and legal issues in higher education.

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

Evening and weekend work required

Required Training

  • Employee Safety Overview
  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training
  • Annual Data Security Training 

Application Process

The Search Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, resume/CV, and the names and contact information of five or more references) or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting Michigan Technological University.  Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm by March 15, 2021


Laurie Wilder, President
Porsha Williams, Vice President
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2875
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-804-1996 x109 or x117
pwilliams@parkersearch.com | eraines@parkersearch.com


Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities

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