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Vice President for Student Affairs Search 

Winthrop University Announces Search for Vice President for Student Affairs

Winthrop University, a highly ranked, public, comprehensive university, announces a national search for the Vice President for Student Affairs. Reporting to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, this individual will have responsibility for providing leadership for the Division of Student Affairs and will join the President’s senior leadership team. The person selected to fill the position will begin leadership of the division on July 1, 2018.

About the Position
About Winthrop University
About the Division of Student Affairs
Leadership Opportunities and Responsibilities
Qualifications and Areas of Experience
Application Instructions and Position Conditions and Availability
Search Committee
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Search Brochure (PDF - 3.14KB)

About the Position

Winthrop University seeks a Vice President for Student Affairs who demonstrates strategic and visionary leadership, outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, and a commitment to the mission of the University and its Division of Student Affairs (formerly Student Life). The Vice President for Student Affairs reports directly to the Provost, is a member of the President’s leadership team, and is responsible for identifying, providing, and expanding co-curricular programs and services that support academic success and prepare students for life on campus and after graduation. The Vice President works with the Board of Trustees, particularly the Student Life and Athletics Committee. He or she should possess a high level of integrity, energy, leadership skills, and a commitment to collaborative working relationships with the senior leadership team and others across the University. The ideal candidate will have a record of providing leadership, budgetary oversight, and strategic planning for a variety of programs and services designed to foster an inclusive campus community and promote civility in support of student academic success.

About Winthrop University

Founded in 1886 and located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Winthrop University offers its 6,000-plus undergraduate and graduate students an educational experience that blends liberal arts, professional programs, global awareness, and civic engagement. In its degree-granting Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, and Visual and Performing Arts, Winthrop embraces only those programs and activities that can be delivered at an exemplary level. Winthrop is well known for its inclusive and supportive campus environment, with University College supporting programs in both academic and student affairs. Winthrop University is achieving national stature as a competitive and distinctive co-educational, public, residential, comprehensive, values-oriented institution. The values of service, excellence, diversity, community, and leadership provide the foundation for the University’s continuing development and shape Winthrop’s continuing success. Numerous national accolades reflect the sustained high quality and value of the Winthrop experience, including the most recent U.S. News & World Report's ranking of Winthrop as one of the top ten public comprehensive universities in the South. Winthrop is an active member of the Rock Hill community and is recognized as a key component of the region’s economic resurgence. Approximately 20 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina, Winthrop has direct access to and is engaged in a broad and expansive regional arts and business community. Winthrop's beautiful campus encompasses a rich architectural blend of neo-Georgian buildings and is included in the National Register of Historic Places. The attractive recreational and research complex area that surrounds Winthrop Lake is home to Winthrop’s 18 Division I men’s and women’s sports. Winthrop University is comprised of 47 buildings totaling over 2.3 million square feet of space on a footprint of 418 acres. The main academic and administrative area of campus is 94 acres.

About the Division of Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs at Winthrop University partners across campus to provide transformative programs and services that develop students’ holistic well-being and support students’ academic success. The division has 97 staff members and employs 300+ students in a variety of roles. Areas currently under the leadership of the Vice President for Student Affairs include the dean of students’ office, student life, career and civic engagement, residence life, dining services, campus police, the campus bookstore, and health and counseling services. As a member of the Winthrop Community, the Vice President will be dedicated to ensuring students have opportunities for the pursuit of intellectual, cultural, personal, and social growth. He or she will lead the division in affirmation of academic integrity, freedom of speech, personal responsibility, global and cultural diversity, consideration of others, social responsibility, civic engagement, and environmental responsibility.

Leadership Opportunities and Responsibilities

As a member of the senior leadership team, headed by President Daniel Mahony, the Vice President for Student Affairs will assist in attaining the goals of the strategic plan. In this era of challenges to higher education, the Vice President will be expected to provide effective leadership that strikes a balance between external and internal focuses, navigates and negotiates a vast number of relationships, positively impacts institutional advancement efforts, and inspires and develops a talented student affairs team. The Vice President for Student Affairs will be expected to join the leadership of the University in implementing the Five Basic Goals of the Winthrop Plan:

  1. Support inclusive excellence by expanding our impact on students and our communities through enrollment growth and increases in retention and graduation rates.
  2. Continually enhance the quality of the Winthrop experience for all students by promoting a culture of innovation, with an emphasis on global and community engagement.
  3. Attract and retain high quality and diverse faculty, staff, and administrators.
  4. Provide facilities, technology, and programs that support Winthrop students and the overall Winthrop experience.
  5. Ensure financial stability and sustainability.

The Vice President will be expected to provide leadership that is focused on the goals of the Winthrop Plan and to work with the University community and leadership in addressing the issues of new programmatic development, enrollment, and new revenue streams. The Vice President must:

  • Create, implement, and assess a divisional strategic plan that aligns with the Winthrop Plan;
  • Weigh aspirations against resources and oversee reliable operating budgets within the division;
  • Provide the leadership that is necessary in strengthening linkages between curricular and co-curricular learning;
  • Collaborate with the administrators of Finance & Business Affairs and Access & Enrollment Management to establish an appropriate relationship among enrollment goals, financial aid, and services for students;
  • Review existing policies relating to student affairs and make changes that are necessary to strengthen the student affairs division of the University; and
  • Proactively use technology to focus the mission of the student affairs division on serving all constituents in an effective and efficient manner.

In addition to addressing specific leadership challenges, the Vice President for Student Affairs will be expected to provide strong strategic leadership in the following manner:

Executive Leadership:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to collaborative leadership;
  • Participate as an active member of the senior leadership team and work with the Board of Trustees, particularly the Student Life and Athletics Committee;
  • Represent the student affairs division on University committees, as needed;
  • Be an effective liaison with other University administrators in developing sound business plans for new programmatic and service initiatives;
  • Provide leadership to the University community in evaluating the efficacy and efficiency of student affairs operations;
  • Lead by example and support the University’s ongoing commitment to a diverse workforce and to professional development for all members of the community;
  • Lead by example in creating a serious culture of customer service and constituent satisfaction throughout the institution; and
  • Work collaboratively and as a team player within the organization, always seeking positive solutions and cross-divisional input to attain the goals of the University.

Student Affairs:

  • Proactively, and upon request, advise the President, the Provost, other University administrators, faculty, and staff on matters concerning best practices in student affairs;
  • Communicate effectively with students, faculty members, students’ families, the Board, public leaders, and others who contact the division of student affairs;
  • Coordinate a wide array of student services, programs, and activities that meet disparate student sub-populations and individual needs;
  • Insure compliance with all Federal and State regulations, especially Title IX, Clery, and ADA in coordination with institutional coordinators;
  • Actively engage in fundraising and development activities to support the vision and mission of the Division and University;
  • Ensure best and legal practices are followed in overseeing the student conduct system including social and academic misconduct responses;
  • Provide collaborative leadership and coordination in times of crisis;
  • Monitor campus safety involving police response to all matters, especially critical life-threatening incidents;
  • Actively engage in the University’s broader planning and assessment activities, including those for student affairs programs and facilities; and
  • Effectively represent the University in the local and regional communities as well as with the elected leaders in the State of South Carolina.

Qualifications and Areas of Experience 

To provide the leadership required in this position, the Vice President should possess a combination of personal qualities and professional experience. He or she should possess a high level of integrity, energy, a passionate desire to lead, a commitment to continuous improvement, and a willingness to embrace and overcome challenges and advance the University through a close and collaborative working relationship with the senior leadership team and others across the University. Preference will be given to those with a deep and diverse skill set, including broad student affairs experience in higher education. In addition, the Vice President for Student Affairs will have:

  • A doctorate in higher education administration or other appropriate field of study preferred; a master’s degree in higher education administration or other appropriate field of study required;
  • A minimum of five years of senior-level experience in student affairs;
  • A record of effective management experience including a history of valuing people of all ages and understanding their developmental needs and generational perspectives;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the mission and culture of a regional public university;
  • Demonstrated success in building strong working relationships with the senior leadership team, Board of Trustees, students, faculty, and staff;
  • Strong communication skills with the ability to listen, write, and speak with clarity;
  • Demonstrated understanding of the principle of servant leadership in management and interactions in the University and greater community;
  • An ability to manage effectively multiple priorities;
  • Demonstrated comfort in a public role;
  • Experience with crisis management;
  • A predisposition toward collaboration and inclusiveness;
  • An ability to provide the Provost, President, Board of Trustees, and all constituents with data-informed analyses of key student affairs issues;
  • A deep understanding of the educational value of a diverse community and a demonstrated track record of advancing diversity and enhancing inclusiveness; and must be
  • An honest, ethical, and value-driven person. 

Application Instructions and Position Conditions and Availability

This position is a twelve-month, full-time, administrative appointment.

Salary is dependent upon qualifications. Starting date is July 1, 2018.

The Search Committee is being chaired by Dr. Meg Webber, Vice Provost for Academic Quality & Innovation at Winthrop University. Application review will begin December 15, 2017. Applications and nominations will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.

The cover letter should address why the applicant is interested in this position and how he or she meets required and preferred qualifications. A complete application will also include a current curriculum vitae and the names, email addresses, and phone numbers of five references familiar with the candidate’s qualifications.

Nomination letters should include the name, position, and contact information of the nominee. All applications and nominations will be handled in confidence. Applications should be submitted electronically, Application questions and letters of nomination should be submitted electronically to

Search Committee

Brittany Neely, Campus Relation Coordinator, Alumni Relations
Sherika Montgomery, Associate Athletic Director for Student Success
Jimmy Cheng, Assistant Professor of Finance (Judicial Council)
Ellin McDonough, Director of the Center for Career and Civic Engagement
Grant Scurry, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the West Center
Ashley Eason, Graduate Student
Tadean Page, CSL President, Undergraduate Student  

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Winthrop University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate against any individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


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