The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean (VCAA/Dean) serves as UMN Morris’s chief academic officer and dean of the faculty and is responsible for all aspects of academic and faculty affairs. To promote the core mission of student learning and success, the VCAA/Dean’s responsibilities include serving as a member of the University’s leadership team, as leader of and advocate for the faculty, and as a manager of academic affairs programs. The VCAA/Dean will advance the University’s mission and vision, cultivate strong partnerships with the campus community, build relationships with and initiatives serving regional constituents, build a diverse and inclusive learning community, nurture continuous improvement, build upon existing programs designed to support faculty and ensure student success, and work collaboratively with the other members of the Chancellor’s team to forward campus-wide efforts and projects.
The VCAA/Dean reports directly to the Chancellor and works closely and cooperatively with the other members of the leadership team, including the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Chief Development Officer, Director of Communications and Marketing, and Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Senior Director of Institutional Effectiveness.
Reporting to and working closely with the VCAA/Dean are the chairs of the four academic divisions: Education, Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Social Sciences. The VCAA/Dean also helps to sustain and support innovation in interdisciplinary areas that cross the boundaries of traditional divisions. The VCAA/Dean supervises offices in support of the academic enterprise which include academic support resources (registrar, one stop, financial aid), grants development, academic success offices and programs (including disability services and advising), Center for Small Towns, the Academic Center of Enrichment (study away, career services, honors program, undergraduate research), and the library.
The next Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean will:
Promote a unified vision and continue progress on strategic vision and key initiatives. Morris is dedicated to its mission and its commitment to the liberal arts. It is a place where faculty are passionate about learning and educating students, where there are opportunities to experiment and innovate, and where strong faculty scholarship is encouraged and supported. While UMN Morris is dedicated to the liberal arts tradition it, like many other liberal arts institutions, is faced with changing demands and needs and is challenged with how best to champion the liberal arts in the 21st century. With input from Morris’s campus community, the VCAA/Dean will be a strong advocate for the shared institutional vision and aspirational statements recently adopted by Morris’s Campus Assembly, will sustain a common purpose and identity, and will help to galvanize the entire community around it.
Key initiatives. The UMN Morris campus community has been at work developing a strategic vision and supporting aspirational statements since fall 2017. Work is currently underway in building out the vision and aspirational statements with a set of concrete strategic plans. Among the top priorities adopted by Campus Assembly in support of the strategic vision in spring 2019 are work on general education and the academic component of the first year student experience. The VCAA/Dean will work with campus governance and administrative offices to examine, and where appropriate, propose changes to current curricula.
UMN Morris seeks a strong academic leader who is able to articulate the University’s unique strengths, imagine how they can be enhanced, and build upon them. At the same time, UMN Morris seeks a leader who understands that it is important to consult and delegate in order to achieve campus goals.
Advocate for and support outstanding faculty and staff. The VCAA/Dean will build and maintain relationships with faculty and staff that are key to UMN Morris’s success and sense of community. The VCAA/Dean must be able to serve as a compelling advocate for faculty and staff and lead in a transparent and collaborative way. As liberal arts colleges across the country learn to adapt to changing academic expectations, the VCAA/Dean has the opportunity for innovation with a small and nimble faculty that is open to new ideas; the faculty will respond particularly well to a Dean who seeks to empower them through soliciting ideas and input, who communicates decisions openly, and who can decentralize decision-making when appropriate. The award-winning faculty, actively engaged in research and artistic production, anticipate that the VCAA/Dean will continue to support and promote opportunities to engage in scholarly and creative work.
Grow and strengthen UMN Morris’s diverse and inclusive community. The VCAA/Dean will bring a strong commitment to developing, enhancing, and sustaining a diverse student body, faculty, and staff. Forty percent of UMN Morris students are Native American, persons of color, or of international origin. Over forty percent are first-generation college students. UMN Morris will benefit from a leader who will continue efforts to diversify the faculty and ensure the richness of diversity in all areas of academic life including access, curriculum and scholarship, and campus climate and who will work with others across campus to achieve these goals.
Represent UMN Morris externally. UMN Morris is part of the University of Minnesota system, and while that provides opportunities to leverage the strengths of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities—the system’s flagship campus— and the other three University of Minnesota campuses, it also adds complexity. The VCAA/Dean will be expected to play a key role in sustaining strong and productive relationships across the five campus UMN system while simultaneously advocating for the priorities, goals, and objectives of the UMN Morris campus.
Additionally, the VCAA/Dean is often called upon to represent the University in the local community, in making connections with alumni and potential donors, and at higher education organizations.
The University of Minnesota Morris Seeks a Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean (VCAA/DEAN). The qualifications are as follows:
Required qualifications. The successful candidate will bring a record of substantial administrative experience, including leadership of academic divisions, departments, or major programs, supervision and evaluation of faculty and staff, and responsibility for planning and managing budgets. The candidate must present a terminal degree from a regionally accredited institution (or equivalent if from a foreign institution). The candidate must also demonstrate a level of professional achievement in teaching and scholarship commensurate with the rank of tenured full professor at UMN Morris. A strong commitment to the values of a liberal arts education is essential, as is the ability to articulate those values to both internal and external constituencies. In keeping with Morris’s distinctively inclusive culture of shared governance, the candidate must possess excellent listening, collaborative, and consensus-building skills, including the ability to listen to, consider, and incorporate the perspectives of others as well as effectively convey information to various campus constituencies. UMN Morris is committed to a diverse and inclusive learning community and requires the successful candidate to share this commitment, demonstrate a strong record of building a diverse and inclusive learning community, and understand the relationship between diversity, access, academic excellence, and our mission as a public liberal arts college.
In addition, the following characteristics are highly desirable:
Experience working at an undergraduate focused, residential, liberal arts college.
Ability to lead the faculty and advocate for their work as teachers and scholars.
Familiarity with current national issues in higher education and awareness of their implications for liberal arts colleges.
Capacity to think strategically and to work creatively and the administrative and people-skills to bring initiatives to fruition.
Excellent leadership and managerial skills to recruit, support, retain, and develop faculty and staff in Academic Affairs throughout the career arc.
Experience in program evaluation, curriculum development, and assessment of educational outcomes, including regional accreditation.
Strong analytical skills and the ability to manage complex budgets.
Ability to lead and collaborate in campus efforts to highlight and foster a respect for diversity in persons, ideas, and experiences.
Ability to represent campus effectively and in various capacities at the University of Minnesota System level.
Internal Number: 332270
About University of Minnesota, Morris
The University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) provides a rigorous undergraduate liberal arts education, preparing its students to be global citizens who value and pursue intellectual growth, civic engagement, intercultural competence, and environmental stewardship.As a public land-grant institution, UMM is a center for education, culture, and research for the region, nation, and world. UMM is committed to outstanding teaching, dynamic learning, innovative faculty and student scholarship and creative activity, and public outreach. Our residential academic setting fosters collaboration, diversity, and a deep sense of community.