Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
ABOUT EDWARD WATERS UNIVERSITY
Edward Waters University (EWU/University) is distinctively the state of Florida’s first independent institution of higher learning as well as Florida’s first institution established for the education of African-Americans. With a distinguished higher education lineage spanning over 155 years, EWU is primed to continue its Emerging Eminence as a premier urban, private, Christian, historically black, liberal arts university offering high quality degrees and preparing students holistically to advance in a global society through the provision of intellectually stimulating academic programs of study. The university offers a close-knit, collegial, intellectual community that draws students and scholars from around the world. True to its historic mission the EWU’s academic program provides access and opportunity to a high-quality 21st century undergraduate and graduate education consisting of a reinvigorated, practical, and engaged liberal arts curriculum buttressed by an array of comprehensive academic services to support high academic scholarship, achievement, and overall student success.
The university’s liberal arts curriculum is designed to provide students with a program that is rigorous, inclusive, pragmatic, socially relevant and responsible. As such, EWU is an institution of purposeful intention that employs its resources and aligns its practices to provide students with an impactful academic and experiential program of study. The institution’s graduates are pioneering leaders, insatiable learners, critical thinkers, and are highly skilled in navigating new environments, integrating knowledge from different sources, and becoming agents for positive change in every sector of our increasingly expanding society and world. In addition, the academic program at EWU embraces and places high value upon inclusivity and diversity and recognizes that students come to the university from a wide ranging and diverse array of backgrounds.
EWU AT A GLANCE
Buttressed by a recent period of phenomenal transformation, Edward Waters University’s enrollment has skyrocketed by 19.1% since 2019 having welcomed its largest ever class of new students (540) and achieving its highest enrollment (over 1100) in nearly two decades this past fall (2021). EWU’s recent remarkable growth has made it the fastest growing college or university in Jacksonville and the fastest growing historically black college or university (HBCU) in the State of Florida per published reports.
The historic university offers a total of six bachelor degree programs including Business Administration, Biology, Criminal Justice, Mass Communication, Psychology, and Forensic Science as well as a new 100% online Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate degree program. The university also offers a distinguished accelerated, non-traditional adult degree program (CLIMB - Credentials for Leadership in Management and Business) and is a member institution of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and is proud of its founding progeny and continuing tradition in the African-Methodist Episcopal (AME) church.
Additionally, EWU recently earned NCAA Division II membership (provisional) and competes athletically in eleven varsity sports including football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, men’s and women’s volleyball, cross country, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s soccer, competitive cheerleading, and women’s golf as a member institution of the NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC).
CITY OF JACKSONVILLE – THE FIRST COAST OF FLORIDA
At 840 square miles, Jacksonville is the largest city in the continental United States by landmass. With Florida’s youngest population at an average age of 35 – and one of its hippest – Jacksonville, or Jax as locals call it, is the getaway that leaves you feeling refreshed yet accomplished because while there’s plenty to do, there’s never any rush to get it done. It's always sunny in Jax as the city gets 270 days of sunshine on average per year and boasts the largest urban park system in the country.
In Jax, you can experience a different side of Florida, combining both relaxation and adventure, and letting you choose just how active you want to be. Enjoy our 22 miles of beaches, world-class fishing, historic neighborhoods, sporting events featuring NFL football and the hometown Jacksonville Jaguars, a vibrant street arts scene, creative coastal cuisine, delicious craft beer, vibrant nightlife and amazing shopping including boutiques in eclectic neighborhoods, bargain outlets, and upscale open-air shopping malls like St. Johns Town Center which offers 1.1 million square feet of shopping space. A central travel hub by land, sea, and air Jax’s travel accessibility is outstanding as over 30 U.S. cities feature non-stop flights to Jacksonville. Lonely Planet ranked Jacksonville on its list of the world’s “10 Best Value Destinations for 2018,” the only U.S. city to make the list, and Expedia recently named Jacksonville as one of “21 Supercool U.S. Cities.”
POSITION SUMMARY & OVERVIEW
Under the dynamic and progressive leadership of President & CEO, Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., Edward Waters University seeks a Provost & Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs (Provost/Provost & SVP-AA) to serve as the University’s chief academic officer and a leading voice of the institution. Reporting to the President, the Provost provides intellectual leadership to create, advance, and implement the academic mission of the University and oversees academic programs, a wide range of faculty matters, and student academic affairs. At a time of national debate about the role of higher education and particularly liberal arts institutions in our society, the University seeks an intellectual leader who is bold, innovative, entrepreneurial, and collaborative. In addition, the Provost & SVP-AA will partner with the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer as the President & CEO’s primary co-administrative leads in leading collaborative efforts towards achieving optimal organizational excellence among academic, operational, and administrative areas of the university.
The next Provost & SVPAA will be an experienced administrator with a distinguished scholarly record and an uncompromising commitment to academic distinction enriched by a diverse and inclusive academic community. The Provost & SVP-AA will partner with the President and the university community in building a strategic direction under a new financial model, balancing the excellence of individual departments with a strong commitment to interdisciplinary endeavors and collaboration. The University seeks a strong spokesperson who will at the direction of the President communicate on behalf of the University campus-wide, within the city of Jacksonville, the state of Florida, nationally, and internationally.
The next Provost will join the institution amidst a period of progressive transition and at an exciting and transformational time. The University seeks a Provost with the vision and talents to match the aspirations of campus leaders. Working closely with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, the Provost will be ideally positioned to leverage the institution’s excellence in academics and service to achieve even higher levels of overall success and impact.
The Role of the Provost & Senior VP of Academic Affairs
The Provost participates in all major decisions affecting the campus and reports directly to the President, as a senior member of the President’s Executive Cabinet. The Provost & SVP-AA partners with the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer as the President & CEO’s primary co-administrative leads in facilitating collaborative efforts towards achieving optimal organizational excellence among academic, operational, and administrative areas of the university.
The Provost & SVP-AA fosters the creation, advancement, and implementation of the academic vision for the University while maintaining responsibility for all academic departments, and programs. The Provost & SVP-AA oversees the processes of faculty appointment, development, promotion, and tenure and establishes all academic policies, oversees reviews of all academic units, and leads and implements strategic planning and all reaffirmation of institutional accreditation efforts. In fulfilling the responsibilities of the office, the Provost works with Associate/Vice Provosts, Vice Presidents, Academic Deans, and Department Chairs to attract and retain a diverse and high quality faculty, staff, and student body.
The Provost & SVP-AA may represent the University in all respects in the President’s absence and at the direction of the President provide indirect leadership, oversight, and management of members of the President’s Executive Cabinet. The Provost also works closely with the University’s Board of Trustees on all aspects of academic planning, processes, and reporting requirements.
Opportunities and Expectations for the Provost & Senior VP of Academic Affairs
The next Provost & SVP-AA will work closely with the President and other Vice Presidents to ensure the continued promotion of excellence in teaching and research in a manner that serves the North Florida region and places the University at the forefront of higher education nationally and internationally. Faculty and staff desire an intellectual leader who confidently and boldly approaches challenges, operates with an optimistic attitude, and seeks pragmatic solutions that further academic and educational excellence. The Provost should strengthen lines of communication between the academic administration and campus constituencies with a particular keen focus upon faculty in order to support strong collaborative relationships with the President, and other colleges/universities in Florida as well as peer institutions nationally and internationally.
The Provost & SVP-AA should be prepared to address the following opportunities and challenges in consultation with leadership throughout the University:
Facilitate continued growth of teaching, research, and scholarship and promote enhanced capabilities through interdisciplinary academic collaboration
The Provost will be integral to continuing to expand teaching and research at the University. The Provost will work closely with the academic administrative leadership and faculty to pursue teaching and research opportunities in a purposeful way that builds upon the university’s strengths. The Provost & SVP-AA will also work collaboratively to ensure that there are support systems that lead to even higher levels of teaching and research success and that make the University an inspiring place for faculty with ambitious teaching and research goals.
Setting students on a path to lifelong learning is central to the mission of the University. Seeking to enhance and further the development of the existing student academic success model, the Provost will create a culture of student-researchers. That is—students who not only participate in research collaborations with faculty, but also gain expertise as practitioners, scholars, and researchers through experiential and cross- disciplinary learning experiences.
The Provost & SVP-AA will lead in encouraging teaching, research, and scholarly collaborations among departments and units in strategically promoting the use of departmental resources to further distinguish the academic strength of each department and the overall impact of the University. In addition, during the tenure of the Provost & SVP-AA the University expects to build upon its recent authorization by its accrediting body (SACSCOC) to expand its academic offerings to include additional graduate degree programs beyond the university’s current academic degree program portfolio. Accordingly, the Provost & SVP-AA will lead a collaborative effort with the university community to include but not necessarily limited to university faculty and academic administrators in the assessment and exploration of new prospective graduate degree programs.
Lead the management and oversight of institutional assessment, institutional research, strategic planning and reaffirmation of accreditation efforts
The Provost & SVP-AA will maintain leadership responsibility and provide direction and comprehensive oversight of the university’s institutional accreditation, assessment, assessment of student learning, institutional research, and strategic planning initiatives. With the support of a directly reporting Associate Provost for Institutional Planning, Research, and Effectiveness (IPRE) and attendant IPRE staff, the Provost will maintain responsibility for directing the design and execution of plans for maintaining fully accredited status for the University, as well as program specific accreditations, certifications and licensures. The Provost will serve as the President & CEO’s assigned institutional liaison to accreditation agencies (i.e., SACSCOC, etc.), will prepare and coordinate the preparation of accreditation documentation files for review by accreditation agency staff, will prepare and submit annual reports as required, and will provide guidance to the campus community and administration concerning all accreditation matters. Lastly, the Provost & SVP-AA will oversee a comprehensive program of institutional research and development of the university’s strategic plan designed to support and advance the mission of the University, to inform management decision-making, and to meet reporting requirements as mandated by state, federal, and other external agencies or as needed by university stakeholders.
Support and advance strategies that build a strong student body and promote student success
The Provost will engage with the University’s enrollment management strategies to further the institution’s goals to attract and retain an intellectually talented and diverse student body, ensuring access and a welcoming and inclusive environment for students from a wide range of underrepresented groups and international students from around the world. The Provost will lead in helping to create an environment that enhances student success. Working closely with the Associate/Vice Provost for Student Success and the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Provost will ensure that the collaborative work of both offices will provide an environment that enhances the living and learning experience for students.
The Provost contributes to the institution’s fiscal stability by leading in stewarding student enrollment and retention strategies. The Provost will work with the Vice President for Enrollment Management, as well as the key leaders in related areas, to identify and execute effective means to develop and sustain robust applicant pipelines. These pipelines include students from across the state of Florida and in other geographical areas nationally and internationally that the University identifies as areas of opportunity to increase the number of students matriculating at the University.
Foster a culture of public service and civic engagement
As a private, urban, Christian, institution with deeply historical roots in the city and region, the university supports the outreach and engagement activities of students, staff, and faculty that enrich the University’s academic, educational, creative, and teaching mission. The Provost will nurture a growing culture of campus-community partnerships that serve the public good while also advancing knowledge and providing students with skills needed for their future careers.
Enhance excellence through diversity
The next Provost will provide institutional leadership for a university-wide focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Provost will lead efforts to further diversify the College community, ensuring the success of students, faculty, and staff from all backgrounds. The Provost will demonstrate a personal commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion by acting to create and encourage an atmosphere that welcomes and celebrates all aspects of diversity.
Provide leadership in the implementation and refinement of a new budget model
The University is changing the way in which it distributes its general education funds, transitioning from a solely centralized model to a budget allocation model intended to increase unit and departmental control and accountability. The model will be implemented at the start of the fiscal year 2023 budget cycle.
The new model is intended to increase financial responsibility and awareness, encourage entrepreneurial action, and increase operational efficiencies. At the same time, as part of the shift to this model, the next Provost will need to provide strong encouragement and incentives to fortify the long tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration and respond to the 21st-century need for creative interdepartmental partnerships. In the face of a national trend toward disinvestment in higher education, the shared responsibility for managing the University budget is a key priority of the new model.
The Provost will be a leader in securing the success of the new budget allocation model. The Provost’s role will include effective communication to support the model, evaluation of the model, and participation in its refinement to ensure the University’s ongoing success. The new budget model needs to encourage excellence in teaching, entrepreneurship, scholarship, and research; facilitate collaborative, innovative interdisciplinary academic initiatives across units and departments; and enhance the College’s strength, resource base, and academic reputation.
Communicate the goals and the value of the University to internal and external audiences
As a highly visible academic leader with a role that includes strong ties to the institution’s faculty leadership through the shared governance structure and interaction with key faculty committees, the Provost will communicate to both internal and external audiences about the University’s goals, values, and contributions. The Provost also will uphold practices of transparency and shared governance to further strengthen the lines of communication between the academic administration and the faculty.
With this significant profile, the Provost must tell a compelling story of the work of students, faculty, and staff to a variety of audiences. The Provost will work with colleagues to share the University’s story to an expanding audience - to the Board of Trustees and local/state/federal public policy leaders; prospective students and their families; alumni, friends, and potential donors; and higher education and industry leaders who do or could engage with the University and its programs.
The University’s broadly shared message of student success, liberal arts education, access, value, and contributions to the city, region, and state’s economy and culture does and should continue to attract public and private philanthropic support to enhance the institution. The University has an opportunity through the Office of the Provost to broadcast widely its outstanding programs in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields. This communication will enhance the University’s ability to recruit highly qualified students, highlight its societal impact, and achieve its strategic goals to promote economic development and facilitate social and cultural enrichment.
PROFESSIONAL AND PERSONAL QUALITIES
The ideal candidate will have the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:
Alignment with mission: A deep resonance with the mission and possibilities of an Edward Waters University Education and experience; a drive that is consistently student-centered; a commitment to proactively advance student success and diversity in all its forms;
Vision: Vision to achieve optimum administrative and operational functionality for an institution like Edward Waters University; an entrepreneurial outlook and an eye to new possibilities and emerging challenges;
Institutional leadership: Readiness to be an active, valued member of the President’s leadership team and partner closely with the college units and departments; honesty and integrity in advising the president on critical issues; ability to see and embrace the importance of being a college leader with an eye toward the greatest success of the college; an understanding of how to accomplish much in a centralized and decentralized institutional environment; proven effectiveness in change management; the ability to build consensus and a sense of teamwork; and the ability to inspire joy in one’s work;
Experience in the leadership and administration of a college/university: Significant experience participating in leadership, administration, and management within a college or university setting; the ability to build an appropriate and effective strategic plan that reflects institutional goals; the capacity to lead and manage the complex interplay of interdependent college/university divisions and units including finance, athletics, fundraising and development, enrollment management, student success, etc.; the ability to optimize financial resources to ensure high quality outcomes;
Quantitative sophistication: Experience and a demonstrated record in being facile in quantitative reasoning in order to ensure the generation of reliable data and rigorous analysis; strategic and analytical ability; and the ability to ask the right questions, uncover meaning and harness research for its predictive results;
Technological sophistication: Ability to understand the potential value of technological innovations and to lead the process of recommending emerging technologies that can best support the process optimization and operational efficiency;
Exceptional communication skills: Ability to be articulate, persuasive and precise in communicating with internal audiences including both highly invested leadership including faculty and staff and external audiences including parents, prospective students, and alumni; desire to interact with a wide range of constituencies, administrators and institutional partners, engaging many in the dialogue so as to move the college forward together;
Personal qualities: An organizational leader with peerless integrity and an ability to drive a vision through engagement, transparency, hard work, and a sense of urgency; strong values aligned with high ethics, collaboration, compassion, transparency; sound judgment backed by self-confidence and a sense of perspective; ability to work effectively in a campus culture that is relationship-oriented; and capacity to navigate a highly complex institution with political savvy, patience, tolerance for ambiguity, possess high professional dexterity sufficient to ably adapt in a dynamically changing fast paced work environment.
Travel is required within the metropolitan Jacksonville area, the state of Florida, and nationally, as well as frequent participation and attendance at evening and weekend functions.
An established intellectual leader, teacher, and scholar of recognized accomplishment appropriate for appointment at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor with tenure. Demonstrated record of commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Demonstrated personal and professional integrity, honesty, and ethics. Demonstrated commitment to academic freedom. Demonstrated commitment to fundamental fairness and due process in the implementation of professional and academic standards, the tenure system, and different academic cultures at a complex university. Desired understanding of and commitment to the multiple missions of a private, historically black, Christian, liberal arts university that includes a strong commitment to quality undergraduate and graduate education and student success. Demonstrated ability to understand and articulate the University’s strong liberal arts tradition and its importance to the institution’s broad educational mission. Experience with building a strong team and creating and sustaining an environment in which interdisciplinary learning, teaching, research, creative activity, experiential learning, arts, and scholarship flourish and complement one another.
Considerable experience in higher education administration, including hiring and developing an administrative team, budgeting and financial planning, and implementing a strategic plan. Ability to serve as an effective leader and to articulate the value of the University and the University’s values internally and externally. Understanding of the infrastructure and resources needed to support contemporary comprehensive education for students.
Commitment to shared governance with faculty, staff, and students as demonstrated through effective communication and accessibility. Ability to identify and analyze problems or controversies, to conceive practical steps to resolve them, and to explain decisions persuasively. Demonstrated experience and ability to work effectively with governing boards, such as the EWU Board of Trustees.
The successful candidate must also possess the following credentials, values, and experiences:
- Terminal academic or professional doctorate degree (i.e., Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D., etc.) and demonstrated multi-year experience in a senior cabinet-level academic administrative management position that involved high coordination of organization workflow and priorities.
- A minimum of seven years of senior cabinet level supervisory and management experience including experience with administrative, operational, business, accreditation, governance, program management, information technology, budget administration, and personnel policies and processes.
- Experience resolving conflicts, problem solving, change management and encouraging partnerships and collaboration.
- Successful senior cabinet level management experience in an accredited private or public, four-year institution of higher education or successful upper management level experience in a complex working environment.
- Experience in overseeing and tracking project workflow.
- Experience with effective preparation and review of executive communications.
- Represent campus with credibility and integrity.
- Experience recommending improvements in procedure and providing analysis of policies for campus-wide implementation.
- Effectively manage change and establish best practices that are tailored to the unique needs and capabilities of the institution.
- Experience working effectively with a wide range of audiences such as trustees, vice presidents, faculty, staff, students, alumni, community groups, donors, and elected officials.
- Demonstrated commitment to advancing inclusivity in the workplace.
Academic or Professional doctorate (e.g., Ph.D., Ed.D., J.D.) degree from a regionally accredited college/university is desired.
10 plus years prior relevant work experience in higher education as a college/university senior academic administrative officer and/or senior cabinet level unit/division (i.e., Assistant or Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs or Academic Dean, etc.) head or other senior level experience in a complex business working environment is a highly desired and preferred plus.
Note: This job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties and responsibilities required or assigned to an employee in this position.
Please submit a letter of interest detailing relevant administrative experience, full contact information (name, phone number and email) for four professional references, demonstrable examples of leadership acumen, and related skills along with a comprehensive cv/resumè to complete your application. The email address to send cv/resumè and letter of interest is email@example.com.