Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs

Position Overview

Download Position Profile

Wells College invites applications and nominations for the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs leads the faculty and academic and student affairs divisions of the College and is charged with merging these two critical areas.  Wells College is a nationally recognized, private liberal arts college located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of Central New York. Founded in 1868, Wells provides a rigorous and relationship-based academic experience strengthened by the College’s emphasis on community, the residential atmosphere and its dedication to hands-on learning. The mission of Wells College is to teach students to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. Situated on more than 300 scenic acres overlooking Cayuga Lake in central New York, Wells offers the simplicity and safety of village living and easy access to metropolitan and educational centers: 30 minutes from Ithaca (home of Cornell University), one hour from Rochester and Syracuse, and five hours from NYC.

Following the depths of the pandemic, Wells has resumed campus operations in a manner that is true to our highly personalized approach while maintaining the health and safety of our campus community. The College has embraced change, embarking upon an intentional rethinking of its academic offerings even as it continues its core mission.  As of fall 2021, the most popular majors involve a representative mix of disciplines that draw upon both the liberal arts tradition as well as preprofessional practice: business, criminal justice, health sciences, inclusive childhood education, psychology, and women’s, transgender and queer studies.  In fall 2021, Wells College welcomed 140 new first-year students plus 13 transfer students, bringing full-time student enrollment to 335 overall for the 2021-22 year. The team’s top priority this year,especially for the Student Affairs staff, is re-imagining student programming and engagement both inside and outside the classroom to keep current with changing social trends.

Wells College seeks a new Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs who will provide visionary, strategic, and creative leadership. Strong candidates will possess a substantial track record in academic and student life managerial achievements, an ability to plan with input from all College stakeholders, and the courage to make informed decisions, coupled with the ability to articulate the need for those decisions and build consensus around them. Personal characteristics of openness, commitment, and authenticity are crucial.  Experience in a small college with staff supervisory experience is strongly preferred. An earned doctorate (or other terminal degree), and substantial experience as a teacher-scholar, having earned the rank of professor, are also preferred.

The successful Wells College Vice President for Aca­demic and Student Affairs will also be a visionary with wisdom and emotional intelligence who will work collab­oratively with all groups reflecting passion and stra­tegic thinking, and be able to articulate the vision clearly to build consensus so that others are motivated to execute it successfully.  They will advocate for and celebrate the liberal arts education; maintain exceptional leadership and management skills; be change-agile, while simultaneously understanding and respecting the treasured history and traditions that exist at Wells; and they must bring a deep understanding of and significant experience with the collaboration of the academic and student life experiences. This vice presidency will champion the synergies between these two areas of the College and student experience.

The complete search profile may be found above.

Nominations and Applications

The Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Search Committee will begin reviewing candidate materials in the first week of December and will continue through mid-December. Although applications will be received until the position is filled, materials should be submitted by Wednesday, December 8, 2021 to receive the most favor­able consideration. Final selection will be made by late February/early March 2022 and the new Vice President will be invited to begin work on or about June 30, 2022. Wells College is committed to recruiting a diverse, high-quality workforce dedicated to meeting the higher edu­cation and training needs of the community. Women and persons from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

Applications must include:

  • A letter of interest responding to the College’s list of desired attributes identifying the candidate’s experienc­es in the context of the opportunities for the new Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs;
  • A complete C.V. or resumé;
  • The names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three references, none of whom will be contacted with­out permission of the candidate.

Please address the letter of interest to Dr. Deborah Gagnon and Mr. Gerard Turbide, Co-Chairs, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Search Committee.

All material (Word or PDF) will be received in full confidence and should be submitted electronically to:  WellsVPASA@agbsearch.com

Please direct inquiries to:

Frederick V.  Moore, J.D., MBA, Executive Search Consultant

fred.moore@agbsearch.com / (712) 299-2544

Melinda M. Leonardo, Ph. D., Executive Search Consultant

melinda.leonardo@agbsearch.com / (919) 280-4901

Additional information about Wells College may be found at:  www.wells.edu

Wells College is committed to establishing and maintaining a safe and nondiscriminatory educational environment for all College community members. It is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in matters of admission, employment, housing, and in access to and participation in its education programs, services, and activities.

The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, religion, disability, creed or any other protected class. Discrimination and sexual harassment on any of the bases covered by state or federal anti-discrimination statutes is unlawful and a violation of Wells College policy.

This policy prohibits sexual harassment, sexual violence, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence against Wells College community members of any gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. This policy also prohibits gender-based harassment that does not involve conduct of a sexual nature.