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Vice President for Academic Affairs

Alverno College – Milwaukee, WI


Search for the Vice President
for Academic Affairs

Alverno College Mission Statement
Alverno College prepares women for lives of
personal and professional distinction and
meaningful engagement with the world.

Alverno extends this mission by offering
graduate and adult programs to women
and men.

Inspired by its Catholic, Franciscan and liberal
arts heritage, the College intentionally creates
an inclusive community that engages students
in active and collaborative learning and fosters
academic excellence.


Alverno College is all of this and more much more:
  • A baccalaureate college for women, of national significance;
  • A progressive Catholic, Franciscan college that welcomes students from all faiths
and backgrounds; and
  • A college that celebrates its diversity and offers an impressive and much-praised
abilities-based curriculum.

As Wisconsins first designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and the nations
most inspiring college (The Wall Street Journal), Alverno welcomes a broadly diverse
student body and centers its efforts squarely on student learning. In addition to its
baccalaureate college for women, Alverno offers an array of coeducational graduate,
adult, online and associate degree programs.

Alverno is a place of transformation and creativity; of substance and style; of diversity
and hospitality. It is a college that reveres tradition and encourages innovation. Most
important, Alverno is a community learners, teachers and supporters all focused
on students and their learning. As Wisconsins first designated HSI, Alverno enrolls a
highly diverse student body of virtually every demographic and experience.

We seek a Vice President for Academic Affairs to lead our faculty and academic staff
and the evolution of Alvernos storied academic programs at this challenging yet exciting
time in higher education. We are searching for a colleague who will serve as a key
Alverno leader, refining and implementing Alvernos strategic plan and collaborating with
the senior leadership team, faculty and staff to attain the Colleges ambitious goals.

The Vice President reports directly to the President and serves as a key member of
the senior leadership team, while also serving as the leader of the faculty, the team
of deans and the academic staff. The successful candidate will oversee all areas
connected to the academic life of the College, including active collaboration with, and
oversight of, the academic deans and academic staff.

The Vice President will have a deep commitment to experiential learning and
collaborative teaching, oversee a rich and rigorous abilities-based curriculum, and work
closely with a faculty who share a set of pedagogical principles shaped by theories of
assessment as learning.

The successful candidate will be a seasoned administrator, preferably with significant
teaching experience. The candidate will demonstrate:

  • commitment to the mission of Alverno as a Catholic, Franciscan institution of higher
learning; to a mission where the primary focus is the undergraduate education of
women; and to a mission where the philosophy and practice of an abilities-based
curriculum is deeply ingrained and a source of significant institutional pride;
  • deep respect for the values and practice of faculty in an institution with a primary
commitment to excellent teaching; and
  • an established record in managing an academic enterprise of considerable
complexity, as well as the will and ability to embrace rapid and significant change.


More about Alverno
Founded in 1887, Alverno College is a four-year, Catholic liberal arts college
sponsored by the School Sisters of St. Francis. In fall 2018, Alverno College
enrolled approximately 1,700 students in its undergraduate programs for
women and its graduate, associate and degree completion programs for women
and men. Student learning and their personal and professional development
are the central focus of everyone in the Alverno College community. Along with
the undergraduate programs for women, the College also offers a number of
graduate programs, including doctorates in Nursing and, pending accreditation,

Committed to active, student-centered learning, and internationally recognized
for its assessment-as-learning model, Alverno integrates within a developmental
curriculum eight core abilities that every undergraduate student masters:
Communication, Analysis, Problem Solving, Valuing in Decision-Making, Social
Interaction, Developing a Global Perspective, Effective Citizenship and Aesthetic

The College is ranked among the top four Midwest Regional Universities in the
2019 U.S. News & World Report Strong Commitment to Teaching category
and highest in Wisconsin for the ninth consecutive year. In addition, Alverno
consistently ranks among the top regional universities in the Midwest in the
category of Most Innovative Schools.

Located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, an urban center alive with promise,
innovation and challenge, Alverno College is an engaged citizen of its home city,
participating with partners across the region to address current and emerging
workforce needs, as well as persistent challenges facing the city and region.


The Vice President for Academic Affairs is the chief academic officer of the College.
Reporting to President Andrea Lee, IHM, the Vice President serves as the leader of the
faculty, as the academic voice on the Administrative Council and as a member of several
College committees, including serving as chair of several. The Vice President also serves
as liaison to the Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Excellence and oversees
an array of academic services. In addition to the academic deans, the overall academic
structure of Alverno College includes the directors of the Center for Academic Excellence,
Instructional Services, Assessment and Outreach, the Library and Campus Ministry.

This vice-presidency is a full-time administrative appointment. The position carries
faculty status in an appropriate department, and successful candidates should present
credentials that merit rank at the level of professor. The Vice President inspires academic
excellence, innovation and diversity by enabling and supporting faculty effectiveness,
student success and active collaboration with both internal and external partners.

An important responsibility is providing leadership to Alverno Colleges work as
Wisconsins first federally designated HSI. In concert with its enduring commitment to
the undergraduate education of women, Alverno seeks a Vice President whose own
professional life and interests embrace the values of inclusion and the empowerment of
women, and to serving students who are the first in their families to attend college or who
have a limited range of educational options available to them.

The Vice President leads an energetic and committed faculty that offers excellent
educational programs through traditional, hybrid and online delivery modes of instruction,
all highly focused on experiential learning.

Growth in graduate enrollment is a primary strategic goal. A central focus of Alvernos
strategy for the future is to develop, strengthen and expand its graduate programs. The
Vice President will lead this initiative with the deans and faculty, including sustaining a
creative and active partnership with the Graduate Council.

The Vice President provides leadership for the deans in imagining, designing,
implementing, and assessing academic programs and initiatives that align with the
Alverno College mission and strategic plan. The Vice President, together with the
deans, partner with the Alverno faculty in building a strong, relevant, market-responsive

The Vice President for Academic Affairs serves on the Presidents leadership team,
represents the President as appropriate and serves in a collegial relationship with the
other members of the Administrative Council. Of central importance, the Vice President
seeks and maintains an effective, collegial working relationship with the Alverno
faculty. The Vice President serves at the highest levels of institutional governance and
administration, often articulating the faculty voice in those settings.


A key, and perhaps most important, collaborative relationship for the Vice President for
Academic Affairs is with the Vice President for Enrollment. It is the mutual responsibility
of these leaders to collaborate actively to ensure close, productive relationships among
Admissions and Retention staffs and the faculty. The Vice President also collaborates
actively with the Advancement division to secure financial support for academic and
teaching excellence and the development of new academic programs.

About Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee is a big, thriving city with a small-town feel. Nestled on the coast of Lake
Michigan, the city is buzzing with growth and an entrepreneurial spirit. The largest city in
Wisconsin, Milwaukee boasts a stunning lakefront, a world-class art museum and many
unique restaurants. The city will host the Democratic National Convention in July 2020, and
Milwaukees arts scene rivals that of cities many times its size. It is no wonder Milwaukee
recently made the Forbes list of top 15 emerging cities.

Milwaukee has a population of nearly 600,000 residents and is home to 14 colleges and
universities. It is a mecca for cultural opportunities, offering 12 major public museums,
including the architecturally significant Milwaukee Art Museum. Enthusiastic fans support
Milwaukees (and Wisconsins) professional sports teams with unmatched passion and pride.

Milwaukee is the ultimate outdoor playground, the perfect place to hike, sail, bike or
challenge friends to a sand volleyball game. The city also features more than 140 parks and
150 miles of trails. Brew City, as its called, might be known for its beer and cheese, but there
are plenty of other good eats. Foodies can get their fill at funky cafes, ethnic eateries and
restaurants that feature locally grown food.

Milwaukee is an amazing place to live because of its attractive features and low cost of living.
If youre used to East and West Coast prices, youll be pleasantly surprised by how far your
money goes here, whether its for a mortgage, rent or just a night out on the town. Milwaukee
is a destination that exudes vitality and determination, making it an exciting destination for
active professionals.


Academic Leadership
1. Lead a team of deans in enabling and

supporting the best work of Alverno College

2. Oversee the academic life of a college offering
a robust array of undergraduate and graduate
programs, with plans for substantial growth
in two-year, certificate and stackable degree

3. Provide effective leadership in balancing Alverno
history and legacy with present realities and
future possibilities;

4. Actively enable development of community, an
innovative spirit and positive morale among
faculty and colleagues;

5. Serve as an influential member of the
Presidents Administrative Council, contributing
academic voice and advocacy to important
deliberations while actively enabling collegial
relationships among peers and colleagues;

6. Actively engage in planning for faculty and
academic staff development through academic
convocations, conferences and speaker

7. Serve as senior academic officer in overseeing
faculty governance and employment and
personnel matters, including faculty evaluations
and promotions in collaboration with the deans,
and coordinating faculty searches, including
interviewing final candidates;

8. Serve as primary liaison to the regional
accreditation association and state licensure
bodies and oversee all matters related to
institutional, as well as specific program,

9. Execute periodic and comprehensive program
review of academic programs and majors,
employing significant faculty input and relevant
data in assessing quality and making key

10. Develop an agenda for academic grants and
fundraising projects in collaboration with
Advancement officers;

11. Prepare and oversee the academic budget,
working with deans and academic staff
department heads to propose a coherent,
balanced academic budget that is thoughtfully
tied to Alvernos strategic agenda.

Strategic Leadership and Planning
1. Provide visionary, inspiring and collaborative

leadership for the faculty and academic staff,
and facilitates the development, enhancement,
quality and growth of Alvernos academic

2. Inspire a culture of growth, active engagement
and next-horizon thinking among Alverno faculty
and deans;

3. Demonstrate leadership in enabling academic
innovation based on emerging trends and
market demand for existing, reimagined and new
academic programs;

4. Build a dynamic list of academic program
initiatives through ongoing engagement with
industry and on-campus partners;

5. Assume the lead academic role in developing
and implementing Alverno Colleges strategic
plan, including offering vision, support and
oversight for dean and faculty engagement in
planning for Alvernos future;

6. Lead academic change and oversee timely
implementation of strategic academic initiatives;

7. Align academic structure and internal
governance with strategy and changing needs;

8. Offer time, expertise and support to the
President in addressing ad hoc requests and
performs other duties as requested.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities


How to Apply
To apply for this position, please submit a substantive cover letter addressing the qualifications, attributes and
responsibilities listed above; a curriculum vitae; and a list of three professional references with full contact
information and a note indicating the nature of your working relationship with each. References will not be contacted
without the explicit permission of the candidate.

Candidates who reach the campus interview stage of this search may be asked to prepare a further written
document in response to the Alverno College strategic priorities and will engage in substantive conversation during
the final interview stage with faculty, administrative colleagues, trustees and others. Alverno is deeply committed to
values of inclusion and thus enthusiastically seeks a broadly diverse pool of applicants.

Applications, nominations and expressions of interest can be submitted electronically, and in confidence, to
[email protected]

The position is open until filled, but applications received by July 19, 2019, can be assured full and prompt

Minimum Qualifications
1. Willingness to embrace Alvernos mission as

a Catholic, Franciscan college; as a college for
women with a broadly diverse faculty, staff and
student body; and as a college that embraces its
abilities-based curriculum and assessment-as-
learning pedagogical philosophy;

2. Three to five years of administrative experience
at the dean level or higher, preferably at a liberal
arts college with graduate and professional

3. Ability to set goals, enable others to reach them
and be accountable for specific outcomes;

4. Evidence of strong, confident leadership
and broad knowledge of key trends in higher

5. Ability to collaborate successfully with colleagues
at the senior level, and with deans, faculty and
academic staff, in advancing the academic

6. Ability to apply broad, institutional thinking
to challenges and opportunities that present

7. Ability to maintain the active trust and
collaboration of Alverno faculty and colleagues in
pursuing common goals;

8. Ability to communicate honestly, appropriately
and meaningfully with faculty, colleagues,
students and other Alverno constituents;

9. Decisive, engaged, resilient, energetic and

External Leadership
1. Serve as a key collaborator with the Vice

President for Enrollment and the Marketing and
Communications team to achieve the Colleges
enrollment goals;

2. Serve as a key public face for Alverno College
by collaborating with the President and Vice
President for Advancement to engage external
entities, such as corporations and other higher
education institutions, in advancing College
programs and strategic agendas;

3. Serve as a key collaborator with the Vice President
for Advancement in securing external support for
academic programs and faculty;

4. Support the deans in establishing, maintaining
and effectively engaging their various advisory

5. Serve as primary liaison to the Board of Trustees
Committee on Academic Excellence;

6. Serve on external boards and committees,
especially those connected to Alvernos strategic

Education and Required Experience
1. A doctoral degree, preferably in an academic

discipline offered at Alverno College;
2. Successful experience in academic administration

at the dean level or higher, preferably in a small,
liberal arts environment.

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