Vice President for Academic Affairs

Website Saint Vincent College

Executive Summary
Saint Vincent College invites applications, nominations and expressions of interest in the position of Vice
President of Academic Affairs.
Saint Vincent College is a Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts college located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania that
was founded and has been continuously enriched by the co-location of the Saint Vincent Archabbey and
Monastery, the oldest Benedictine monastery in the United States and the largest in the Western
Hemisphere.
Founded in 1846 as the nation’s first Benedictine college, Saint Vincent College ranks as a first-tier
National Liberal Arts College (US News and World Report). With a 2021 enrollment of approximately
1,430 students, including an incoming freshman class of 376 with an average 3.53 high school GPA, Saint
Vincent offers over 50 different majors and more than 50 different social, political, recreational services
and religious organizations on campus. Saint Vincent’s beautiful 200-acre campus nestled in the Laurel
Highlands is just 35 miles from Pittsburgh and is home to approximately 67% of the students living in its
six residence halls. In the embrace of the Allegheny Mountains, the Saint Vincent Community challenges
each other to live generously and to grow – forward, always forward – toward the ends of our
imagination.
The incoming vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) will be a key advisor and thought partner to
Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., Ph.D., the 18th president of Saint Vincent College since 2019. The VPAA will
play an integral role in the College leadership by actively collaborating with the president and a creative
and dedicated faculty, staff, alumni and student body in propelling forward Saint Vincent’s new strategic
plan. The VPAA will lead and motivate the faculty around the changing needs of students, now and in the
coming decades, and reorient the curriculum accordingly in an interdisciplinary fashion to meet these
changes without compromising the fundamental Benedictine tradition and values that have defined a
Saint Vincent education for over 175 years.
The successful candidate will be a communicative, engaging, transparent and mission-driven leader with
a demonstrated commitment to faculty excellence and student success. The VPAA will also ensure a
robust and compelling academic program that is made complete by a comprehensive learning outcomes
assessment schema. The new vice president for academic affairs will possess the many key attributes
necessary to lead the institution through change, including the ability to inspire and instill optimism and
confidence; a dedication to a strong core liberal arts curriculum integrated with high quality academic
programs; a commitment to increasing diversity, equity and inclusion across the campus community; a
propensity for data-driven decision making; and outstanding communication skills. Critical to the new
VPAA’s success will be a record of progressive and successful leadership and management experience
with a team-based approach to problem solving and execution.
To submit a nomination or express personal interest in this position, please see Procedure for Candidacy
at the end of this leadership profile.

Role of the Vice President for Academic Affairs

Reporting directly to the president, Father Paul R. Taylor, O.S.B., Ph.D., the vice president for academic
affairs (VPAA) at Saint Vincent College serves as a thought partner and advisor to the president in the
formulation of academic policies of the College to effectuate the mission of the institution. As chief
academic administrator, the VPAA carries out the policies propounded by the president to ensure that the
overall direction of undergraduate and graduate programs exemplify the highest standards of educational
practice and academic excellence. The VPAA also leads and is responsible for the preparation and
securing of continuing accreditation for Saint Vincent College.
In addition, the vice president for academic affairs provides leadership and oversight in matters of
curriculum including the new core curriculum (see Appendix A); budget; development and assessment of
programs; recruitment, retention, and management of faculty and staff; external relationships; and grant
seeking. The vice president for academic affairs advocates for and represents the faculty to both internal
and external constituencies.
The VPAA will lead and motivate the faculty around the changing needs of students in the coming
decades and reorient the curriculum accordingly to meet these changes without compromising the
fundamental Benedictine tradition and values that have defined a Saint Vincent education for over 175
years.
The VPAA will be responsible for three schools, student success and retention, academic
accommodations, libraries, institutional research and assessment, global and community engagement
and the registrar (see Appendix B for College organizational chart). This portfolio encompasses 136
employees in academic affairs with 98 full time faculty, 72 part time faculty, 17 full time staff and
approximately nine part-time staff.

Essential duties of the next vice president for academic affairs include, but are not limited to:

▪ Advise the president on the formulation of the academic policies of the institution. Provide leadership
in the implementation of those policies to serve the College mission and overall strategic plan.
Promote understanding of, and commitment to, the Catholic, Benedictine mission of the College
including the incorporation of mission awareness into hiring decisions and the consideration of
Catholic, Benedictine traditions in curricular decisions.

▪ Manage and provide leadership to the deans, chairs, and faculty of the College and the directors and
employees of all centers.

▪ Manage the active participation and support of the individual schools’ Councils of Advisors in the
effective and successful governance of the schools and represent the academic interests of the
College to the Board of Directors.

▪ Provide direction in the design and development of the curriculum including CORE curriculum
requirements and programs of the College.

Professional Qualifications and Personal Qualities

The Saint Vincent College vice president for academic affairs must first and foremost be a person of
unquestioned integrity who is an exemplar of the central ethos of the College. The next VPAA must
demonstrate a deep and abiding understanding of higher education; a vibrant support of and
commitment to the College’s Catholic, Benedictine tradition of the liberal arts and sciences; and be willing
to embrace the principles of Ex Corde Ecclesiae. Above all, the VPAA must understand how each of these
aspects of the College and the job combine to create the environment that defines Saint Vincent College.
The vice president for academic affairs must be an experienced and skilled leader and manager who is
committed to a team-based approach to problem solving and execution. The next VPAA must possess considerable interpersonal skills as evidenced by a record of accomplishment as a strong relationship-
builder. Outstanding communications skills are critical, including strong listening skills and the ability to convey information compellingly to groups large and small. The VPAA will be a person of excellent
judgment, with decisiveness, the courage of convictions, substantial creativity (especially in problem
solving) and a personal and professional outlook that includes a sense of humor and humility. An absolute
requirement is significant knowledge of, personal connection to and profound respect for the vocation and
the work of faculty and their partnership with students in the academic and scholarly process.
Experience with leadership at the visionary and strategic level is essential. The VPAA must possess the
personal and intellectual qualities necessary to engage in discussion and debate over the ongoing critical
issues facing Saint Vincent College and all of American higher education, combined with the diplomatic
and political skills necessary to implement the plans and approaches that derive from those discussions.
A strong understanding of finance, students and student life, enrollment management, assessment, and
the delicate balance of undergraduate education in the arts and sciences on the one hand and graduate
and professional education on the other will serve the VPAA well.

The successful candidate should demonstrate the following characteristics, qualities and experiences:

Academic Credentials & Experience
▪ An earned doctorate from an accredited institution in a discipline represented in the College and the
academic qualifications and teaching experience meriting a tenured appointment to the rank of
associate or full professor.
▪ A record of progressive administrative and leadership experience in higher education including but not
limited to team building and collaboration, transparency in decision-making, respect for other
opinions and voices, mentorship, successful work within shared governance in the academy and the
exercise of creativity, vision, and an entrepreneurial spirit in developing and achieving goals.
▪ Demonstrated experience and understanding of the role that assessment endeavors and institutional
research play in continuous improvement of student learning, documentation of educational outcomes
and success and accreditation efforts.

Vision, Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Drive
▪ The gravitas, experience and insight to be viewed as a thought leader and chief strategist on matters
related to the academic enterprise and support of the academic mission, college-wide.
▪ Successful experience leading strategic planning, substantive and decisive evaluation of academic
programs, learning outcomes assessment and accreditation, developing interdisciplinary programs
and the application of new technologies.
▪ Record of innovation, strategic growth and creative thinking and problem solving.
▪ Courage to make and inspire principled, bold decisions that both honor and challenge tradition.
▪ A broad vision of the emerging issues in higher education records as well as the ability to bring an
informed perspective to guide overall policy and strategy.
▪ Ability to formulate strategies that will advance each part as well as the whole.

Proven Organizational Leadership and Management
▪ Management style that balances personal accountability with the delegation of authority to build
highly effective teams necessary for operational efficiency.
▪ Sophisticated financial acumen and budgetary expertise, including strategic resource allocation.
▪ Record of advocacy for faculty; building effective teams; ability to develop, implement and execute
strategies through people by providing leadership, feedback, coaching and collaboration; ability to
develop talent for long-term success.
▪ Ability and desire to develop leadership potential in others.
▪ Experience in developing and implementing policies and procedure that balance systematic process
with flexibility to apply to diverse academic programs.
▪ Ability to inspire others, manage significant budgets and financial projections, plan and organize work,
work effectively with colleagues across divisions and make decisions aligned with strategic priorities. A
successful record of creative leadership in generating external resources including such activities as
successful grant development, partnership development, constituency building and fundraising.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
▪ Demonstrated experience in increasing diversity and inclusion among students, faculty, and staff, and
supporting recruitment and retention initiatives of diverse students, faculty and staff across the
inclusion spectrum.

▪ Ability to build awareness of the various ways in which students of diverse backgrounds experience
the College.
▪ Demonstrated results in fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual uniqueness
are valued and leveraged to achieve organizational goals.
Ability to Bridge Disciplines and Build Community
▪ Ability to recognize, appreciate, and be conversant with a broad range of disciplines, including the
liberal arts as well as professional disciplines.
▪ Intellectual curiosity and both the capacity and commitment to understand, appreciate and champion
interests beyond one’s own.
▪ Ability to build consensus and to connect people, ideas and initiatives.
▪ Record of fostering collaborations and relationships across disciplines and organizational units and the
ability to build consensus and to connect people, ideas and initiatives.
▪ Commitment to academic excellence and supporting research endeavors at both the undergraduate
and graduate level.
▪ Inclusive, collegial, collaborative and transparent decision-making behaviors.

Communication
▪ Demonstrated ability to work well and transparently with many varied partners.
▪ Exceptional ability to anticipate and meet complex communication needs, both personally and
through one’s team.
▪ Highly developed listening skills and a strong penchant for seeking input and for inclusive decision
making.

About Saint Vincent College
Overview
Saint Vincent College is a Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts colleges founded and enriched by Saint Vincent
Archabbey and Monastery, the oldest Benedictine monastery in the United States and the largest in the
Western Hemisphere.
Founded in 1846 as the nation’s first Benedictine college, Saint Vincent College ranks as a first-tier
National Liberal Arts College (US News and World Report). With a 2021 enrollment of approximately
1,430 students, including an incoming freshman class of 376 with an average 3.53 high school GPA, Saint
Vincent offers over 50 different majors and more than 50 different social, political, recreational services
and religious organizations on campus.
The beautiful 200-acre campus in Laurel Highlands is just 35 miles from Pittsburgh and is home to about
67% of the students living in six residence halls. Here, in the embrace of the Allegheny Mountains, we
challenge each other to live generously and to grow – forward, always forward – toward the ends of our
imagination. As an educational community rooted in the tradition of the Catholic faith, the heritage of
Benedictine monasticism and the love of values inherent in the liberal approach to life and learning. Its
mission is to provide quality undergraduate and graduate education for men and women to enable them
to integrate their professional aims with the broader purposes of human life.

Procedure for Candidacy
All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as two separate
documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile. Professional
references are not requested at this time.
WittKieffer is assisting Saint Vincent College in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials
should be received by November 29, 2021; applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal.
Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Jen Meyers Pickard, Ph.D. and Sarah T. Miller
SaintVincentVPAA@wittkieffer.com

Saint Vincent College is committed to diversity and encourages applicants from all qualified candidates. Saint
Vincent College is committed to building a diversified and competent population of faculty and staff, and
encourages applications from women and minorities. Saint Vincent is an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this job please visit candidateportal.wittkieffer.com.