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Division of Human Resources

Position Description

Job Summary 

Reporting directly to the university president and serving as a member of the president’s cabinet, the vice president for student affairs and academic support (VPSA) is responsible for the leadership, management and administration of the division’s human resources, programs, and finances which provide a wide range of student development and support services to a diverse student population exceeding 36,000.

The VPSA leads the following units comprising the division and is responsible for the management and leadership of all units and departments of the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support:

  1. Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
    • Communications
    • Finance
    • Human Resources
    • Information Technology
    • Undergraduate Student Ombuds Services
  2. Student Success
    • Career Center
    • National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition
    • Student Success Center
    • University 101 Programs
    • Student Affairs - EAB Navigate Coordinated Care
  3. Student Housing and Sustainability
    • Housing
    • Faculty Principal Learning Communities
    • Sustainability
  4. Student Life
    • Campus Recreation
    • Fraternity and Sorority Life
    • Leadership and Service Center
    • Multicultural Student Affairs
    • Parent and Family Programs
    • Russell House University Union
    • Student Media
    • Student Ticketing
  5. Office of the Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX
    • Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
    • Student Disability Resource Center
    • Substance Abuse Prevention and Education
  6. Planning, Assessment, and Innovation
  7. Development
  8. Student Health Services

The Vice President is responsible for integrating administrative, academic support, beyond the classroom education and campus services components of the university, while working collaboratively across internal and external boundaries to provide a superior student experience as stated in the university strategic plan. The VPSA acts as a primary advisor to the president and other university officers on issues, opportunities, and situations that relate to students and student life at the university. The VPSA is a key leader in campus crisis management efforts. 

The work of Student Affairs and Academic Support enables the university to provide an optimal learning environment where members of the greater university community, including students, faculty and staff experience a safe, civil, equitable and non-discriminatory environment.

The VPSA is the institutional expert on the needs, wants, wishes and expectations students have related to their college and educational experiences, and monitors cultural and educational trends to provide best practices in the service and program arenas. The VPSA maintains a visible presence both on campus and in the community and collaborates with academic units to facilitate the persistence, graduation, and placement of students in graduate study or first-time employment. The VPSA leads professional development efforts to train and develop Student Affairs and Academic Support employees through a wide array of programs and services. The VPSA supports the division’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Achievement Advisory Council and stewards the accomplishment of the university’s strategic plan

  • Ensures that the academic mission and strategic plan of the university are incorporated in every aspect of student support services, as well as plans and implements opportunities for student growth and development to ensure a quality campus life.
  • Develops policies and procedures for student services and student life programs to encourage student engagement and development. Ensures systems, structures and processes are designed to foster student success, including retention, graduation, and career outcomes.
  • Engages in crisis management, compliance management and best practice implementation and maintains expert knowledge of national trends with a focus on prevention and education for the advancement of student learning.
  • Provides leadership to achieve the outcomes stated in the university strategic plan. 
  • Collaborates and works collegially with key stakeholders, specifically in the Office of the Provost, the academic colleges and schools and the president’s cabinet to achieve the outcomes stated in the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support strategic plan.
  • Leads efforts to acquire and retain a high quality, diverse staff, including but not limited to recruiting, onboarding, training, professional development, coaching, mentoring, performance management and career development for all levels of employees.
  • Works with the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Analytics and other key stakeholders to determine outcome measures and evidential data sources to confirm desired outcomes. Designs dashboard and other visual representations to present results. 
  • Works with the Board of Trustees to ensure the mission, goals, values, and strategic plan of the university are achieved.

Required Qualifications

The successful candidate for this role will have a commitment to the profession, a strong working knowledge of multiple student affairs functions and an understanding of the specific areas represented in the Vice President for Student Affairs and Academic Support portfolio, as evidenced by:

  • A terminal degree.
  • A demonstrated record of leading and partnering to influence positive change in the pursuit of an organization’s mission and outcomes including extensive experience (10 years or more) in student affairs administration in higher education. 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Doctorate in higher education or a related field.
  • Proven effectiveness in developing and delivering broad initiatives that advance equity, access and belonging.
  • Strong communication and public presentation skills.
  • Evidence of personal and professional characteristics that include integrity, creativity, and flexibility.
  • A proven record of leading institutional outcomes demonstrating, with evidence, planned goals and initiatives.
  • Ability to forge connection with diverse community members and foster productive ties.
  • A proven record of cultivating donors and fundraising, specifically among parents, families, and friends of enrolled students.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the challenges, needs, and unique capabilities that a diverse population of first generation, historically underrepresented, and Pell-eligible students, as well as commuter, graduate, international, non-traditional, residential and student-veterans bring to the University of South Carolina and demonstrated ability to advocate for their success.

Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

  • A genuine care, curiosity, and willingness to actively engage with students.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in higher education administration.
  • Evidence of leadership and coaching skills.
  • Demonstrated success in facilitating fiscal, human resources, strategic planning, facilities, and administrative management outcomes; demonstrated advanced knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles and practices in an educational setting or other multifaceted organization.
  • Expertise in at least one specialized area of student affairs.
  • Experience working in a state-supported university.
  • Experience with crisis management, demonstrating the ability to apply sound judgment in emergency situations and act decisively with the best interests of the University and students in mind.
  • Knowledge of financial planning.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and institutional compliance regulations related to higher education. 


Academic Search Website

For additional information on the VPSA search, visit the Academic Search Website, where a downloadable profile document [pdf] is available.

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