Exciting Opportunity to Engage and Inspire Toward A Community of Wellness

Denison University seeks an inspiring, innovative, and experienced leader to guide the creation of a new paradigm of student wellness as the inaugural Polk Family Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness. The naming gift that supports this position and the planned construction of a new Wellness Center, with a design that facilitates an integrated approach to student care and provides spaces for students to learn and practice habits of a healthy lifestyle, offer material demonstration of an institutional commitment to re-imagining student wellness.  The new Executive Director must have the background and qualities necessary to build upon early foundations, with the goal of achieving a fully integrated approach to student wellbeing. The Executive Director provides administrative oversight for the Center for Student Wellness, which includes Health Services, Counseling Services, and Health and Wellness Promotion, and the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life—a portfolio that recognizes and exemplifies the commitment to addressing well-being beyond a traditional student healthcare model. The new facility that will serve as the hub of these efforts is on track to open in 2021.

The Executive Director will have the opportunity to execute strategic initiatives related to integrated care and a community approach to wellness, to provide direction and support in the development, implementation and evaluation of initiatives in all areas within the portfolio, and to engage in staff education and development regarding shared values and approaches within a multi-disciplinary healthcare setting and the University community. The Executive Director will supervise experienced Associate Directors for Health and Counseling Services, the Medical Director, the Student Health and Wellness Education Coordinator, and the University Chaplain and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life to establish foundational approaches and programs for a holistic approach to student and campus well-being. As the leader of this team, the Executive Director will implement a pioneering approach to college health that integrates operations to facilitate coordination of student care, broadens mental health care modalities, employs a population health approach, and offers holistic approaches and complementary therapies as students build life-long habits of wellness.

Leading one of the fifteen departments within the Division of Student Development, the Executive Director will serve on the Vice President’s leadership team, partnering on the regular work of other departments and contributing to strategic planning and execution. The Executive Director serves the institution through collaborative engagement within the division and with faculty and staff across the College. As part of larger campus conversations, the Executive Director will help identify emerging trends relating to student health and wellness and contribute to campus-wide understanding of how student wellness impacts students’ individual college experiences, as well as the community as a whole.


Denison University

Denison University, founded in 1831, is a residential liberal arts institution enrolling a diverse student body of 2,300 undergraduates who represent all 50 states and 40 countries. Denison students are known for their active engagement as scholars, athletes, and as involved members of the college and local community. Denison’s residential campus provides an opportunity for faculty and staff to build close mentoring relationships with their students, a hallmark of the Denison experience. The strategic plan that includes a new student wellness center has already resulted in a brand-new performing arts center and a host of new and unique curricular and co-curricular offerings. These, along with new state-of-the-art facilities in studio art, the sciences, and athletics, underscore the dynamism of the University. Denison is thriving due to the transformative impact of its nationally recognized academic programs, outstanding career exploration center, and innovations in the co-curriculum.

Denison is located in Granville, Ohio, a small community with an excellent public school system, and is a short drive from Columbus, Ohio, the 14th largest metro area in the United States. Columbus is one of the fastest-growing cities in the US and boasts a strong economy and a lively urban scene for the arts, culture, and food, as well as outdoor experiences.

Denison offers a competitive salary and a comprehensive benefits package, including tuition benefits at Denison and affiliated colleges throughout the Midwest and a generous retirement contribution.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in public health, social work, psychology, medicine, and/or business administration.
    • Mental health and medical professionals must be currently licensed and must be eligible for licensing in Ohio.
  • A minimum of eight years of relevant experience that demonstrates preparedness for the administrative responsibilities of the position, including familiarity with the delivery of both medical and mental health services.
  • Demonstrated leadership, supervisory and managerial skills, including oversight of financial resources and budgetary planning; experience and skill working on multiple projects with competing deadlines; and ability to establish goals and workload priorities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving, and experience with effective outreach to, a diverse student population.
  • Experience with program development, outcomes assessment, and the use of data to enhance services and make decisions.
  • Strong consultation skills with particular ability to assess situations and recommend appropriate responses; ability to perform under stress when confronted with unusual or emergency situations.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Terminal degree in a relevant field.
  • Progressive experience, including at least three years of administrative experience, in a higher education student health/mental health setting.
  • Experience in an upper-level administrative leadership position and/or training through an MBA or health care administration certificate program.
  • Experience in a residential liberal arts college environment.


Application Process

Denison University has engaged Keeling & Associates, LLC to support the search for this exciting opportunity. Applications should include a resume/curriculum vitae and a cover letter addressing your interest and qualifications for the position. Application materials must be sent, preferably as PDFs, to recruiting@KeelingAssociates.com with the subject heading “Denison Executive Director.” All materials received by May 31, 2019, will receive full consideration.

Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Jeff Ewing, Senior Consultant for Executive Search, Keeling & Associates, at jfewing@KeelingAssociates.com.

To achieve our mission as a liberal arts college, we continually strive to foster a diverse campus community, which recognizes the value of all persons regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or socio-economic background. For additional information and resources about diversity at Denison, please see our Diversity Guide. Denison University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To download the position profile, click here.