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Excellent Opportunity for a Passionate Student Affairs Leader

Dickinson College is seeking an experienced, dynamic, and collaborative Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students to provide leadership to the division of Student Life in its work to enhance all aspects of the student experience. Reporting to the President, the Vice President and Dean will advocate for students and ensure a supportive and nurturing environment in which they prepare for service and leadership in an ever-changing and global society. The position’s breadth and depth will require an experienced student affairs administrator who understands and appreciates the leadership needed as Vice President and the attention to students required of a Dean on a small campus dedicated to student well-being, engagement, and success.

The mission of Student Life at Dickinson College is to foster a safe, healthy, supportive and inclusive environment in which students can learn and achieve; to engage students in determining how they will lead meaningful professional and personal lives; and to prepare students for the complexities of leadership and engaged citizenry. This leadership role provides a committed student affairs professional the opportunity to build lasting and meaningful programs, services and relationships in support of this mission in a liberal arts college environment with a four-year residency requirement. Joining an excellent leadership team, the Vice President and Dean will be a visible college leader and collaborator. 

The Position

The Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students serves as the college’s senior student affairs officer, establishing the vision for the dedicated professionals in the division of Student Life. This position oversees the offices responsible for the primary out-of-classroom experiences of students on a residential campus, focusing on high-quality programs and services with a commitment to strengthening the experience for students. Areas of responsibility included in the Student Life division are: Athletics; Career Center; Center for Service, Spirituality & Social Justice; LGBTQ Services; Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life; Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity; Public Safety; Residence Life and Housing; Student Conduct; Student Leadership and Campus Engagement; Wellness Center; and Women’s & Gender Resource Center.

Dickinson College

Chartered in 1783 by Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Dickinson was the first college established in the new United States of America. Today, Dickinson is a premier four-year residential liberal-arts institution that prepares its graduates to face the world’s challenges so they are always equipped and eager to collaborate with others to make an impact on the common good.

Dickinson’s historic 144-acre campus is home to 2,325 full-time students representing 39 states and territories and 44 foreign countries. The student body comprises 21 percent domestic students of color and 13 percent international students from around the globe. The college offers 43 majors plus minors, independent research, internships, externships and Army ROTC as well as pre-professional programs and articulation agreements in place in business, engineering, health and law, and certificate programs in social innovation & social entrepreneurship, health studies, food studies and security studies. The low 9:1 student-faculty ratio helps foster real relationships between students and their professors, and the average class size of 15 provides students with regular hands-on learning opportunities. Dickinson offers one of the most respected off-campus study programs, and 60 percent of students study abroad, in 39 programs in 24 countries on six continents. Dickinson also is one of the nation’s top institutions for foreign-language study, with 13 languages offered.

Dickinson has more than 100 student-run clubs and activities—including music and drama, publications, fraternities and sororities and religious, political, special-interest and community-service organizations—and the college is a member of the Centennial Conference athletic league (NCAA Division III), with 25 varsity sports, plus club and intramural sports. Dickinson is in Carlisle, named a “most livable city” by Forbes and located minutes from the state capital of Harrisburg. The campus is connected to a vibrant downtown that offers eclectic dining, shopping and entertainment options.


The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students has overall responsibility for all aspects of the division of Student Life in the efforts to enhance opportunities for student success. This position envisions, directs and supports the creation and maintenance of a community that supports student well-being and engagement. Specific duties include:

  • Supervising, supporting, and leading the professionals charged with implementing the mission and vision of Student Life on campus
  • Managing responses to crises that directly or indirectly impact students, including providing support to students and families
  • Meeting with, mentoring, and supporting a wide variety of students
  • Serving on college committees including CARE Team, all-college governance committees, Bias Education and Response Team (BERT) and others as required
  • Communicating with parents and engaging with them in opportunities to support students and to respond to critical situations
  • Leading the college dean system as co-chair of Deans’ Council
  • Serving as Posse Liaison for the college and selecting and providing support to Posse and campus mentors
  • Monitoring the development and implementation of the Dickinson Four
  • Ensuring that all areas within Student Life stay current with and follow all applicable laws and policies
  • Serving as an Appeals Officer in the conduct system as needed and conducting appeal hearings in accordance with the Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy
  • Establishing and enhancing collaborative programs and services, including partnerships with faculty and staff as well as off campus community partners
  • Supporting the Committee on Student Life of the Board of Trustees (three times/year)
  • Performing other duties in keeping with the position and the expectation to support the college in achieving its mission and goals.


  • Advanced degree, preferably a doctorate, in higher education administration, student personnel, counseling, or other relevant field
  • Ten years of progressively responsible administrative leadership in Student Affairs
  • Demonstrated commitment to and appreciation of diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Proven experience with supervision of professional staff
  • Strong communication skills, written and oral
  • Commitment to student learning and advocacy for students
  • Experience in or demonstrated understanding of a small residential liberal arts college environment preferred

Application Procedure and Timeline

Dickinson College has partnered with Keeling & Associates, LLC, for this search. Application materials should include a resume and a letter of interest and must be sent to The subject line of the email should read “Dickinson College.” A confidential review of applications will begin on March 16, 2018 and all materials submitted by that date will receive full consideration.

Confidential nominations, expressions of interest, and requests for conversations about the position prior to application are welcome and should be directed to Dr. Jan Walbert, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Executive Search, at

The college is committed to building a representative and diverse faculty, administrative staff, and student body. We encourage applications from all qualified persons.