As one of the most prominent liberal arts colleges in the nation, Bowdoin College believes that a liberal arts education should cultivate the mind and the imagination. To support this mission, the College seeks a Dean of Students to help ensure that students have the support, resources, and inclusive community needed to promote their success. This transformational role leads core aspects of a student’s life on campus, directing the day-to-day operations of the Class Deans, Student Conduct, Residential Life, THRIVE, Student Accessibility, and Case Management, as well as key programs that focus on student success. The Dean of Students also serves as the leader of the Division of Student Affairs when the Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs is unavailable to do so.
The successful candidate must possess excellent judgment; demonstrated sensitivity, imagination, and effectiveness in responding to challenging student, personnel, and college community issues; proven leadership ability, including the ability to recruit and develop an outstanding and diverse staff; and an excellent track record of leading teams in demanding work roles. The Dean of Students must be unflappable and possess superb management and administrative skills. A sense of humor is required!
About Bowdoin College
Founded in 1794 on the Maine coast, Bowdoin is one of the oldest and most selective coeducational, residential liberal arts colleges in the country. Located in Brunswick, a 30-minute drive north of Portland, the College is in an area rich with natural beauty and year-round outdoor activities. Bowdoin’s reputation rests on the excellence of its faculty and students, intimate size, strong sense of community, and commitment to diversity (40% students of color, 7% international students, and approximately 17% first-generation college students). As of fall 2022, Bowdoin enrolled about 1,915 students and employed 213 FTE faculty (258 total faculty). The student-to-faculty ratio has been 9:1 in recent years, with fewer than 20 students in more than 68% of classes. Nineteen percent of faculty are persons of color. Ninety-six percent of the faculty are full-time, 100% hold a PhD or terminal degree in their field, and 53% are tenured (73% of tenure-line faculty have tenure). Bowdoin faculty regularly receive funding from federal and private foundations, including the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Duties and Expectations
- Lead and direct the operations of the Class Deans, Student Conduct, Residential Life, THRIVE, Student Accessibility, and Case Management.
- The Office of Residential Life has a full-time staff of six and a student staff of over 70 student leaders. The Office is also responsible for educational efforts on gender violence prevention and health education.
- THRIVE is a program that fosters achievement, belonging, mentorship, and transition to low-income and first-generation students in their experiences as Bowdoin students. THRIVE has hired a new director (starting in June 2023), and this will be a time for planning and development of a program that best meets the needs of students and also develops student mentors.
- Direct the day-to-day operations of the Dean of Students Office; establish and implement departmental policies, protocols, and procedures; support staff as they respond to student challenges and concerns; respond to requests and problems from students, faculty, staff and parents; and ensure positive student, faculty, staff, and parent relations.
- Oversee all matters of student conduct—including protocols, procedures, and necessary decision-making.
- Manage and oversee the Dean’s on-call rotation and be available to Dean’s staff when they are on call.
- Assist the Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs with strategic planning initiatives for the Division of Student Affairs.
- Provide leadership and guidance in response to crises, in concert with the Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs and other appropriate staff; support students, staff, and families in these situations.
- Serve as divisional leader when the Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs is unavailable, including being available to the President and other Senior Officers of the College and leading weekly divisional managers meetings; attend Faculty Meetings; serve as the Student Affairs Office liaison to the Registrar’s Office.
- Chair the Reenrollment Committee; serve on other College committees including the Recording Committee, the Budget Managers Group, the Campus Emergency Management Team, and others as assigned by the Senior Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs.
- Engage strongly with Bowdoin’s Program on Nonviolence and Conflict Resolution, which aims to help members of the Bowdoin community navigate conflict and promotes self-reflection and accountability, for oneself and the community.
- Work closely with the Director of the Student Accessibility Office to understand and implement reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.
- Develop an integrated approach to the Dean of Students Office, THRIVE, and Residential Life that focuses on student transition, success, accountability, and engagement.
- Work with the Director of THRIVE to develop a program for student success for first-generation students and those coming from under-resourced high schools; ensure a programmatic plan and rationale, staffing, and student engagement.
- Work with the Director of Residential Life to consider ways to address goals of a residential community and facilitate implementation; incorporate wellness goals as a part of these efforts.
- Deepen relationships with the Division of Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity.
- Master’s degree is required
- At least 5 years of progressive responsibilities supervising professional staff in educational settings
- Well-versed in crisis and case management best practices; crisis management experience on a college campus preferred
- Track record of individual action and institutional leadership to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Deep understanding of and commitment to an undergraduate liberal arts education and the residential college experience
- Excellent judgment; demonstrated sensitivity, imagination, and effectiveness in responding to challenging student, personnel, and college community issues
- Excellent interpersonal and oral and written communication skills
- The ability to be collaborative and solution oriented
- Experience working with and facilitating the flourishing of historically marginalized and minoritized students
Application Procedure and Timeline
Bowdoin College has partnered with Keeling and Associates, LLC (K&A) in this search process. Applications should include a cover letter and resume/curriculum vitae and must be sent, preferably in PDF format, to email@example.com. The subject line of the email should read “Bowdoin—Dean of Students.” A confidential review of applications will continue until an appointment is made. All applications received by May 24, 2023, will receive full consideration. Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Dr. Shadia Sachedina, Consultant, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bowdoin community warmly welcomes people of all backgrounds. We encourage applications from candidates committed to the inclusive instruction and support of a diverse student population and who will enrich and contribute to the College’s multifaceted diversity. We especially encourage people from historically excluded groups to apply. Accessibility during the application and interview stages, as well as once employed, is a priority of the College: https://www.bowdoin.edu/accessibility/index.html.
Bowdoin College complies with applicable provisions of federal and state laws that prohibit unlawful discrimination in employment, admission, or access to its educational or extracurricular programs, activities, or facilities based on race, color, ethnicity, ancestry and national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, marital status, place of birth, genetic predisposition, veteran status, or against qualified individuals with physical or mental disabilities on the basis of disability, or any other legally protected statuses. For further information about the College, please visit our website: http://www.bowdoin.edu.