Project Description

 

Opportunity to Provide Visionary Campus Leadership for Student Accessibility Services

Brown University is pleased to invite applications and nominations for the position of Director of Student Accessibility Services. This position provides an outstanding leadership opportunity for a collaborative, innovative, and experienced professional to work strategically and cooperatively within a dedicated team environment committed to enhancing the services provided to driven and highly talented students at all levels of the University. Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Executive Director of Health and Wellness (AVP), the Director oversees the coordination and facilitation of services for students and visitors with medical, physical, psychological, and learning disabilities. 

As a strong student advocate and thought leader, the Director plays an integral role in the student experience and serves as the primary knowledge expert on accessibility services. Providing exceptional collaboration and insights to facilitate student success, the Director will lead Student Accessibility Services (SAS) which partners closely with students and the University community. Together with faculty and staff colleagues, the Director will work to identify and align accommodations and support that help to maximize student opportunities for a transformational educational experience. As the Director of SAS within the Division of Campus Life, the professional in this highly visible and critical role is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of students’ campus lives are accessible, equitable, and inclusive of individuals with disabilities.

Successful candidates will have demonstrated experience managing accommodations in a higher education setting; a proven ability to evaluate and interpret disability documentation to implement reasonable accommodations; a strong understanding of the legal and technological changes and developing best practices in the field; an excellent track record of establishing and managing effective work relationships with students, parents, faculty, staff, and community resources; a deep affinity for the University’s academic mission; a passion for working with students and colleagues; and a deep knowledge of, and appreciation for, the strategies needed for success in working with and supporting a diverse undergraduate and graduate student population.


Position Summary

The Director provides leadership and vision for a broadly collaborative department in its close work with students, faculty, and staff as it pertains to curricular and environmental accessibility. Setting short term, mid-term, and long-range goals, the Director works with the department staff and Campus Life colleagues to set measurable strategic priorities. Supervising a department that is available to 10,000 students, over 700 faculty, and 4400 staff, the Director understands and is well versed in national trends, ADA compliance regulations as well as state statutes and broad University issues as they pertain to student accessibility. Collaborating with faculty, administrative staff, and students, the Director must be able to facilitate iterative discussions, assess the need for new and revised policy, and advocate for services when and where necessary. Overseeing SAS’ departmental resources and administrative operations, the Director works closely with colleagues throughout the Division of Campus Life as well as across the University in his/her/their careful stewardship.

Major Responsibilities

Provide vision, strategic leadership, manage program development and oversee compliance of a highly visible and high performing department supporting critically important student accommodation services campus-wide

The Director provides strategic leadership, direction, and management of a strong and experienced department. The professional in this role will serve as the campus leader in the University’s ADA compliance efforts, particularly as they pertain to students. With a deep understanding of the field of Disability Services, trends, and issues of compliance, the Director will provide vision, guide the direction, scope, and assessment of program development, and will oversee the professional development and management of the department staff. He/She/They will be responsible for ensuring that a range of systems and processes align accommodation and accessibility with the academic and co-curricular needs of the campus community. The Director will work with faculty and staff who are overseeing accessibility services in their areas and help to develop, coordinate, or facilitate training or consultation for those colleagues; facilitate strategic planning leading to quality improvements, efficiencies, and effective delivery of services; and foster planning and decision-making informed by internal and external data derived from sound assessment, trends, and best practices.

Develop, organize, and promote disability outreach activities, educational workshops, and community outreach that demonstrate advocacy and leadership 

The Director will use a variety of tools, techniques, and approaches to create and model a robust approach to promoting curricular and co-curricular accessibility and equity. This experienced professional will build upon and design new educational opportunities and materials, to broaden and deepen the community’s understanding of disability issues as well as available resources. The Director will be experienced in facilitating dialogue with and providing consultation along the continuum of constituents who are unfamiliar and those are experienced with the area of disability services. The Director will lead, collaborate with, and, at times, advise University committees, advisory groups, and student organizations with a focus on disabilities, academic support, accessibility, and student development.

Engage and coordinate services directly with students, faculty, and staff along the spectrum of evaluating accommodation requests

The Director will have proven success with understanding a broad array of University issues, departments, and systems that intersect with disability, accessibility and equity. This professional will also engage directly in the work of evaluating accommodation requests and, with a broad knowledge set, will be available to consult with departmental staff on those requests that are layered with complexity.

Oversee operational excellence and resource management 

The Director will maintain and supervise the practice of careful confidential record-keeping and documentation. The Director will be responsible for the overall administrative oversight of the department, its operational practices, and budget. The Director will continue to build upon a departmental culture of operational excellence. Evaluating and proposing techniques, tools, and strategies that will safeguard the department’s position of adhering to industry best practice and the successful Director of Student Accessibility Services will be an important leader in the University’s response to an educational experience that is accessible, equitable, and inclusive of individuals with disabilities.


Qualifications

  • Master’s degree required. PhD or equivalent is highly desirable. Degree concentration in one or more of the following areas: Rehabilitation counseling, Disability Services, Higher education, Educational Psychology, or a related discipline.
  • Minimum of five years of experience working with post-secondary students with various disabilities in a higher education or similar setting. 
  • Demonstrated strong supervisory, leadership and management experience in a highly engaged department over five to seven years. 
  • Deep knowledge of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 in addition to other pertinent federal, state, and local law. 
  • Ability to successfully collaborate, energetically lead, advise and/or consult with a wide variety of constituents across the University.
  • Ability to actively engage department staff with current best practices and maintain an awareness of pertinent emerging issues in disability services, higher education, and student affairs.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to exercise a high degree of discretion and diplomacy.
  • Demonstrated commitment and success in a vibrant multicultural environment with a critical understanding of social justice issues in both student and workplace settings. 
  • Demonstrated experience in personnel and fiscal management, including the ability to manage a department budget and to hire, professionally develop, and retain outstanding team talent.
  • Experienced, sophisticated, and sensitive problem-solving capability.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, developing digital and analog materials. 
  • Proven facility with standard desktop productivity tools, administrative data collection, summation, and reporting. 
  • Familiarity with an array of assistive technologies. 
  • Experience with managing multiple operational services (e.g., transportation, coordination with outside departments, etc.).


Brown University 

Located in historic Providence, Rhode Island and founded in 1764, Brown University is the seventh-oldest college in the United States. Brown is an independent, coeducational Ivy League institution comprising undergraduate and graduate programs, plus the Alpert Medical School, School of Public Health, School of Engineering, and the School of Professional Studies. 

With its talented and motivated student body and accomplished faculty, Brown is a leading research university that maintains a particular commitment to exceptional undergraduate instruction. Brown’s vibrant, diverse community consists of about 6,200 undergraduates, 2,000 graduate students, 490 medical school students, more than 5,000 summer, visiting, and online students, and over 700 faculty members. Brown students come from all 50 states and more than 115 countries.

Brown is frequently recognized for its global reach, many cultural events, numerous campus groups and activities, active community service programs, highly competitive athletics, and beautiful facilities located in a richly historic urban setting. Brown is a leading institution for education, discovery, and global intellectual progress as well as one of the largest employers in Rhode Island. Working at Brown brings more than just a paycheck and generous benefits; it offers an opportunity to contribute to a greater good. Join us in supporting the pursuit of knowledge and individual growth that defines higher education and enriches our community. For more information, please visit: https://www.brown.edu/about


Application Process

Brown University has partnered with Keeling & Associates in this search process. Applications should include a cover letter and resume and must be sent, preferably in PDF format, to recruiting@KeelingAssociates.com. The subject line of the email should read “Brown – Director of SAS.” Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Dr. Jan Walbert, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Executive Search, Keeling & Associates, at jwalbert@keelingassociates.com. Applications received by October 12, 2021, will receive full consideration. The process will continue until the position is filled. 

Brown University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic global community; as an EEO/AA employer, Brown considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, protected veteran status, disability, or any other legally protected status

Download a copy of the position profile, click here.