Caltech is pleased to announce the search for an inaugural Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Wellness (AVP)—a strategic leadership role focused on student health and well-being. As “a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world’s brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions and pressing societal challenges,” Caltech seeks a dynamic and visionary leader who prioritizes well-being as an essential element for academic and student success. The AVP will take a data-informed approach to enhancing the resources, services, and innovations needed to foster a culture that promotes well-being, especially for students. As a campus leader, the AVP must provide a compelling vision, an understanding of the challenges for Caltech’s students, and an ability to develop and sustain collaborative relationships with Student Affairs colleagues, faculty, administrators, and local and regional health agencies.
Reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the AVP is a senior member of the Division of Student Affairs leadership team and has responsibility for overseeing the Institute’s Student Wellness Services (SWS) department, and for the vision, development, management, and supervision of Health Services (HS), Counseling Services (CS), Occupational Therapy (OT), and Caltech Accessibility Services for Students (CASS). The AVP will lead the integration of wellness policies, services, and initiatives across departments to ensure efficient, effective delivery of services to students and optimal coordination of care. This role also serves as a critical link between these units and the Caltech CARE Team and supports the campus community in their collective efforts to build a culture of health and wellness. The AVP will develop, implement, and communicate an Institute-wide strategy to support the health and well-being of the Caltech community, as well as responses to student and campus crises and public health emergencies.
Successful candidates must possess essential leadership skills, including effective collaboration with partners across the Institute, sound judgment and data-based decision-making, innovation and creativity in problem-solving and program development, ability to prioritize and balance multiple demands in a fast-paced environment, and demonstrated proficiency in the execution of organizational restructuring. The AVP provides essential consultation to the Vice President of Student Affairs regarding planning processes to ensure that the organization is operating efficiently and directs financial and personnel resources appropriately.
- Provide leadership and supervision for an SWS team that prides itself on the delivery of quality care, resources, and programs tailored to the needs of the Institute’s small but unique student body.
- This team includes the Directors from HS, CS, OT, and CASS, and the Operations Director of the portfolio.
- Provide direction to ensure high-quality, data informed, compassionate, efficient, and culturally responsive primary care, mental health and counseling, health promotion, educational outreach services, and peer advocacy to Caltech students.
- Facilitate and support the development of a cross-organizational culture of collaboration, teamwork, and inter-professional care and services focused on providing excellent services to undergraduate and graduate students.
- Support portfolio leaders in implementing changes in areas including but not limited to service models, staffing, and outreach in response to evolving student needs.
- Establish, review, and update policies and procedures for HS and CS to support the Institute’s vision for health and well-being.
- Demonstrate a commitment to divisional professional development activities that educate and enhance well-being.
- Develop and maintain high levels of communication and intentional collaborative relationships to promote teamwork and advance the priorities of the portfolio, Student Affairs, and the Institute.
- Serve as a core member of the Student Affairs Executive Leadership Team; provide counsel on matters related to the health and well-being of students and the campus community to institutional leadership.
- Respond, with other members of the Student Affairs team, to crises involving students and the campus community, including participation in a high-level on call rotation; regularly participate in and support the work of the CARE team.
- Organize and lead strategic assessment, gap analysis, and benchmarking to support implementation of priorities and ensure alignment with Student Affairs and Institute priorities.
- Develop and coordinate a strategic campus outreach and communication plan to convey Institute priorities, resources, and opportunities to support the Institute’s vision for health and well-being.
- Engage faculty and campus partners (Center for Teaching, Learning, and Outreach, Center for Inclusion and Diversity), to ensure that the student research and learning experience is consistent with support for student wellness.
- Create awareness of well-being programs and services available to all campus constituents and promote the utilization of well-being programs, services, and facilities by all Institute students.
- Create development and outreach initiatives for faculty and staff to sustain relationships with and raise awareness regarding referral and support options for students.
- Develop and oversee outreach programs for students and student groups to promote use of well-being center programs, services, and facilities.
- Oversee peer-led programs to ensure appropriate expectations and adequate training and support for students serving as peer educators and advocates.
- Oversee current programs within SWS related to campus COVID response, including student and campus community testing programs, and participate in planning and staffing for these programs and similar future health emergency response.
- Work closely with the Director of the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center to collectively support Caltech fostering a health-promoting environment for all constituents.
- Work closely with the Institute’s administration to determine requests for changes in allocation of the Student Health Fee to meet changing student needs.
- Work closely with Human Resources in continually monitoring student needs to determine appropriate changes to the student health insurance.
- Assist in fundraising and grant-writing efforts in support of health and wellness initiatives.
- Ensure compliance with Institute policy, and state and federal laws.
- Support campus emergency preparedness and response, including the HS director’s leadership of and communication about public health issues.
- Establish and maintain appropriate liaisons with Institute departments and serve on departmental, divisional, Institute, state and/or national committees as required and assigned.
- Terminal degree in health, public health, counseling, social work, or related fields.
- A minimum of 5 years of progressively responsible, strategic leadership experience in health and wellness services; experience in higher education administration preferred.
- Experience with accreditation processes for all units in the portfolio is preferred.
- Experience setting budgets and building policies and protocols in a healthcare setting is preferred.
- Strong record of and commitment to inclusive hiring practices and increasing staff diversity.
- Superior organizational and managerial skills, including communication, recruitment, hiring, coaching, mentoring, and staff development.
- Experience working with diverse populations and the use of a social justice lens in the process of planning, problem-solving, and program development.
- Demonstrated use of data, assessment, and program review to inform analysis, development, and planning of wellness initiatives.
- Demonstrated ability to build relationships and establish collaborative partnerships across the Institute, regional health agencies, and with colleagues at peer institutions.
- Sound judgment, sensitivity, compassion, and the ability to negotiate complex and challenging situations while preserving relationships with stakeholders.
- Well-developed interpersonal skills, and the ability to inspire confidence and trust from a broad cross section of the Caltech community including staff, faculty, and administrators.
- Knowledge of local, regional, and national issues, trends, and best practice standards in primary health care, health promotion and prevention, mental health, health insurance, and managed care, as well as of national certification and accreditation requirements.
- Excellence in both oral and written communication, including the ability to make clear and concise presentations to stakeholders ranging from students and parents to faculty and the Board of Trustees.
- Experience managing public health issues, crisis management, and emergency response, at both an institution level and an individual level.
Caltech is an independent, privately supported institution with a 124-acre campus located in Pasadena, California. With almost 1,000 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students, Caltech maintains an impressive 3:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students—90% of undergraduates and all graduate students—are fully immersed in Caltech’s robust research enterprise. More than 40% of Caltech’s graduate students are international students. Caltech has 3,500 employees including 300 professorial faculty members and 600 research scholars. The Institute is closely tied to the City of Pasadena, a small, beautiful city in southern California that is home to the Caltech community. Caltech’s reach extends beyond Pasadena to locations in Louisiana, Washington, Hawaii, and Switzerland.
Caltech offers a collaborative work environment, career development opportunities, competitive pay programs, comprehensive benefits, and an inclusive culture, in addition to a number of “staff perks.”
Caltech 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 “Caltech—AVP for Student Affairs and Wellness.” Confidential inquiries and nominations should be addressed to Dr. Liliana Rodríguez, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Executive Search, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received by July 14, 2023, will receive full consideration. The process will continue until the position is filled.
Caltech is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.