Cornell University is seeking an inclusive, visionary, and strategic health expert for the position of Executive Director for Cornell Health. This is an exceptional opportunity to lead efforts to support the overall health and wellbeing of the student population at one of the most distinguished and highly regarded private research universities in the nation. The Executive Director (ED) is responsible for the strategic direction and coordinated oversight of a dynamic and student-focused multidisciplinary team committed to student health on the Ithaca campus.
This position requires an approachable and inclusive leader responsible for overall direction, leadership, management, and strategic vision of Cornell Health’s programs and services. With a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and through a collaborative leadership approach, the ED will work with the senior leadership team of Cornell Health to identify the most pressing health needs of Cornell students and systematically meet those needs through the delivery of education and high-quality accessible care.
The ED will focus heavily on the internal oversight of the departments including overall administration of the organization, operational standards and assessment, and overall workplace climate. Cornell Health has approximately 220 employees, and a $34M operating budget. As a member of the leadership team in the division of Student & Campus Life (SCL), the ED will contribute significantly to SCL’s purpose to Inspire Transformation through strategic planning and goal achievement, budget management, staff development and overall success of an evolving and integrated student experience in a highly complex and decentralized institution.
The ED will also serve as an advisor and resource to the campus community on matters related to student health and play a central role in providing critical incident follow-up with students and parents. Through a mature and supportive approach, the individual engenders trust, fosters a collegial environment, and brings out the best in students and colleagues.
About Cornell Health
Cornell Health is a college health center committed to providing integrated and culturally sensitive mental health, medical, health promotion, public health, and student accommodations. Dually focused on the holistic health and wellbeing of Cornell students, the unit supports readiness to learn, full participation in the Cornell experience, and achievement of academic, and life success. Cornell Health benefits from many resources, which includes the more than 220 stellar individuals who comprise the amazing Cornell Health team, a $34M operating budget, an award-winning building that was designed to facilitate interdepartmental collaboration, and an excellent reputation on campus, locally, and in the field of college health. Cornell Health is nationally recognized for innovation and leadership, and is committed to an ongoing journey toward integrated, cost-effective, and community-based services and campus health initiatives.
- Advanced degree in one or more areas focused on student health such as public or community health, mental health, medical services or a related field.
- At least ten years of progressively responsible experience in a higher education, health care management or similar setting that demonstrates preparedness for the high-level administrative responsibilities of the role.
- A deep understanding of the connection between health and student success.
- A demonstrated track record for advancing diversity and enhanced inclusiveness; an ability to bring groups and individuals to common ground across differences.
- A terminal degree (Ph.D., PsyD., etc. in a related field or M.D. or D.O. in a primary care specialty) and experience with medical and clinical mental health services is preferred. Clinicians must be currently licensed and must be eligible for licensing in New York.
Candidates will demonstrate experience associated with the following expectations:
- Sincere engagement with students, the campus, and the community; demonstrated capacity to communicate broadly across the University, cultivate and sustain collegial relationships, and build unity around difficult issues; an active listener, facilitator, convener and mediator; a record of partnering with constituents to advance integration of health and wellbeing campus wide.
- Track record as an approachable leader, demonstrated ability to mentor, develop and support staff, particularly following a period of disruption or significant change. Capacity to lead and successfully manage change in a large, complex and highly decentralized environment.
- Sophisticated interpersonal skills and superb judgment; a firm, but fair, approach to the resolution of conflict; the capacity to make and stand by difficult decisions, always mindful of the need for fairness, consistency, and the potential impact of each decision on individuals and the broader community.
- Experience with outcomes-based assessment; information technology evaluation and implementation; and budget development and fiscal management. Candidates will also possess outstanding written and verbal communication skills; strong supervisory experience; and the flexibility, resiliency, and creativity to thrive in a budget conscious environment.
Detailed Position Responsibilities
Strategic and Decisive Leadership and Management
The Executive Director oversees the development and implementation of short- and long-range plans and provides an organizational framework that supports a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to student health across the various areas of oversight. The ED effectively communicates a shared vision, priorities, goals, and objectives for student health and wellbeing. Supports and strengthens the existing models and provides leadership and planning for complementary on-campus programming including programs specific to new and continuing students. Ensures that on-going assessment and evaluations (tied to student success) are executed, and that findings are shared with appropriate audiences in and outside of the department. Identifies organizational and cultural changes needed to adapt strategically to changing student needs.
This position is responsible for establishing collaborative internal systems and processes to ensure effective and efficient delivery of health and wellbeing-related services and strategies to the campus. These include primary care medical services, counseling and psychiatry services, student disability services, and a range of campus-based prevention strategies.
The ED will serve as a key thought partner to the Vice President for Student & Campus Life and in collaboration with members of the VP Council should be able to seamlessly function in the VP’s absence. They will possess shared SCL values, a strong sense of self, and the capacity to lead with soft power and use persuasive authority to achieve the vision and goals of the division.
After a period of significant disruption, the ED will lead and skillfully guide the staff and units within the portfolio through a recovery process. Build, develop, train, lead, and evaluate a strong leadership team committed to collaboration, staff feedback and engagement, quality services, community support and diversity and inclusivity.
The ED is expected to be a leader not only within their portfolio but also within the Division of Student & Campus Life. The ED is responsible for ensuring responsible areas dedicate resources where they are most needed. They will work collaboratively with peers in Student & Campus Life and build strong relationships with staff in the various colleges across Cornell.
Department Functional Oversight
The ED leads, develops, and supports a qualified, professional, and well-trained staff to approach their work with a student development lens; champion the departmental and divisional mission, and ensures compliance with all policies, regulations, accreditation standards, and laws.
Inspires innovative thinking; empowers staff to achieve excellence in their work; and demonstrates a keen understanding of business operations and organizational systems, processes, departments, and functions that enhance collaboration among Cornell Health units.
Campus and Community Collaborations
The ED will facilitate collaboration across campus in order to assess needs, develop close partnerships, and provide high-end service to constituencies. Student health & wellbeing is both broad and deep, touching a number of campus entities both internally and external to Student & Campus Life.
Internally, the ED will partner and collaborate with key administrators and colleagues across campus to provide student development, wellness, and other health-related consultation services and public health functions; maintain current knowledge of best practices and trends in the provision of related programs and services, including referral resources available to serve students in the local community. In addition, the ED will represent Student & Campus Life on various campus wide and community efforts; collaborate with faculty on research relevant to Cornell Health programs and services; engage in multi-institutional research collaborations to evaluate innovative approaches to prevention, intervention, and service delivery; and conduct other research as needed to support program goals.
Externally, the ED will represent Student & Campus Life and Cornell University with the local/regional health community on health-related matters; ensure compliance with relevant federal and state laws; and serve as a knowledgeable resource for regulatory and statutory requirements, licensing requirements and accreditation standards
The ED will consult with Cornell’s internal communication teams to assist with broad messaging – including the development and maintenance of a wide range of communication vehicles for informing the campus community and other interested public concerning the programs and objectives of Cornell Health.
Serve as a Visible Student Life Administrator
Cornell students are eager to engage directly with campus administrators at all levels within the University. This individual will be expected to sustain a high level of involvement with students, and to be deeply engaged in their campus experiences, building trust and respect along the way. As technology changes the way students interact with one another and the world, the ED must understand these changes and use these tools effectively.
The ED will promote a culture within the division that balances the need to support students in their academic and personal endeavors with the need to encourage their growth into autonomous and independent adults. Cornell students have a long history of activism. The students expect their voices to be heard and do not hesitate to speak up and out on issues. Through attentive listening, authentic attempts at responsiveness and transparency about decisions and decision-making processes, the ED will reinforce the students’ confidence in the administration.
Fiscal and Administrative Management
The ED will lead the planning, development, and management of the budget. This position will assume ultimate responsibility for formulation of the annual departmental budget; provide leadership to ensure sound fiscal stewardship; review reports on financial performance in relation to budget and strategic objectives on a regular schedule (monthly, quarterly, and annually) and make adjustments as needed; contribute to, provide oversight of revenue enhancement, and cost saving initiatives; and anticipate and plan for adequate space to house evolving Cornell Health programs and services
Recruit, hire, retain and supervise high-level department directors and establish expectations for the overall environment of the department and performance of the staff.
The ED will provide professional development opportunities for staff that will enable them to gain the skills and tools necessary to grow their careers within the organization; oversee professional development and performance management of direct reports; and interpret and enforce appropriate university human resources policies.
The ED will be responsible for taking appropriate steps to be compliant with state and federal laws and campus policies. This includes maintaining and protecting highly sensitive and confidential information.
Application Procedure and Timeline
Cornell University has partnered with Keeling & Associates, LLC, in this search process. Application materials should include a resume and a letter of interest and must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line of the email should read “Executive Director, Cornell Health.” The review of application materials will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled; we encourage submitting application materials by February 3, 2023 in order to receive full consideration.
Those interested in submitting nominations or in having a confidential discussion before applying should contact K&A Consultant Dr. Shadia Sachedina: email@example.com.
Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university’s mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.
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