Be the Change
In seeking an innovative, caring, and inspiring leader to serve as its first Vice President for Student Experience, Paul Quinn College is fulfilling its mission and its promise to the students it serves. The Vice President will be responsible for developing and implementing a vision for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to enhancing the student experience at the College in order to support student retention and success. Those who choose to become part of the College community value the mission of this unique institution.
Paul Quinn College (PQC) has been widely recognized as one of the most innovative small colleges in America. Founded in 1872, by a group of African Methodist Episcopal Church preachers, PQC is a private, four-year, faith-based, liberal arts-inspired Historically Black College. Located in southern Dallas, the College proudly educates students of all races and socio-economic classes under the banner of the institutional ethos, WE over Me. Guided by its mission to create servant leaders and agents of change for the global marketplace, the College is committed to providing a quality education that addresses the academic, professional, and social development of students.
The ideal candidate will be: experienced working with students or other youth from under-resourced and underrepresented communities; student-centered; compassionate; entrepreneurial; open to learning and growth; and a strong communicator and proven leader. To be successful in this essential role, the Vice President must be able to be genuine and authentic in interactions with students and other members of the College community, be prepared to directly engage in all aspects of the work that comprises the student experience, and truly care about the students and their futures.
The Vice President for Student Experience provides leadership, vision, and innovative approaches in support of all aspects of the student experience at Paul Quinn College. As the senior student affairs officer, the Vice President will collaborate with others to create and enhance systems and opportunities in order to ensure an experience that mirrors the College’s values and supports the growth and development of students. A member of the College’s leadership team, the Vice President will provide insights on the needs and priorities for students in order to identify opportunities to implement the College’s vision for enhancing student development and success. This inaugural position reports directly to the President and oversees the following areas: Housing, Residence Life, Dining Services, Student Activities, Student Organizations, Mental Health, Student Health, and Student Conduct. The Vice President must understand and be committed to the College’s values that come from being a faith-based, urban Work College, and a minority-serving institution that enrolls students from all races and socio-economic classes; it is essential to have a deep commitment to serving the students who enroll at Paul Quinn College.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
- Lead and manage, directly and indirectly, the staff and programs within the Student Experience portfolio [Housing, Residence Life, Dining Services, Student Activities, Student Organizations, Mental Health, Student Health, and Student Conduct].
- Provide collaborative leadership within Student Experience and throughout the campus community to enhance student success, including strategies to increase retention and graduation rates.
- Build and develop processes to engage students in meaningful experiences and identify models to predict and improve outcomes.
- Create and implement a vision and strategy for the student experience with the goals of enhancing student learning and wellbeing, improving retention and graduation rates, and focusing on effectiveness, sustainability, and accountability across all areas of the student experience.
- Identify and advocate for student-centered approaches in institutional policies and strategic planning.
- Develop opportunities to support the institutional mission and culture that emphasizes integrity, quality, continuous improvement, and high performance.
- Build upon the College’s commitment to encourage a campus community that is inclusive and equitable, and one in which students can share their voice in ways consistent with the College’s mission and values.
- Apply innovative best practices while seeking distinctive approaches to responding to and supporting student engagement, learning, success, and wellbeing.
- Collaborate closely with campus colleagues to achieve the College’s shared goals for students.
- Engage regularly with students and be visible on campus; actively participate in campus life including developing collaborative relationships with faculty and others.
- Identify and engage with the local community and campus colleagues to foster opportunities to establish new initiatives.
- Support changing priorities and build intentional programs to support and explore student interests.
- Facilitate and/or assist with responses to crises and provide support to students and families in emergency situations.
- Partner with and, where appropriate, advise the President and other senior institutional leaders, especially on issues related to students’ success.
- Serve as the senior student affairs officer for the College with full responsibility for the personnel, budgets, and programs in the Student Experience portfolio.
- Provide leadership and insight in identifying best practices and approaches to respond to incidents and crises.
Paul Quinn College is a distinctive institution that provides its students with an education and experience that prepares them for future success. This Vice President must understand the student population, many of whom have significant financial and other needs, and be prepared to do all that it takes to create an environment that is safe, supportive, and in line with the values of the College. The listed qualifications are a guide; the Vice President must ultimately embody the “WE over ME” ethos of Paul Quinn College.
- Education and experience that demonstrates the ability to fulfill the expectations of the position.
- Distinctive experiences and backgrounds working with students and responding to high level of expectations are welcome.
- An advanced degree in higher education administration, education, counseling, or another relevant field is invited but not required.
- Substantial and progressively more responsible and accountable leadership and administrative experience in an academic setting or demonstrated related experience working closely with populations of individuals with characteristics similar to the student body at Paul Quinn College.
- Experience working with high school or college age populations within higher education or other arenas with a progression in responsibility is preferred.
- Deep appreciation for students who are experiencing a distinctive learning environment.
- Ability to engage in meaningful discussions about the possibilities and pursue new and different alternatives to engaging students.
- Experience supervising professional staff.
- Demonstrated understanding of and commitment to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Proven track record of fostering and managing change, including process improvement, and developing and implementing effective and efficient policies and processes.
- Demonstrated skills in creating opportunities for partnership and collaboration between Student Experience and other campus constituencies in the interest of enhancing student success.
- Ability to serve as a liaison with other members of the campus community as an advocate for students.
- Strong communication (written and verbal) skills that facilitate effective conflict resolution and mediation, and the ability to build and sustain strong professional relationships across campus.
- Experience with and understanding of relevant policies and processes related to student conduct.
- Understanding of and appreciation for the priorities for an innovative, faith-based, small liberal arts-inspired, Minority-Serving Institution.
- Ability to understand and work within an inclusive college community that values its history and faith while encouraging students to discover what is meaningful and worthwhile to them.
About Paul Quinn College
By focusing on academic rigor, experiential learning, and entrepreneurship Paul Quinn College has become a model for urban higher education. As the ninth federally-funded Work College in the nation and the first Urban Work College in history (first-ever minority-serving institution (MSI), historically black college, and Texas-based institution), all PQC residential students are required to work 12-15 hours per week in addition to managing their academic course load. As a Work College, PQC provides students with the unique opportunity to spend their college career gaining real world work experience while paying less than $15,000 per year for tuition, fees, room and board. The vision of the Work College Program is to transform ability into action and potential into achievement by encouraging all students to embrace the ideals of disciplined work, servant leadership, and initiative in preparation for lives of financial freedom, community engagement, and outstanding character.
The Urban Work College model not only makes PQC a unique post-secondary institution, but it is also of material importance for its students given that every year 80 – 85 percent of them are eligible for Pell Grants. Additionally, because PQC students come from families where long-term unemployment and under-employment is prevalent, the work program provides them with the type of internship experience that they have historically been denied.
Under President Michael J. Sorrell’s leadership, Paul Quinn has become one of the most innovative and respected small colleges in the nation. Fortune magazine recognized President Sorrell’s work and the College’s transformation by naming him one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. President Sorrell is also a three-time award winner of HBCU Male President of the Year by HBCU Digest and was named by Time Magazine as one of the “31 People Changing the South.”
For more information about Paul Quinn College, please visit https://pqc-edu.squarespace.com/whoweare
Application Procedure and Timeline
The College 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 “PQC – VPSE.” The review of materials will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled; applications submitted by June 14, 2021, will be given immediate and full consideration.
Nominations, expressions of interest, and requests for confidential conversations about the position prior to application are welcome and should be directed to Jeff Ewing (JEwing@KeelingAssociates.com), the Keeling & Associates senior consultant leading this search.
This is intended as a summary of the primary responsibilities of and qualifications for this position. It is not intended as inclusive of all duties, an individual in this position might be asked to perform or of all qualifications that may be required now or in the future.
It is the policy of Paul Quinn College not to discriminate against any individual in its educational programs, activities, or employment based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, age, religion, or marital status
Download a copy of the position profile, click here.