The University of Chicago, one of the nation’s preeminent institutions of higher education, is searching for a dynamic, innovative leader to serve as its next Director of the Student Counseling Service. This is an exciting time to join the team committed to supporting comprehensive student wellness at UChicago. The University is currently preparing to build a new Student Wellness Center, which will house the Student Counseling Service, Student Health Service, Health Promotion and Wellness, and Student Insurance in one new facility. The new Center will enable the University to continue to grow its Student Counseling Service in staff and programing, and will allow for an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to the provision of health, counseling, and wellness services. This is an incredible opportunity for a national leader in college and university mental health to lead the Student Counseling Service during a critical period of growth. 

The University of Chicago

Founded in 1892 by John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago is one of the world’s preeminent universities, with a history of world-renowned research and education. More than 90 Nobel laureates are associated with the University, including six current faculty members. The University of Chicago is known for its excellent faculty, increasingly diverse student body, distinctive urban campus with strong community connections, and a robust global presence. US News and World Report ranked the University 3 in its latest annual survey of the best universities. As of Autumn, 2018, the University enrolled more than 17,000 students, more than half of which are enrolled in graduate and professional programs. 

The University of Chicago operates a major medical center, the nation’s largest academic press, two national laboratories, the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, the renowned N-12 Laboratory Schools that have led many innovations in education, and four charter school campuses on the South Side of Chicago.

The University of Chicago is located in a dynamic, thriving city, where opportunities abound to learn from, contribute to, and engage with the surrounding community. In the heart of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, a racially and economically diverse residential community of 43,000 people on the shores of Lake Michigan and about fifteen minutes south of downtown Chicago, the University of Chicago features traditional English Gothic and modern buildings designed by world-class architects, and opportunities abound for students to learn from, contribute to, and engage with their urban environment.

Campus and Student Life

Campus and Student Life (CSL) is dedicated to helping students, faculty, and staff experience University life at its fullest. CSL has a profound commitment to the diversity of the UChicago community and is focused on creating an environment where students can thrive. Through a wide array of programs and services, CSL provides opportunities and experiences that build community, help students grow personally and professionally, and create a place that students can call home. A core mission and priority for CSL is to support the overall health and wellness of all UChicago students. Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS), a department within Campus and Student Life, is composed of the Student Counseling Service (SCS), Student Health Service (SHS), Health Promotion and Wellness (HPW) and Student Insurance.

Position Summary 

The Director is responsible for ensuring the delivery of excellent and efficient multidisciplinary mental health services for UChicago students. The goals of the Student Counseling Service are to: (1) diagnose, assess, treat, monitor, and/or provide referrals for eligible students at the University; (2) develop and implement programs directed at the promotion of mental health and treatment of mental health conditions; and (3) provide consultation and liaison services to faculty and staff across the University. Clinical services provided by SCS include mental health counseling (individual, group, and couples therapy), crisis intervention, academic skills assessment, alcohol/drug abuse intervention, psychiatric evaluation, and psychopharmacological treatment. In addition to the provision of multidisciplinary diagnostic and therapeutic services, SCS participates in and provides consultation to University administrative and academic committees and advisory groups. SCS is a robust training site for doctoral-level students in clinical psychology.

Principle duties and responsibilities are described as follows:

  • This position is a full-time, 12-month salaried position reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Student Services within the office of Campus and Student Life (CSL). The Director of the Student Counseling Service is responsible for the overall operation of SCS and has the ultimate clinical and leadership responsibility for ensuring that the mental health needs of students are addressed by the services provided by SCS.
  • The Director supervises the Associate Director of Clinical Operations, Chief Psychiatrist, and Administrative Director, and provides oversight of 25 clinical and administrative staff in SCS. The Director serves as an inspirational and motivating leader, exemplifies excellence in the delivery of mental health services, and supports the professional growth of staff in SCS. The Director works with clinical and administrative leadership to set clear expectations for staff and conduct regular performance evaluations. 
  • The Director works closely with the Assistant Vice President for Student Services and serves as a member of the SHCS senior leadership team. The Director is an integral part of this collaborative team that views student wellness holistically and is expected to be a thought-partner with this team, helping to identify ways in which health, counseling, and wellness services can be integrated and improved to better meet the current and future needs of the student body. 
  • The Director is expected to be an innovative leader who brings new ideas to the provision of mental health services on a university campus, particularly as it relates to addressing the issue of nationwide growth in demand for mental health services.  The Director should have experience in trialing new modalities and operational models designed to meet this increasing demand, while matching patients with the most appropriate level of care. Further, the Director will conduct a review of internal and external group psychotherapy programs, psychoeducational workshops, and internet-based modalities to determine the appropriate services to be offered by SCS.     
  • The Director collaborates with the Assistant Vice President for Student Services and CSL senior leadership on evaluating, developing, and advising on University policies as they relate to the mental health needs of students.
  • The Director is expected to maintain a clinical caseload and participate on an SCS treatment team, as appropriate, as well as remain familiar with students’ presenting concerns, issues affecting front-line staff, and operational processes related to treatment and referral.   
  • The Director has primary responsibility for the SCS budget under the supervision of the Assistant Vice President for Student Services and leadership in Campus and Student Life.
  • The Director plans and conducts research and prepares operational reports and analysis that identify student trends and recommends appropriate programs and solutions. The Director maintains an active professional network with the group of peer institution counseling center directors and other local and national groups/associations, as appropriate. The Director monitors best practices and integrates these practices at SCS, as appropriate.
  • The Director develops and establishes long- and short-range goals and objectives and devises methods to improve the overall effectiveness of mental health services.
  • The Director promotes the services of SCS to the broader University community, identifying communications needs and barriers to accessing care, creating avenues for increased awareness and utilization, and advising campus leaders on mental health-related issues. The Director works with University Communications, as necessary, and may serve as an effective spokesperson with press and other external constituencies.
  • The Director serves as a member and leader on various University committees, as necessary.   

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates are required to have (1) a doctorate in clinical psychology, or a related field, or in medicine (if in medicine, must have current board certification in psychiatry and eligibility for a non-compensated clinical associate appointment in the Biological Sciences Division); (2) at least eight years’ post-doctoral clinical experience; (3) at least five years of pertinent administrative experience supervising multidisciplinary clinicians and managing a clinical service; (4) current licensure and eligibility for or possession of a current license to practice in the State of Illinois; and (5) a record of the application of evidence-based principles in clinical practice, including documentation of outcomes and/or demonstration of productive research and scholarship.

Candidates should have demonstrated strong clinical experience with persons displaying a wide variety of problems/disorders, and an affinity for working in an interdisciplinary team. In addition, the incumbent should have in-depth experience in the supervision and professional development of employees; a commitment to diversity and inclusion in retaining/developing staff and in the provision of services; excellent administrative skills; and exceptional interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills with the ability to develop a broad institutional perspective and work collaboratively with other departments and campus partners; and a clear understanding and appreciation for the University’s academic mission. Candidates should have a comprehensive knowledge of laws and ethical principles related to the practice of mental health services in higher education.

Preferred Qualifications: Experience in a college mental health setting is strongly preferred.

Application Process

The University of Chicago has partnered with Keeling & Associates, LLC, in this search process. Application materials should include a resume/curriculum vitae and a letter of interest and must be sent, preferably as PDFs, to K&A at The subject line of the email should read “UChicago — Director, SCS.”  

A confidential review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the appointment is made. All materials submitted by March 13, 2019 will be given full consideration. Nominations, expressions of interest, and requests for confidential conversations about the position prior to application are welcome and should be directed to Dr. Jan Walbert (, the K&A senior consultant leading this search.

The University of Chicago does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or veteran status, and does not discriminate against members of protected classes under the law.

To download the position profile, click here.