Experienced Professional to Lead Transformational Change

With great anticipation, Vanderbilt University announces a national search for an experienced mental health leader to guide and manage the development and opening of the new University Counseling Center (UCC). The Director will have the unique opportunity to craft and implement the strategic vision for the newly established UCC, ensuring high quality psychological services within a developmental counseling model while working collaboratively with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). Keeling & Associates is proud to partner with the University in seeking an innovative and energetic professional with strong clinical, administrative, and communication skills to fill this vital role.

Position Summary

The Director of the University Counseling Center will be charged with direct oversight for counseling staff and services, as well as for facilitation of the institution’s clinical referral partnership with VUMC and other community partners. The Director will oversee UCC program design and assessment, policies and procedures, fiscal management, and staff professional development and training. In addition, the Director will develop and maintain strong relationships with campus wellness partners in order to facilitate campus wellbeing outreach, serve on university committees as an institutional mental health expert, and participate in crisis intervention and response in order to promote mental health throughout a culturally rich and diverse student population. 

The Director will be the chief mental health administrator for the undergraduate, graduate and professional, and postdoctoral student populations across Vanderbilt University’s ten colleges and schools, and will be the primary mental health consultant for the Associate Provost and Dean of Students. The Director of the UCC reports to the Associate Provost and Dean of Students.

Specific Responsibilities

Strategic Vision and Leadership

  • Develop and implement policies, procedures, and processes in order to successfully transition to and operationalize the new UCC model within the University, including facilitating the clinical referral partnership with VUMC and other community partners.
  • Provide ongoing strong leadership, vision, and strategic planning for the UCC in order to effectively address the current and emerging mental health needs of the student population.
  • Develop strong relationships with the leadership of the institution’s ten schools in order to ensure that the concerns of all students (undergraduate, graduate, professional) are included in the work of the UCC.

Personnel Management

  • Recruit, hire, supervise, evaluate, and oversee the training of the UCC staff.
  • Promote a healthy and productive work environment conducive to staff well-being.
  • Ensure robust professional development opportunities to maintain a high level of staff excellence and proficiency with industry standards and best practices.


  • Direct and oversee the overall operations of the UCC, including fiscal management and personnel (in conjunction with Vanderbilt Human Resources). 
  • Develop and maintain proper protocols and program assessment systems that meet University expectations as well as appropriate accreditation standards
  • Implement evaluation metrics for the UCC that allow for continuous quality improvement in systems and care outcomes, and to support the collection of data to facilitate reporting to accreditation and other appropriate organizations.
  • Leverage advances in technology to create efficiencies and improve UCC operations.

Emergency and Crisis Response and Intervention

  • Coordinate the UCC’s crisis response efforts. The Director is expected to actively participate in crisis response efforts to ensure rapid, nimble, and high quality mental health intervention and support.

Mental Health Programming

  • In collaboration with the Center for Student Wellbeing, plan and implement preventative and educational programs and workshops related to mental health.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • Actively support and contribute to Vanderbilt University’s mission to create an inclusive and supportive campus culture for students of diverse identities.
  • Review UCC practices, policies and initiatives to ensure they meet the needs of a diverse student population.
  • Collaborate with administration and faculty to ensure that the specific needs of the students in the different schools and programs, as well as at the various levels of academic study, are addressed.


  • Collaborate with internal campus wellness partners to facilitate inclusive wellbeing outreach to all students.
  • Establish collaborative relationships with campus wellness partners to promote a synergistic mental health and wellness model.

University Service

  • Serve on university committees as an authority on mental health.


  • Support process to obtain approvals for training programs.
  • Upon approval, provide oversight of all training programs.
  • Assist the training director in the process of recruitment, & retention of a diverse pool of qualified trainees at all levels.
  • Provide assistance with the APA accreditation process for doctoral internship and APPIC membership for post-doctoral fellowship.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in a clinical mental health discipline, or a related degree.
  • Licensed, or eligible for licensure, as a mental health care provider by the State of Tennessee. If not currently licensed in Tennessee, must obtain license within one year of appointment.
  • Minimum of five years of post-master’s degree experience as a licensed clinician, preferably in a university or college counseling environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the developmental counseling model and crisis response leadership.
  • Demonstrated experience working with a multidisciplinary team and collaborating with other professionals (for example, in this context, Student Affairs, Residential Life, health care providers, campus religious leaders) to support clients.
  • Seven to ten years of progressively responsible administrative experience, including supervisory and budgetary experience, in a leadership capacity, preferably some or all of that experience at a university or college counseling center.
  • Demonstrated experience designing assessment methods to evaluate ongoing programs and services.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree in a clinical mental health field, or a related terminal degree.
  • Understanding of the culture of a largely residential college or university through work or other experience.
  • Understanding of the culture of a Research I institution, and the challenges faced by graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in that environment.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the mental health concerns of university students, student development theory, and university or college counseling best practices on a residential college campus.

The University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, is a top-15 private research university offering a full-range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Created with an initial $1 million gift from Cornelius Vanderbilt, who envisioned a place that would “contribute to strengthening the ties that should exist between all sections of our common country,” Vanderbilt is situated on a 330-acre campus near the thriving city center, serving 12,000 students and employing more than 6,000 faculty and staff.

Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, and education and human development, as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. The combination of cutting-edge research, strength in the liberal arts, and nationally-recognized programs of education, medicine, law, business, engineering, nursing, and divinity, creates an invigorating atmosphere where students tailor their educational experiences to meet their goals and researchers collaborate to solve complex questions affecting health, culture, and society.

Vanderbilt provides a gateway to greatness, drawing the best and brightest students from across the nation and around the world. Vanderbilt alumni can be found in Congress, on the judicial bench, among the list of Nobel laureates, heading corporations, conducting innovative medical research, writing for and appearing on the stage and screen, and playing in the NFL and major league baseball.

The university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelors, masters, education specialists and doctoral degrees. Vanderbilt is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Applications, Nominations and Questions

Vanderbilt University has partnered with Keeling & Associates, LLC (K&A) in this search process. Application materials should include a resume or CV and a letter of interest, and must be sent, preferably as PDFs, to recruiting@keelingassociates.com. The subject line of the email should read “VU-UCC.” A confidential review of applications will begin on December 18, 2017, and will continue until the appointment is made.

Confidential inquiries and nominations prior to application may be addressed to Dr. Jan Walbert, Vice President and Senior Consultant for Executive Search, Keeling & Associates, at jwalbert@keelingassociates.com.

Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.  Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.