Western Carolina University, a Carnegie Engaged University, seeks an exceptional leader to serve as its next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

About Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University (WCU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is a premier regional comprehensive university with nationally and internationally recognized teacher-scholars dedicated to student learning. Located in the North Carolina Mountains, approximately fifty miles southwest of Asheville, WCU offers vibrant programs in the traditional arts and sciences, education, business, engineering, technology, fine and performing arts, and health professions through degree programs at the bachelor's, master's, education specialist, and doctoral levels.

WCU emphasizes close connections between students' academic and co-curricular activities, an approach which has won praise as a national model by higher education associations. The University is committed to external engagement within western North Carolina, southern Appalachia, and the southeastern United States. WCU offers the advantages of a large university, including a diverse curriculum, cultural programs, and a stimulating intellectual atmosphere, while maintaining the personal relationships associated with a small college environment. The University enrolls more than 12,000 students and has an annual budget of about $230 million. Western Carolina University is also an innovative pioneer in addressing college affordability as one of only three institutions in the UNC System to offer the NC Promise Tuition Program. Information on NC Promise can be found at http://ncpromise.wcu.edu. Additional information about WCU is found at http://www.wcu.edu.

Position Summary

Western Carolina University, a Carnegie Engaged University, seeks an exceptional leader to serve as its next Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs leads the Academic Affairs Division, serves as a vital member of the University's senior leadership team, and provides campus-wide leadership in achieving the mission of the University. The Provost provides specific leadership in strategic planning, budget management, enrollment management, academic program development and review, research and sponsored projects, technology transfer, public/private initiatives, and faculty development. The Provost is a true partner with the Chancellor in leading all aspects of University affairs and serves as the institution's second officer in charge.  

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with the faculty, the Chancellor, and the Board of Trustees to ensure all academic programs and services reflect Western Carolina’s mission and core values;
  • Assists the Chancellor in communicating and garnering levels of support, by serving as an advocate for the mission and goals of the University among its various constituencies;
  • In partnership with the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration, identifies, evaluates, develops, and supports implementation of new programs that will serve to enhance the overall effectiveness and financial strength of the University;
  • Formulates and strategizes, along with the other appropriate administrators and areas of the University, the educational policy of the University. This includes development of new policies and major revisions of academic procedures;
  • Responsible for Title IX compliance in matters related to academic programming;
  • Leads a transparent and forward-looking budgeting process for Academic Affairs that aims high, projects clear outcomes for expenditures, and evaluates achievements in the context of cost effectiveness;
  • Directs the administration of the collegial review process;
  • Serves as a voting member of the University senior leadership team and attends meetings of the Board of Trustees serving as the primary liaison to the Academic Affairs committee;
  • Develops existing programs, analyzing outcomes, recommending present and future needs, and devising new academic programs to enhance the University’s educational mission;
  • Recommends full-time appointments to the faculty to the Chancellor after appropriate consultation with the academic Deans and departments;
  • Supervises the preparation of budget requests and administers or delegates administration of the approved academic and faculty development budgets for the area;
  • Participates in the work of the planning and budgeting bodies of the University as designated by the Chancellor;
  • Recommends the appointment of professional staff in the academic area and approves appointments to the non-professional staff in the area.

Secondary Responsibilities (include but are not limited to)

  • All other duties and responsibilities as assigned by the Chancellor.

Qualifications (Education/Training and Experience)

  • Earned terminal degree and a record of instructional, scholarly, creative, and professional experience to qualify for tenure at the rank of full professor, required;
  • Progressive history of leadership responsibilities in higher education;
  • Strong commitment to undergraduate and graduate teaching excellence, faculty research and creative activities, the teacher-scholar model, and engaged scholarship;
  • Experience with developing resources to support faculty research and engagement, including grant writing, sponsored research, and technology transfer;
  • Experience recruiting, retaining, and developing a distinguished faculty;
  • Demonstrated commitment to shared governance and a history of collaborative, consultative, and transparent decision-making;
  • Demonstrated commitment to promoting faculty, staff, and student inclusivity and equity;
  • Demonstrated commitment to enhancing the educational opportunities of students, including international experiences;
  • Experience in leading meaningful engagement activities between academic institutions and their communities;
  • Demonstrated integrity;
  • Demonstrated support for academic freedom and responsibility;
  • Leadership experience in institutional strategic planning, making strategic decisions, and leading others toward strategic decisions;
  • Experience managing a complex budget, integrating budget decisions and strategic planning, and ensuring institutional efficiency;
  • Clear understanding of institutional accreditation processes;
  • Familiarity with emerging issues and trends in higher education, e.g., shifting demographics, funding model changes;
  • Willingness to learn and support the history, institutional culture, mission, values, and principles of Western Carolina University as a regional, comprehensive institution;
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills, including a sense of humor.

Nomination and Application Process:

The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Search Committee invites nominations, applications (a letter of interest, resume/CV, and the names and contact information of five or more references) or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting Western Carolina University.  Review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  It is preferred, however, that all nominations and applications be submitted to the search firm prior to July 30, 2020.  Please submit applications through the Parker Executive Search website. For additional information, please contact:

Porsha L. Williams, Vice President
Grant Higgison, Principal
Parker Executive Search
Five Concourse Parkway, Suite 2900 | Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-804-1996 x118
pwilliams@parkersearch.com | ghiggison@parkersearch.com

Western Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, and veteran status, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies, and the policies of The University of North Carolina. Additionally, the University promotes the realization of equal employment opportunity for minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veterans through its affirmative action program.

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