Vice President of Academic Affairs

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not Specified
Nov 02, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time
About Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts:

At MCLA, we're here for all - and focused on each - of our students. Classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching, and about seeing their students thrive on every level of their lives. In nearly every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate our students as individuals, as leaders, as communicators, fully empowered to make their impressions on the world. In addition to our 125-year commitment to public education we have fortified our commitment to equitable academic excellence. For eight of the last 10 years, MCLA has been named a Top Ten College by U.S. News and World Report. MCLA also appears on the organization's list of top National Public Liberal Arts Colleges, as well as on the top 50 schools in U.S. News' Social Mobility Ranking, which measures how well schools graduate students who receive Federal Pell Grants.

Our classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching and about seeing their students thrive on every level, personally, academically, and professionally. We engage in the most relevant conversations of our time by bringing the most celebrated thinkers and speakers to campus through nationally known public lectures hosted by MCLA.

The Berkshire region of western Massachusetts, where MCLA is located, is known for majestic mountain ranges, hiking trails, and natural splendor. Economically, our region is benefiting in a big way from the young and creative energy in North Adams and here at MCLA. Surrounded by some of the nation's most notable cultural landmarks as well as some of its most beautiful landscapes, MCLA is an incredible place to spend your college years.

Our graduates advance in their careers after MCLA. Nearly 93% of our graduates land jobs or get accepted into some of the finest grad schools in the country. Many earn competitive salaries in exciting fields, stemming from the many professional opportunities available to them, such as internships in major cities, leadership programs that reach all corners of the globe, and undergraduate research projects.

At MCLA, we're here for all - and focused on each - of our students, to make a lasting impression on people's lives.

More information about MCLA can be found at

Job Description:

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces a national search for a new Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President of Administration and Finance, and Vice President of Student Affairs. Serving as key members of the College's executive leadership team, the Vice Presidents will report directly to and partner with MCLA President James F. Birge, Ph.D.

MCLA's next Vice Presidents will be visionary leaders, accomplished strategic thinkers and planners, consultative by nature, decisive in practice, and informed about the needs of the 21st century learner, as well as staunch advocates for creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus environments. MCLA is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' designated public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts State University System. As the only public liberal arts college in the Commonwealth, MCLA belongs to the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), a distinctive national collaborative of 29 public liberal arts college where academic rigor and high impact educational experiences are central to the undergraduate program.

MCLA expects to welcome its new leaders to our community in the summer of 2021.

The Incoming Vice President of Academic Affairs reports to the College President, serves as a strategic partner, and has the primary responsibility to plan, operate, direct, and supervise all academic programs and personnel (undergraduate, graduate, continuing education; summer, non-credit, etc.). The Vice President serves as a role model of academic integrity, providing vision, leadership, and strategic direction to the College's 130+ full and part-time faculty as well as, the Freel Library, the Center for Student Success and Engagement (CSSE), Berkshire Cultural Resource Council (BCRC), Registrar's Office, Academic Technology, and Adult Basic Education.

Additionally, the VP is responsible for developing an environment where students, particularly first generation and economically disadvantaged students, can be successful. The Vice President is responsible for developing a collegial environment that is conducive to the scholarly interaction of students and faculty, and to a close working partnership and open communication with faculty. The Vice President will encourage and celebrate an inclusive environment that promotes understanding and respect within a diverse student body, faculty, staff, and community.

The Vice President will provide leadership and oversight for educational policies and programs of instruction, for all matters relating to the effectiveness and development of the faculty and for ensuring the integrity of the college's curriculum. The Vice President is responsible for managing the faculty collective bargaining contracts and participating in a shared governance model. The Vice President will support the faculty's teaching, scholarly, and creative activities, will administer academic budgets, and advise the President on faculty personnel matters including hiring, promotion, tenure, and related policies and governance.


  1. Provides vision in the areas addressing growth and new program development and encourages faculty to offer instructional, research, and service programs of excellence. Performs ongoing assessment of current programs to ensure they reflect the college's mission and meet the needs of students. Engages faculty in necessary, thoughtful consideration of resource allocation for academic programs.
  2. Develops an academic environment that helps build strong student recruitment and retention, particularly of first generation and economically disadvantaged students.
  3. Provides leadership for strategic academic collaborations and partnerships.
  4. Ensures the effectiveness and development of faculty, and will exercise leadership in setting standards for course offerings, course materials, graduation, and honors programs.
  5. Values and has experience fostering inclusion, equity, and diversity among students, faculty, and staff within a higher education setting.
  6. Advises the President in formulating overall plans, policies, and procedures for the execution of the goals and mission of the College and implementation of academic and other initiatives within the strategic plan. Assist President in aligning strategic initiatives with Massachusetts Department of Higher Education strategic initiatives.
  7. Leads the process of faculty and staff personnel decisions including appointment, rank, and tenure recommendations, as well as sabbatical leave recommendations, for action by the President and Board of Trustees.
  8. Manages the faculty collective bargaining agreements.
  9. Serves on the President's Executive Staff and other committees.
  10. Builds a strong partnership with the Office of Student Affairs in developing an exceptional on-campus experience for students.
  11. Supervises and evaluates the academic deans, academic chairs and all other direct reports.
  12. Participates in the development and implementation of division and institutional long- and short-term plans.
  13. Ensures Academic Affairs compliance with College policies, procedures, and collective bargaining agreements.
  14. Oversees all accreditation self-studies and ensures compliance with all regulatory and accrediting agencies and associations.
  15. Provides leadership needed to strengthen and grow all formats of distance education.
  16. Prepares, manages, and assumes fiscal responsibility for all budgetary matters in the academic areas.
  17. Oversees the preparation of the college catalog and related publications in collaboration with designated personnel and divisions. Contributes to strategies and messaging regarding college brand and identity.
  18. Maintains communication with counterparts in the Massachusetts State University system, as well as with other post-secondary institutions and community college leaders.
  19. Provides guidance and support for pursuit of grant-funded initiatives to enhance academic programming.
  20. Assists in soliciting funds for MCLA's academic programs through grants, donors, and regional partnerships.
  21. Other duties as assigned.

  1. A strong and demonstrated commitment to the philosophy of a public liberal arts mission and to broad-based institutional planning.
  2. Terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  3. Seven to ten years of dean level or above (or functional equivalent) academic administrative experience.
  4. College-level teaching experience with earned tenure status. A history of teaching excellence, intellectual rigor, and scholarly distinction.
  5. Experience and familiarity with on-line learning and academic technology.
  6. Significant experience in budget development and administration; personnel administration and evaluation; curriculum review, evaluation and development; and contract administration.
  7. Record of achievement in collective bargaining/contract administration. Ability to work effectively in a collective bargaining environment.
  8. A proactive leader and team builder with skills that foster collaboration and respect and that drive productivity and success.
  9. Outstanding communications skills and ability to serve as the spokesperson on behalf of the faculty as well as a communicator for the College to a variety of internal and external constituents.
  10. Highly effective interpersonal skills.
  11. Proficiency in written and verbal expression.
  12. Demonstrates collaborative leadership inclusive of varying viewpoints that values diversity and honors shared governance. Builds consensus among faculty and staff to lead improvements to advance teaching and learning.
  13. Thrives in a fast-paced environment and serves as a catalyst for change necessary for the continued success of the College.

Additional Information:

For questions regarding your application or specifics of this position, please contact

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that they operate, which extends to admission and employment at MCLA. MCLA is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 ("Title IX") to not discriminate in such a manner. Inquiries about the application of Title IX may be directed to each respective MCLA's Title IX Coordinator, to the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, or both.

Nicole Comstock
Title IX Coordinator and Equal Opportunity Officer
Phone: (413) 662-5571
Mailing Address: 375 Church Street, North Adams, MA 01247

U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
33 Arch Street, 9th Floor Boston, MA 02119-1424
Telephone: (617) 289-0111; FAX: (617) 289-0150; TDD (877) 521-2172

Application Instructions:

Review of applications will begin in early December.

Nominations for the position may be sent to

Interested candidates must apply electronically and should submit a letter of interest and resume by clicking on the APPLY NOW button below.

Similar jobs

Similar jobs