Vice President for Student Affairs

Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Dec 22, 2020
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Springfield College, located in historic Springfield, Massachusetts, announces the search for its next Vice President for Student Affairs. The Vice President reports to the President and is a member of the President’s Leadership Team. The College invites nominations and applications for this outstanding opportunity, which will be available starting July 1, 2021.

About Springfield College 

Springfield College is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational institution founded in 1885. Approximately 4,100 students, including 2,500 full-time undergraduate students, study at its main campus in Springfield, Massachusetts and at its regional campuses across the country. With its foundation of academic excellence and rich athletic heritage, Springfield College prepares students with real-world leadership skills for careers that transform lives and communities. 

The College offers a range of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, organized through its four schools: Arts and Sciences; Social Work and Behavioral Sciences; Physical Education, Performance, and Sport Leadership; and Health Sciences. Students may study social work, behavioral sciences, health sciences, athletic training, exercise science, sport management, movement studies, physical education, business, and the arts and sciences. It offers among its master’s degrees a Student Affairs Administration Program, along with doctoral programs in physical education, physical therapy, and counseling psychology.  

As this search launched, Springfield received a favorable report from the New England Commission on Higher Education for its financial stability and strong academic outcomes. Among other accolades, the YMCA of the USA has designated Springfield College as a premier Leadership Development Center, and for the tenth year in a row, the College has moved up the ranks in its U.S. News & World Report category, ranking 19th nationally. U.S. News & World Report also ranked the College 15th among Best Value Schools for Regional Universities—North. 

Since 1885, Springfield College has maintained a strong focus on its Humanics philosophy: educating students—in spirit, mind, and body—for leadership in service to others. The College remains committed to Humanics, while evolving to remain relevant in preparing students for the future. Springfield College helps students grow holistically, enter fields that help others, and serve as leaders in their communities, organizations, and companies, at home, and around the world. The College is an outstanding destination for those seeking a well-rounded education, strong academics, experiential learning opportunities, and active and fulfilling co-curricular involvement. 

Known as the “Birthplace of Basketball,” Springfield College is where graduate student James Naismith invented the sport of basketball in 1891. Alumnus William Morgan invented volleyball a few years later. From this prestigious history, the College has grown to host 26 Division III athletic teams and to produce much success in the academic and athletic achievements of its athletes.

Founded as the School for Christian Workers, Springfield maintains a deep commitment to social justice. In 1964, the College hosted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as its commencement speaker and awarded him an honorary doctorate. Today, the College honors that moment in the College’s history and its tradition of social justice by presenting the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture.

Respect for diversity is a core value at Springfield College. We believe that colleges and universities are powerful platforms for social change and we are committed to equality for all. Creating a culture of diversity isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing. Diverse institutions are more innovative and better positioned to succeed. We strive to create workplaces that reflect the communities we serve and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. There is more work to be done, but with the help of our entire community — our students, faculty, staff and partners — we can achieve this goal.

The College attracts an increasingly diverse population of students. From the College’s 2019-2020 Fact Book, 18.3% of the traditional undergraduate student body were from the BIPOC community, and full 30% were Pell-eligible. In Fall 2019, 24.9% of entering first-year students self-identified as first generation. For the students enrolled in regional and online campuses, 

BIPOC enrollment tracks similarly. In 2019-2020, 15% of full-time faculty and 17% of full- and part-time staff were from the BIPOC community. Springfield College is committed to enhancing diversity and equality in education and employment. To that end, the College welcomes candidates from all backgrounds and lived experiences, who will contribute to a culture of inclusion and respect. For more information about Springfield College's stance on diversity and inclusion, please visit our Office of Inclusion and Community Engagement

Springfield College Campuses    

The 100-acre main campus in Springfield, Massachusetts boasts superlative facilities that combine function with artistry, while maintaining the historic beauty of the campus. The College consistently devotes resources – approximately $175 million since 2000 – to improve campus facilities. For example, the 2017 renovation of the 45-year-old Babson Library into the Harold C. Smith Learning Commons has produced an outstanding center for academic life on the Springfield College campus. The Learning Commons brings library, technology, academic support, faculty development, and other campus services together in open and flexible spaces.

The 57-acre East Campus Outdoor Learning Center, located on the shores of Lake Massasoit, provides a venue for experiential learning. The Center serves as an outdoor classroom for many of the adventure education and recreation management courses.

In addition to the main campus in Springfield, the College maintains regional campuses across the country, including in Boston, Houston, Milwaukee, St. Johnsbury (VT), Tampa Bay, and Wilmington. Serving primarily (but not exclusively) adult student learners, the regional campuses offer students the benefit of a Springfield education in locations and with schedules that fit their busy lives. A Master of Social Work program is offered at one additional location—St. Vincent’s Hospital (Worcester, MA).  A strategic plan is in place to redesign elements of the regional campus system in light of the growth of online learning.

The College is in the silent phase of its $50M Advancing Humanics comprehensive campaign that is expected to conclude no later than July 1, 2024. Campaign priorities include annual fund, endowment, and scholarship support, enriching educational experiences, and several capital projects. Among those is a new, $46M health science building to support the College’s strong academic programs, which is expected to open in 2023. While not a campaign priority, the construction of a new residence hall is also planned and the College is interested in pursuing a public private partnership for its financing. Currently, 87% of undergraduate students live on campus.

 The Springfield Area

Springfield is the largest city in Western Massachusetts (population 155,000), an area with interesting history, great entertainment and restaurants, and with plenty to do and see. Situated just south of downtown Springfield, in a largely residential neighborhood on the shores of Lake Massasoit, the College is about 90 minutes by car from Boston, Albany, or Providence. Bradley International Airport is approximately a half hour away, as are the college towns of Amherst and Northampton. 

Compared to other East Coast metropolitan areas like Boston, Springfield is an affordable place to live, with vibrant urban and suburban locales offering a wide range of housing and lifestyle options.  

With extensive, nearby outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking, and the cultural offerings of both the city and the Berkshires, it is not surprising that Springfield is ranked as one of the top 100 cities to live in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs is a key partner in all aspects of campus with approximately 85 full-time, part-time, and graduate associate staff members. The student affairs area includes the following offices and programs: Spiritual Life, Community Standards, Alcohol and Other Drug Education, Dean of Students, Undergraduate Student Orientation Programs, Career Center, Counseling Center, Housing and Residence Life, Student Activities and Campus Union, Campus Recreation, Center for Service and Leadership, and the Health Center.

The College’s overall budget is $155 million, of which the Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for an overall division budget of $18.5 million. The College boasts an endowment of $86 million, with an additional $20 million in growth reserves, an increase of $38M in the last eight years. These reserves are used to address special projects, such as capital improvements. This year the reserve supported changes needed to re-open the campus during the pandemic (e.g., classroom and wireless technology improvements). 

Role of the Vice President for Student Affairs

The Vice President for Student Affairs will work closely with President Cooper and the other members of the President’s Leadership Team (PLT), playing a key leadership role in fostering a sense of inclusion and engagement in a diverse and vibrant community. The Vice President working with his, her, or their staff, students and faculty will develop a comprehensive cocurricular vision for life on campus.

While this is a challenging time for higher education, this is a wonderful opportunity for the college’s next Vice President for Student Affairs to join a cohesive team who work towards the College mission of “educating students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership and service to others.” 

The next Vice President must demonstrate:

A deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges of a primarily residential campus.

  • A commitment to supporting the education of students around issues of mental health.
  • Experience promoting diversity, and building an inclusive environment for students, staff, and faculty while promoting the goals of the college.
  • A warmth and commitment to student engagement necessary on a residential campus.
  • Excellent communication skills, transparency, collegiality, integrity, and commitment to student success. 
  • High visibility across campus, engaging with students both formally and informally in a variety of settings.
  • Motivated to be a change agent, with success in effecting large-scale change in previous organizations. 
  • Excellent work ethic. 

Opportunities and challenges for the next Vice President:

Partner with the President, the Board of Trustees, and other senior leaders to think strategically and plan appropriately for changes in the higher education landscape over the next 5-10 years. 

  • Lead a strong, experienced team, and the opportunity to fill current vacancies and/or rethink current job configurations.
  • Represent the College and the President to internal and external constituents, including serving on boards to benefit the institution.
  • Contribute to the existing Student Affairs team’s success in responding to the complex, rapidly changing circumstances brought about by the pandemic and racial strife and awakening of 2020.

 Application Procedure 

 To arrange a confidential conversation or to nominate an individual about this position, please contact Jonathan Howell Director of Human Resources at (PLEASE NOTE: At this time the College is not engaging a search firm for this position.) The position is open until filled and the start date is July 1, 2021 and is open until filled. Review of applications will begin in February. Applications received by February 12, 2021 are assured full consideration. To apply, a candidate should submit, via the college’s ADP recruitment portal at, a current resume and a thoughtful letter of interest addressing how they would contribute to the College’s goals of diversity awareness, scholarly education, and sense of community, along with their leadership agenda as aligned with the desired characteristics for the position. A reference list with the names, phone numbers and addresses of at least five professional references, with an indication of the candidate’s relationship to each must be supplied at the time of application. References will not be contacted without prior approval of the successful finalist.


Springfield College is committed to enhancing diversity and equity in education and employment.  To that end, the College welcomes candidates from all backgrounds and lived experiences, who will contribute to a culture of inclusion and respect.  For more information about Springfield College's position on diversity and inclusion, please visit our Office of Inclusion and Community Engagement.