The New School Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Special Instructions to Applicants: To apply or nominate an individual for this position, please send an email with resume and cover letter to: TheNewSchoolProvost@SpencerStuart.com.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY
Discover a new kind of university in New York City, one where scholars, artists, and designers come together to challenge convention and create positive change. The New School takes full advantage of its location in one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world. Comprised of five colleges— the College of Performing Arts, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School for Social Research, Parsons School of Design, and the Schools of Public Engagement; as well as our European campus, Parsons Paris—The New School also has extensive offerings in Continuing and Professional Education.
The New School prepares students to understand, contribute to, and succeed in a rapidly changing society, thus making the world a better and more just place. We will ensure that our students develop both the skills that a sound education provides and the competencies essential for success and leadership in the emerging creative economy. We will also lead in generating practical and theoretical knowledge that enables people to better understand our world and improve conditions for local and global communities.
We are a university where design and social research drive
approaches to studying issues of our time, such as democracy,
urbanization, technological change, economic empowerment,
sustainability, migration, and globalization. We will be the
preeminent intellectual and creative center for effective
engagement in a world that increasingly demands better-designed
objects, communication, systems, and organizations to meet social
needs. Our vision aligns with shifts in the global economy,
society, and environment, which animates our mission and our
• Creativity, innovation, and a desire to challenge the status quo will affect what and how we teach and the intellectual ambitions of the university itself.
• Social engagement should orient students’ academic experiences to help them become critically engaged citizens, dedicated to solving problems and contributing to the public good.
• The New School must embrace these principles and innovate to address shifts in the global economy, society, and environment that require individuals to grapple with complex problems, pursue more fluid and flexible career pathways, and collaboratively create change.
We will fulfill our mission by extending The New School’s legacy
as a nontraditional university and community, nimble and responsive
to change, that:
• Focuses on and engages with critical contemporary issues.
• Prioritizes humanity and culture in designing systems and environments to improve the human condition, an approach that draws on design and social research, and the liberal, creative, and performing arts.
• Places collaborative, project-based learning at the center of the educational experience. • Takes full advantage of our New York City location and connectivity to global urban centers.
Our history began when The New School for Social Research was founded by a group of university professors and intellectuals in 1919 as a modern, progressive, free school where adult students could “seek an unbiased understanding of the existing order, its genesis, growth and present working.” Founders included economist and literary scholar Alvin Johnson, historians Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, economist Thorstein Veblen, and philosophers Horace M. Kallen and John Dewey. Several founders were former professors at Columbia University.
The New School plan was to offer the rigorousness of postgraduate education without degree matriculation or degree prerequisites. It was theoretically open to anyone, and today this ethos continues within the Schools of Public Engagement and Continuing and Professional Education. In the first semester, 100 courses, mostly in economics and politics, were offered by an ad hoc faculty that included Thomas Sewall Adams, Charles A. Beard, Horace M. Kallen, Harold Laski, Wesley Clair Mitchell, Thorstein Veblen, James Harvey Robinson, Graham Wallas, Charles B. Davenport, Elsie Clews Parsons, and Roscoe Pound. Only after did the New School begin to offer degrees in line with the traditional university model. John Cage later pioneered the subject of Experimental Composition at the school.
The University in Exile was founded in 1933 for scholars who had been dismissed from teaching positions by the Italian fascists or those who had to flee Nazi Germany. The University in Exile was initially founded by the director of the New School, Alvin Johnson, through the financial contributions of Hiram Halle and the Rockefeller Foundation. The University in Exile and its subsequent incarnations have been the intellectual heart of the New School.
Notable scholars associated with the University in Exile include psychologists Erich Fromm, Max Wertheimer and Aron Gurwitsch, political theorists Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss, and philosopher Hans Jonas. This legacy continues today through the New University in Exile Consortium, founded by The New School and inclusive of 11 universities, which hosts scholars who experience threats to their academic freedom around the world.
Since the early twentieth century, The New School has expanded with the inclusion or founding of: Parsons School of Design, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts (founded in 1972), and the College of Performing Arts. The current organization of the university includes these colleges as well as The New School for Social Research and the Schools of Public Engagement.
The New School, a dynamic and historic institution of higher education in New York City, seeks exceptional candidates to fill the position of Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. This is a career-defining opportunity for a new Provost to partner with The New School’s visionary and transformative new President in leading the university in its aim to be the preeminent intellectual and creative center for effective engagement with society and the world.
Reporting directly to the President, the Provost oversees the academic mission and planning for the university, ensuring that we are preparing students to thrive in a rapidly changing society. The Provost is the primary partner to The New School’s President, taking the university to the next level as a leading institution in the future of learning and student success, and in addressing the aims—and challenges—of higher education in the twenty-first century. Strategic priorities will focus on advancing The New School’s existing strengths in social research; the liberal arts; design, visual and performing arts; and expanding the university’s longstanding commitment to critical engagement with contemporary issues with an emphasis on equity, inclusion, and social justice. As Chief Academic Officer, the Provost is expected to lead and strengthen shared governance with the faculty to develop academic programs and to foster a culture of outstanding research, scholarship, and creative practice. As well, given the recent addition of Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success to the Provost’s portfolio, the Provost is charged with ensuring a holistic and socially just approach to empowering our students to thrive throughout their entire lifecycle at the university. In order to achieve these objectives, the new Provost is expected to excel at building, leading, and working within teams; balancing strategic and operational issues; representing The New School to external constituents; and infusing the institution with a commitment to continuous improvement as an equitable learning and working environment.
The Provost—with the Executive Vice President for Business and Operations—leads the annual budget planning process. The Provost provides leadership for the planning, development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of all academic programs, policies, budgets, and supporting infrastructure. The position is responsible for ensuring the university’s academic excellence in academics through the recruitment, retention, and promotion of an excellent and diverse faculty body. Building on the accomplishments of the past decade and working within a culture of ongoing innovation, the next Provost will have a significant opportunity to strengthen the academic enterprise of the university while providing the vision and thought leadership to advance The New School nationally and internationally as an innovative institution with critical social engagements. It is also worth noting that with a relatively new President and the dislocation that has resulted from the ongoing pandemic, the new Provost will have an opportunity to play a critical role in what will be an extended and challenging period of renewal.
Accordingly, ideal candidates are expected to possess exceptional academic credentials, a strong track record of academic administrative leadership experience and accomplishments, and superb leadership and communications skills. A high degree of cultural competency is essential, and the successful candidates must be prepared to work with a diverse community of student, staff, and faculty interests across the university.
Reports to: President
Senior Vice Provost, Faculty Affairs
Deputy Provost, Academic Planning and Administration
Senior Vice Provost, Enrollment Management and Strategic Partnerships
Vice President for Integrative Analytics for Student Success and University Registrar Vice Provost, Student Success
Vice Provost, Curriculum and Learning
Vice Provost, Global Strategic Initiatives
Senior Director & Chief of Strategy
Executive Dean, Parsons School of Design
Executive Dean, Schools of Public Engagement
Executive Dean, College of Performing Arts
Dean, New School for Social Research
Dean, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts
Dean, Parsons Paris
Other key relationships:
Board of Trustees
President’s Leadership Team
CRITICAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITIES
The next Provost of The New School will lead the university in
developing a vision to advance academic excellence, while also
innovating in ways to address today’s challenges in higher
education. The Provost must be prepared to challenge traditional
practices, embrace innovation, and develop new initiatives to
address emerging opportunities. In an institution with a strong history of shared governance, the Provost of The New School will be an expansive, open-minded leader who is ready to listen and be prepared to make decisions. The next Provost must have the ability to bring people together, to work collaboratively with the President and other senior leaders, to create an environment where all voices are invited and heard, to facilitate challenging discussions, to make decisions about where The New School will expand and redirect its efforts, and to articulate decisions in a manner that transparently builds understanding and buy-in around all decisions. The Provost will be an exemplary leader who fosters a university-wide culture of diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the institution.
• A record of accomplishment in scholarship and/or creative
practice that is consistent with senior faculty members at the
• A deep appreciation for research, scholarship, and creative practice;
• Fundamentally committed to the core university mission of teaching and learning;
• Experience overseeing complex organizations, as well as a sophisticated understanding of the academic, financial, and operational aspects that characterize a complex university; • Skill and acumen in setting financial priorities and allocating resources in a manner that is objective-based, transparent, innovative and data-informed;
• Demonstrated ability to advance select strategic priorities and address institutional challenges in a timely, firm, collaborative and constructive manner;
• Demonstrated experience implementing initiatives that successfully support and advocate the core institutional values of social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion;
• A proven history of successfully interacting with and maximizing the abilities and talents of people and units beyond the Provost’s own area of academic expertise;
• An authentic, engaging interpersonal style with a vital, engaged, and sometimes oppositional constituency that includes faculty members, students at all levels of their educational journey, administrators, staff, alumni, and external constituents;
• Experience as a leading organizational spokesperson with a demonstrable history of flourishing at the task of raising an institution’s profile, maximizing awareness of its capacities, strengthening public appreciation of its value, and stewarding its resources;
• A quantifiable talent for attracting, mentoring, and retaining exceptionally talented individuals across all academic disciplines and functions while assembling a vibrant team of leaders who collaborate effectively to build campus strengths and foster innovation; and
• Demonstrated intellectual curiosity, creative and entrepreneurial spirit, bold thinking, and the willingness to take calculated risks that yield measurably positive rewards.
The successful candidate will be
• A person of unquestioned integrity
• Deeply committed to equity, inclusion, and social justice
• A community builder with a high emotional intelligence (EQ)
• Strong communicator and listener
• Creative and agile
• Adept at leading constituents with diverse and competing priorities
• Visible, collaborative, and approachable