Vice President for Academic Affairs

Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane
Salary Commensurate with experience
Feb 22, 2021
Position Type
Executive, Provosts
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time


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Vice President for Academic Affairs


Call for Applications




Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI), Morocco, invites applications for the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).  The University is seeking an individual who can best lead, coach, and engage the faculty and students in its academic and service missions.


The University


Established in 1995, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI) is an independent, not-for-profit, coeducational Moroccan university committed to educating future citizen-leaders of Morocco and the world through a globally oriented, English-language, NECHE accredited, liberal-arts curriculum based on the American style.  The University enhances Morocco and engages the world through leading-edge educational programs, including continuing and executive education, and research where we are continuously seeking impact.  We endeavor to uphold the highest academic and ethical standards, and to promote equity and social responsibility. 


Deeply rooted in Moroccan and North-African history and civilization, the University actively promotes the values of global understanding and cooperation, and advances international higher education through its people, programs, partnerships, and civic engagement and with a continuous commitment to excellence.


An independent Board of Trustees composed of national and international business leaders, government officials, and higher education experts oversees the University orientations and performances.


The University has an integrated main campus of 73 hectares, and a second site of 42 hectares that includes its Conference and Executive Education Centre, a technological complex, faculty housing, and an American-style K-12 school. The main campus consists of 39 buildings including academic facilities (classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices, and lecture halls), the Mohammed VI Library, a sports complex, administrative buildings, cafes and restaurants, a student activity centre, 21 residential buildings, a medical centre, a mosque, and a church. The University also has a presence in Casablanca through its Centre for Executive Education and in Azrou through its Centre for Community Development. All the buildings are connected through fibre optics and WIFI is available on all premises.


AUI presently has 124 full-time and 45 part-time faculty members from Morocco and 22 different other countries and 2489 students who are from Morocco and 17 other nations.  The University offers 17 Bachelor and 13 Master degree programs in its three schools: Business Administration, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Engineering. The Executive Education Centre offers short courses, degree programs and training programs to executives from public and private institutions.


The University has achieved ​​significant developments in recent years through the implementation of a large number of educational and research programs. It has successfully realized much of its second Strategic Plan (2015-2020), evidenced notably by its NECHE (New England Commission for Higher Education) Accreditation in 2017, the accreditation of programs and units by international organizations recognized worldwide, and the improvements to institutional efficiency using international indicators.


In its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, the AUI community decided that its next phase of excellence will consist of seeking a leadership role in shaping the Liberal Arts education of the 21st century and advancing Inclusive Excellence.  Not only is this a new phase of growth for AUI, but – importantly - it is also a phase where AUI will boost its existing culture of Liberal Arts and enhance it to best nurture the current generation of learners (also referred to as the Z-Generation), partner with them towards their life-long personal growth, their preparation to be fully operational to meet the 21st-century job market needs, and their enjoying a fulfilling student experience at AUI.  This calls for enabling AUI faculty, for earning their engagement, and for a new level of student centeredness.  AUI will also be a locomotive in the development of Ifrane as a smart college town, boosting the small town’s prosperity and improving the lives of its citizens thanks to research, innovations, and impactful service by AUI faculty, students and staff.


Currently, Al Akhawayn students and faculty conduct innovative research in fields, such as sustainable development and economics, renewable energies, urban planning, artificial intelligence, information technology in education, e-governance, IT security and cryptology, management of water resources and biotechnology. The applied research is supported by the University’s modern laboratories and state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, and library resources, and funded by leading international and Moroccan agencies, corporations and organizations. The University encourages research by providing support through AUI research grants, the Presidential Innovation Fund, and financial assistance for conference participation.


The 6000-plus AUI alumni are working in Morocco and abroad or pursuing graduate studies in international universities as prestigious as Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge. The alumni are well engaged with the University, returning to campus as speakers, providing internships for students, organizing job fairs, and supporting the University in its efforts to maintain contact and extend outreach to businesses.



Position Description


The VPAA, as the Chief Academic Officer of the University, reports directly to the President and serves as a member of the president’s leadership team.

The VPAA oversees the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs and presides over an extensive Academic Affairs team that includes the Deans of the three schools, the Director of the Language Center, and the Director of the Executive Education Center. In addition, the VPAA oversees the Mohammed VI Library and the Center for Learning Technologies as well as the K-12 Al Akhawayn School of Ifrane.


The VPAA is supported directly by an Associate Vice President for Liberal Arts of the 21st Century and an Assistant Vice President for Faculty Development and Organizational Effectiveness.


The main mission of the VPAA in the next few years will be to lead AUI’s Academic Affairs to reaching a new level of excellence and effectiveness in implementing the 2020-2025 strategic plan.


Major Duties and Responsibilities


  • Work closely with the President, the academic officers, and the faculty to articulate and coordinate the academic vision of the University;
  • Provide leadership for the university’s teaching, research, and administrative undertakings and priorities in order to make of the University the leading Liberal Arts institution in the region;
  • Oversee implementation of the university’s academic strategic plan and serve in the leadership team steering the institutional strategic plan;
  • Lead the University’s accreditation process, as well as academic quality assurance and continuous enhancement;
  • Strengthen, implement, and create a variety of existing and new academic programs;
  • Supervise faculty recruitment and promotion in line with the strategic plan and AUI policies and procedures;
  • Ensure coherence of AUI’s academic processes and procedures;
  • Establish academic budgetary priorities and oversee the academic budget;
  • Work with the President to build and maintain academic partnerships with appropriate institutions and networks both at the national and international levels;
  • Reinforce the university’s connections with industry, business, and government;
  • Develop appropriate mechanisms for efficient institutional reporting, and submit appropriate reports for the Board of Trustees;
  • Assume the duties, obligations and responsibilities of the University President, as assigned, during his absence;
  • Represent the University with outside partners, standing in for the President as required.





Required qualifications for the VPAA position include an earned Ph.D., or equivalent terminal degree. Candidates must also demonstrate important teaching, research, and creative activity in their discipline appropriate for an appointment as Full Professor. The VPAA must demonstrate strong managerial and leadership experience in administrative positions with institutions of higher education following the American model, as well as knowledge of and familiarity with Moroccan society and culture.


Desirable qualifications include:

  • Evidence of effective management skills, with an emphasis on planning, decision-making and excellence in execution;
  • A collegial and transparent leadership;
  • Excellent communications skills and ability to communicate effectively with students, staff, and faculty in English with Arabic and/or French being desirable;
  • A commitment to academic excellence in areas such as faculty scholarship, graduate and undergraduate research opportunities, creative activities and extended programs;
  • Experience in facilitating the completion of an accreditation self-study.



Salary and Benefits


Salary is commensurate with education and experience. Benefits include travel expenses, health insurance, retirement plan, professional conference participation, and tuition remission for children at the University.



Evaluation Process
  • The University Search Committee will review all applications and conduct an initial application evaluation based on the candidates’ qualifications, training, and experience.
  • Selected candidates will be invited for an on-site interview.
  • References may be contacted for recommendations.
  • Based upon the University Search Committee’s recommendation, a final interview with the University President may take place.


The Search Process


Screening will begin by mid-March 2021 and will continue until selection is made.  Short-listed candidates will be invited for interview with the Search Committee. The successful candidate should ideally take the position starting Fall 2021. A start date in Spring or Summer 2022 could be negotiated in order to cater for the needs of the successful applicant


Applicants should provide the following:

  1. A current curriculum vitae or resume;
  2. A detailed letter, not to exceed three (3) pages, presenting the candidate’s vision for the position and the way it may be applied to fulfill the mission of Al Akhawayn University and serve its current strategy;
  3. A statement of the candidate’s approach to academic leadership and a general development project for Al Akhawayn University for the next four years;
  4. Names, titles, and contact information (e-mail, telephone numbers, and mailing addresses) of at least three references from the following categories:
  • A person who has supervised the candidate;
  • A person the candidate has supervised;
  • A peer.


Applications to be sent by e-mail, in confidence, to:


Office of the President

VPAA Search Committee

Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane

P.O. Box 104, Ifrane 53000, Morocco

Telephone: +212-535 862 008; Fax: +212-535 567 142


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