Vice President for Graduate Programs and Continuing Studies

(posted 01/18/21)

Hollins University, located in Roanoke, VA, seeks a dynamic, enthusiastic, and collaborative leader to head its efforts in the areas of graduate programs and continuing studies. Reporting directly to the president and serving on the president’s leadership team, the new Vice President for Graduate Programs and Continuing Studies will support existing programs, and create innovative, new graduate, certificate, and not-for-credit programs that will meet adult learners’ interests and needs while supporting and sustaining Hollins’ liberal arts mission, grow the university’s national and international reputation as a leader in graduate education and continuing studies, and bring new revenue to the institution.

About Hollins University :

Hollins is an independent, liberal arts university offering undergraduate education for women and selected graduate programs for men and women. Founded in 1842, Hollins is Virginia’s oldest chartered women’s college.

Located in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hollins is a vibrant community with 130 faculty, 701 undergraduates, and 113 graduate students. Known for its creative and highly engaged student body and its distinguished faculty and staff, Hollins prides itself on its nationally-recognized academic programs, a deeply committed alumnae/i network, an extraordinarily beautiful campus, and its unique ability to ensure that each of its students has the opportunity to pursue a transformational college experience.

About Graduate Programs and Continuing Studies :

Graduate programs at Hollins began in 1958 with the establishment of a master of arts in psychology. Two years later, the English department began offering an M.A. in creative writing (which in 2002, became an M.F.A.); this is a year-round, full-time program that has produced four Pulitzer prize winners to date. In 1969, Hollins launched the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, featuring an evening class schedule that acknowledges the work and home responsibilities of adult learners in the region; the Master of Arts in Teaching program, created in 1996, also follows this model. Additional graduate programs were established in children’s literature (1992), screenwriting and film studies (1999), dance (2005), and playwriting (2007). These additional programs were developed around the novel concept of intensive, residential, six-week summer terms taught primarily by visiting faculty from other institutions.

Today, Hollins’ coed graduate programs include the M.A. and M.F.A. in children’s literature; M.F.A. in children’s book writing and illustrating; M.F.A. in creative writing; M.F.A. in dance; M.A. in liberal studies; M.F.A. in playwriting; M.A. in teaching and learning; teaching licensure and M.A. in teaching; M.A. in screenwriting and film studies and M.F.A. in screenwriting; and certificate programs in advanced studies, children’s book illustration, new play directing, and new play performance.

With regard to continuing studies, Hollins offers an Executive Certificate in Leadership, the Tinker Mountain Writers’ Workshop, and the Women Working with Clay Symposium. The Children’s Literature Department also offers one-week intensive workshops, and collaborates with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to host regional conferences. Additionally, the Hollins Theatre Institute and Playwright’s Lab maintain a network of partnerships with academic, professional, and community theatre through which faculty and students engage in community building and experiential learning by producing and presenting new works.

Continuing studies is an area Hollins is excited to expand in innovative ways under the leadership of the new vice president.

Key Responsibilities of the Vice President :

  • Provide leadership for and oversight of graduate programs and continuing studies, including the curriculum, faculty, staff, program development, and assessment.
  • Support graduate and continuing studies program directors by facilitating their work in the areas of budgeting, hiring, marketing, advocacy, assessment, and fundraising.
  • Work in concert with the manager of graduate services and the staff in the Graduate Studies Office, who currently support all graduate programs, to assist them with the student life cycle from recruitment to graduation.
  • Work closely with the manager of graduate services to review and revise systems and procedures that may be barriers to the success of graduate programs and continuing studies initiatives.
  • Work collaboratively with the provost to lead ongoing efforts to integrate graduate education into the culture of the university and to create synergies that benefit both graduate and undergraduate education at Hollins.
  • Develop innovative graduate and continuing studies initiatives at Hollins that are revenue-generating and that extend the university’s mission, and design and implement strategic plans for graduate programs and continuing studies based on aggressive and attainable enrollment and revenue goals.
  • Identify, in partnership with the president and institutional advancement, funding opportunities to support graduate programs and continuing studies.
  • Work collaboratively with the vice president for external relations to develop a fundraising plan in support of scholarships and graduate-level research.
  • Collaborate with the university’s marketing department to develop and enhance existing marketing strategies and to align resources accordingly.
  • Create and implement structures that enable graduate and non-traditional programs to function within the liberal arts mission with effectiveness, efficiency, flexibility, and academic integrity.
  • Research and implement best practices to support academic innovation for graduate programs and continuing studies initiatives including being familiar with and responsive to the rapidly changing market, being strategic about proposing and implementing new programs, and creating new programs that might fall outside of traditional undergraduate or graduate models.
  • Develop relationships locally, regionally, nationally, and online to ensure Hollins can proactively provide learning opportunities for these prospective populations. Also serve as a connector to the Roanoke community to position Hollins to respond quickly to emerging prospects in the region.
  • Use data to inform decision-making regarding new program development, implementation, and assessment including tracking retention and completion rates, overseeing accreditation issues related to graduate programs, and remaining current with all regulatory requirements related to online education for both the state of VA and NC-SARA.
  • Serve on the Graduate Academic Affairs Committee, and represent that committee at faculty meetings.

Position Requirements :

  • Doctoral or terminal degree.
  • Proven success as an administrative leader with a minimum of five years of relevant, senior-level experience and the ability to inspire and lead others in higher education.
  • Demonstrated success in academic program development, implementation, and assessment.
  • Experience developing aspirational, attainable, data-driven, and measurable strategic and operational plans.
  • Proven ability to partner with and support faculty.
  • Evidence of innovation, skills, and success within an academic context.
  • Knowledge of resource allocation strategies to improve enrollment including comparative-pricing and financial-aid leveraging.
  • Strong desire to champion and advance the academic enterprise of Hollins University.
  • Understanding of critical university platforms, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems, student information systems (SIS), and learning management system (LMS) tools. Experience with Technolutions Slate and Ellucian Banner preferred.
  • Aptitude for fundraising and grant writing preferred.

For more information about Hollins’ vision for graduate programs and continuing studies, please refer to thewhite paper on “Bolstering Graduate Programs and Continuing Studies.” A position profile, which includes additional information about the role and the university, is available online .

How to Apply :

Candidates should submit a substantive cover letter addressing qualifications and desired attributes; a curriculum vitae; a list of five professional references including addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, along with a brief description of the working relationship with each; and a diversity, equity, and inclusion statement that addresses the candidate’s philosophy, goals, and experience as they relate to working with and supporting diverse populations and creating inclusive and equitable work and learning environments. Application materials and nominations must be submitted electronically .

Confidential inquiries, questions, or nominations may be directed to Dr. Alison Ridley, search chair and interim vice president for academic programs, or 540-362-6676. Review of applications will begin on February 15, and will continue until the position is filled. However, priority will be given to applications received by February 12.

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