Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Executive Director of Student Activities

Connecticut, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Jun 18, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of Connecticut (UConn), the public flagship university of the state of Connecticut, seeks a strategic and experienced student affairs leader to serve as the next assistant vice president and executive director of student activities.

UConn is among the top 25 public universities in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report and is Connecticut’s sole public research university. Founded in 1881, UConn has 14 Schools and Colleges on multiple campuses. The University consists of its main campus in Storrs, four regional campuses, a Law School and Graduate Business Center in Hartford, and a hospital and Medical and Dental Schools at UConn Health. UConn offers a broad range of academic choices and students learn from outstanding faculty who are widely recognized for their cutting-edge research and expertise.

With the campus community preparing to return from a year of largely remote learning and engagement, the impact and value of student affairs and student activities at UConn has never been more valued by partners across campus. UConn seeks a leader who takes initiative and has the collaborative and interpersonal skills to operate effectively with multiple constituencies and achieve results. The assistant vice president and executive director of student activities (AVP) will possess a history of successful leadership in student activities and demonstrated evidence of collaboration with students across the campus. The AVP will provide vision, strategic direction and leadership for a talented team of 31 full-time student affairs professionals, 18 graduate assistants and several hundred student employees. The student activities team is comprised of the following areas: fraternity and sorority life; risk management; major events and programming; leadership and organization development; trustee student organization advising; student organization financial programs; community outreach programs; and marketing and graphic design.  

Reporting to Michael Gilbert, Ed.D., vice president for student affairs, the assistant vice president and executive director of student activities will be an experienced leader who understands current trends in student affairs and strongly believes in the essential link between student engagement, inclusion and excellence. With genuine fondness and respect for students and with strong academic values, the AVP will inspire a highly talented student affairs team at UConn. The AVP will need to hit the ground running to prepare for students' return to campus this fall. They will participate in campus wide conversations about the quality of student life, engender trust through transparency in policy development and decision-making and will demonstrate a commitment to shared governance by building consensus among faculty, student affairs professionals and students. As the leader of a strong leadership development program that is deeply connected to students, the AVP will maintain a strong relationship with the Student Union Board of Governors and staff and students who are engaged in all aspects of co-curricular engagement at UConn.

The successful candidate will have excellent management skills and commitment to building partnerships with the faculty and with colleagues in diversity and inclusion, athletics and student services. Excellent communication skills; strategic and critical thinking; awareness of risk management and compliance expectations; and a proactive approach to promoting new and best practices are all necessary for success in this role. The successful candidate will have 8 or more years of leadership experience in student affairs/student activities and a particular interest in and commitment to working in partnership with colleagues and talented students. The AVP will have served in progressive supervisory and administrative positions and will understand the culture of student life at a large, complex institution. An earned doctorate is preferred; however, candidates with a depth of experience in the field and appropriate professional credentials will be given full consideration. A Master’s degree is required.

Applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile. WittKieffer is assisting the University of Connecticut in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by July 9, 2021.

Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to: Sheila Murphy and Lauren Bruce-Stets at

UConn is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all its employees and applicants for employment. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religious creed, age, sex, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic information, physical or mental disabilities (including learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, past/present history of a mental disorder), prior conviction of a crime (or similar characteristic), workplace hazards to reproductive systems, gender identity or expression, or other factors which cannot lawfully be the basis for employment actions.