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Vice President for Academic Affairs

Saybrook University
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Aug 5, 2021

View more

Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Chief Academic Officers & Vice Presidents, Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Saybrook University seeks a Vice President for Academic Affairs
Click here to view position profile:
Location: Pasadena, CA 

The Position:
Primary Purpose
The Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) assumes authority/responsibility as delegated by the President of the University and the Board of Trustees to fulfill the mission of the institution by leading and managing all academic units and related units of the University. The VPAA assumes the role of Chief Academic Officer and Accreditation Liaison Officer of the institution by ensuring high standards of academic quality; maintaining a well-credentialed faculty committed to excellence in instruction; overseeing program curriculums; leading accreditation, approval, and authorization activities; managing the strategic direction of all academic units; creating and managing budgets with a focus on strong fiscal discipline; and by maintaining alignment of all academic and student affairs initiatives with the institution’s strategic plan. 

The VPAA is also responsible for creating and maintaining processes that effectively unite academic units, enrollment management services, and student success to execute on key initiatives for the institution and ensuring that the University maintains regional and professional accreditation. 

In coordination with TCS Education System, the VPAA will also work across System offices and affiliate institutions to identify and execute on cooperative activities that enhance both the University and the System affiliates. 

This position serves as the senior-most member of the College leadership team and as acting president during periods of vacancy, vacation, or illness. The VPAA will develop/administer an annual operating budget of approximately $19+ M. The VPAA will develop and submit an annual operating budget to the President for University Board approval and will monitor productivity and cost-effectiveness as well as develop strategies for improvement and pursue the potential for revenue enhancements and expense reduction. 

Reporting Relationships
Reporting to the President, the Vice President for Academic Affairs will indirectly supervise approximately 160 faculty and staff with the support of the following eight direct reports: Registrar, College Deans (2), Librarian, Director of Research and IRB, Director for the Center for Writing & Academic Success, Director of College Administration & Projects, and Director of University Compliance & Regulatory Affairs. 

Duties and Responsibilities:
Academic Affairs Leadership (70%)

  • Provides academic leadership, guidance, and oversight to academic leaders and faculty of the College.
  • Leverages University System partnerships to expand new degree programs and implement other diverse revenue streams.
  • Promotes shared governance and supports collaborative engagement between faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees.
  • Initiates and, as appropriate, collaborates in the development and administration of academic programs, curricula, policies, and
  • Ensures that practices are consistent with the mission, vision, values, and goals of the University.
  • Collaborates with University leaders related to processes for achieving and maintaining approval, certification, and accreditation of the institution and its programs.
  • Develops processes to assure the provision of well-qualified/credentialed faculty and staff.
  • Provides for the employment, control, and discharge of all University employees within the divisions overseen.
  • Recommends to the president, faculty promotion as appropriate/applicable.
  • Assures that an effective orientation process is implemented for new hires/appointees as well as a development process for existing employees under the purview of the VPAA.
  • Ensures that processes guiding the provision of quality education are appropriately implemented and evaluated.
  • Assures processes are in place to identify and provide for faculty/staff continuing education needs and development.
  • Facilitates strong communication and productive relationships with the administration, TCS Education System colleagues, other University officials, faculty, students, contractual agencies, and approval/accreditation bodies.
  • Supports and promotes the institution’s research agenda related to graduate student programming as well as faculty research.
  • Participates in, or assigns a designee to participate in, committees/meetings of the member organization as appropriate.
  • Prepares and presents reports to the Saybrook University Board of Trustees, as directed by and in collaboration with the President; Collaborates with the Board Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee.
  • Upon review/approval of the faculty and certification by the registrar, formally recommends to the President that students are certified to graduate.
  • Participates in related Board and University functions as appropriate.
  • Other duties as assigned/appropriate. 

Financial Leadership (15%)

  • In partnership with President and support team, identifies and implements strategies that substantially contribute to the financial growth and health of the institution.
  • Delivers strong area financial performance throughout each fiscal year.
  • Prioritizes utilization of funding for academic units that align with the mission and strategic vision of the institution.
  • Engages in revenue enhancement through judicious fund management, participation in strategic development initiatives, and tuition generation.
  • Prepares and presents the annual operating and capital budgets for academic affairs areas.
  • Other duties as assigned/appropriate. 

Institutional and Program Effectiveness Leadership (15%)

  • Assumes an active role in regional, professional and other accreditation activities as appropriate.
  • Interprets and performs assignments in compliance with pertinent federal, state and local laws, and contractual regulations relative to areas of assignment.
  • Supervises, monitors, and reviews college discipline activities, meets with and advises faculty on student discipline procedures, campus publicity and facilities use, as appropriate.
  • Oversees quality assurance of what is represented in the University catalog, student handbook, code of conduct, and other relevant documents.
  • Provides leadership on and is involved in institutional and divisional assessment initiatives, as appropriate.
  • Collaborates with the Office of Institutional Research as well as all other institutional divisions and offices in reviewing and applying a variety of objective and subjective data to assess the effectiveness of curriculum design.
  • Facilitates divisional faculty-staff engagement on all matters related to institutional effectiveness.
  • Other duties as assigned/appropriate. 


  • Doctorate from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning is required (PhD, EdD or PsyD are preferred).
  • Demonstrated achievements in building and delivering fully online and hybrid programs is a must as the University intends to further expand its portfolio over the next five (5) years.
  • Demonstrated background in strategic planning, strategic planning execution, and KPI monitoring.
  • Minimum of five years of combined faculty and administrative experience, highly desired, ideally including graduate program experience.
  • Proven track record of program expansion, particularly in virtual modalities.
  • Knowledge of higher education best practices with a strong background in and/or knowledge of, academic processes, student affairs, research programs, and enrollment management a strong plus.
  • Knowledge of finance, and complex systems with a demonstrated track record in strategic planning and revenue enhancement highly desired.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and a willingness to embrace the institution’s Humanistic mission and values of anti-racism, and social justice.
  • Experience with University and program accreditation agencies and state regulatory agencies, including WSCUC and CACREP.
  • Ability to translate academic and business processes within the academic milieu.
  • Ability to effectively manage virtual and ground-based teams.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills as well as excellent time and information management. 

About the Institution:
Saybrook University was founded over 50 years ago by some of the greatest minds of the 20th century and continues to inspire a new generation of innovators. A nonprofit regionally accredited university known for its commitment to humanistic studies and rigorous research, Saybrook University’s academic model puts the student at the center of everything to provide a unique, transformational, learning experience in virtual and hybrid environments. Saybrook offers advanced degrees in business administration, psychology, integrative nutrition, applied psychophysiology, mind-body medicine, counseling, social work, and transformative social change, all in flexible learning formats to help students continue to be active contributors to the fields they work in while they advance their education. Given Saybrook's embrace of humanistic ideals, the University’s programs are grounded in systemic, relational, anti-racist, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed perspectives. 

Saybrook University is proud to be a community of creative, compassionate innovators dedicated to pursuing new ways of thinking and doing for our professions, organizations, and communities.

One of the first American universities to offer graduate education at a distance for working professionals spread across the world, Saybrook offers graduate-level courses that combine online education with in-person classes, intensive seminars, and conferences. Saybrook is comprised of two colleges: the College of Social Sciences and the College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences. In addition, the institution offers various non-degree programs including certificate programs and workshops. Facilitating advancement in professional areas including psychology, management, and nutrition, these programs emphasize a holistic understanding of various systems. Click here to see a full list of certificate programs. Saybrook currently enrolls over 800+ students who are passionate and dedicated to inspiring transformational change in their communities—and the world. To learn more: 

Saybrook University, located in Pasadena, California, is part of TCS Education System, an integrated, nonprofit system that works collaboratively to advance institutional sustainability, student success, and community impact. The system consists of five colleges and universities and the TCS System Office—a community of professionals providing strategic support and expertise in support of the integrated operations and collective impact of the entire TCS Education System community. In addition to Saybrook University, the System includes Pacific Oaks College, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law, Kansas Health Science Center, and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. To learn more, visit 

Mission Statement: Saybrook University relentlessly pursues a socially just, sustainable world by educating humanistic leaders who transform their fields and communities. 

To Apply:
Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; parties who apply by September 8, 2021, will be given first consideration. Please submit a PDF version of your resume and cover letter outlining your interest in and suitability for this position. To apply online, go to 

For Nominations or Further Information:
Arasi Adkins, MA
Senior Consultant
Summit Search Solutions, Inc.
Direct: (336) 693-7612 

Saybrook University is an equal employment opportunity employer and is strongly committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce. The University actively encourages applications of all qualified individuals.

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