About the Institution
Truly a university without boundaries, Western Governors University (WGU) is a non-profit online university founded and supported by 19 U.S. governors, which has been named by Fast Company as one of the world's 50 most-innovative companies. CNN calls WGU "a school without boundaries," and major news outlets from NPR to Bloomberg BusinessWeek are touting WGU's "potential to transform the higher education industry."
WGU is a mission-driven organization created to expand access to higher education through innovative, competency-based online degree programs. WGU has remained focused on helping hardworking adults meet their educational goals and improve their career opportunities.
To fulfill the mission, WGU has remained affordable, flexible, and student-focused in a world of rising tuition. Hence, WGU strives to serve as many students as possible—including minorities, first-generation college students, those with modest incomes, and others whose lives or geographic locations do not allow them to attend traditional, campus-based colleges.
WGU has flourished into a national university, serving more than 130,000 students from all 50 states. The organization continues to receive praise for its academic model and real-world competencies that enhance its reputation with employers for graduating highly competent professionals.
For more on WGU – see: https://www.wgu.edu/about/annual-report.html
KEY SCHOOL OF HEALTH FACTS
- The School of Health has approximately 27,000 students and is growing rapidly at 11% a year. The School of Health graduated nearly 15,000 students in 2021 alone – and is one of the largest providers nationally of both nurse and nurse educators.
- The School of Health offers four different bachelor’s degrees, plus BACC certification and nine graduate degrees to include three post master’s certifications.
- The school measures success through KPIs around student progress and success with the aim of getting students to graduation, with special emphasis on low-income learners and learners of color. The focus is around how to create employability especially as it relates to the future of demands in the market.
- The school is a designated a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing. Only 1% of nursing programs across the United States earn this designation.
- The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master's degree programs in nursing at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
KEY FINANCIAL AND OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS
- Operating as a non-profit, WGU is dedicated to keeping tuition low. The university is not only self-sustaining but can invest in growth on tuition of $7,452 per year.
- WGU has revenues of over 1 billion per year.
- WGU accepts only full-time students (most are also working full-time) who pay a flat rate tuition.
- WGU has 131,657 students with over 26,764 of those in the School of Health.
About the Institution WGU
- Headquartered is in Salt Lake City, WGU is a highly distributed organization of more than 7,400 employees, with a majority of employees working remotely in nearly every state.
- Student Obsession: We start with our students in everything we do and every decision we make. We keep our mission at the core of all our decisions and never lose sight of the end goal. Every day we strive to live up to the WGU promise.
- Innovation: We expect fresh thinking and look for new ideas everywhere. We are willing to slough off the past in favor of advancing our future. We are comfortable being first and taking calculated risks to overcome great challenges.
- Learning: We value continuous growth and development. Self-improvement is never complete; it is constantly being enhanced. We expand our knowledge base through ongoing curiosity and an openness to feedback and criticism. We benchmark ourselves against the best.
- Inspire & Develop: Through our actions and behaviors, we inspire others to do their best work and recognize team and individual contributions. We develop leaders and take seriously our role in developing others.
- Urgency: We respond to and act on all challenges in a timely manner. We are efficient and careful with our time.
- Courage: Big, bold thinking. We have the grit and fearlessness to push ourselves to achieve great things. We do what is right, not what is popular. We stand for what we believe in.
- Ownership: We act on behalf of the university and care for students as if they were family. We think long term and take accountability for our actions and responsibilities. We operate at all levels. We never say, "that’s not my job."
- Deliver Results: We strive for excellence in performance in all facets of the university. Our deliverables are timely with the right quality. We don’t settle. We foster an atmosphere that breeds creativity and innovation while always meeting the needs of our students.
- Integrity: We do what is right even when no one is watching. This is the basis of our character and is foundational to how we interact with all people. WGU demands uncompromised integrity from everyone in all interactions and responsibilities.
- Earn Trust: We genuinely listen, speak directly, and treat others with respect. We are sincerely open-minded and examine even our strongest convictions with humility. We know we must earn our reputation every day
The SVP of the School of Health will be responsible for the overall performance of the school, leading both the strategic direction and ambition for the school as well as maintaining the operational rigor. They will need to ensure a focus on student-centric growth and quality, building off the organization’s rich heritage, but also looking ahead to new strategies and programming portfolio direction that will increase the organization’s success at serving more students more effectively, especially those for whom traditional higher education models are not well suited.
Dr. Marni Baker Stein, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Vice President, Academics
Vice President, Academic Operations
A team of over 700 academic and administrative staff
Other key relationships
Scott Pulsipher, President
Senior Vice President, School of Education
Senior Vice President, College of Information Technology
Senior Vice President, College of Business
- Lead the strategic direction and ambition for the school, including oversight of five strategic priorities: Innovative Credential Pathways, Curriculum and Assessment Alignment with Marketable Skills/Industry, Industry Partnerships to Advance Student Career Opportunities, Expansion of the Pre-licensure program, and Improving Success and Access for underserved.
- Provide executive guidance for the operational leadership of student enrollment and outcomes, program development, faculty recruitment/retention, and oversee the financial well-being of the organization.
- Act as a thought leader and convener across these priorities and initiatives - both internally across the organization and externally - looking around curves to anticipate the changing landscape of work with the management team and other stakeholders to ensure an enduring competitive strategic vision. Effectively communicate and implement that vision internally and externally.
- Develop a well-developed strategic perspective and “north star vision” on the evolving nature of the health sector employment landscape and as a result identify the content and credential needs/gaps to fulfill the fast-growing demands of the industry.
Position Summary WGU School of Health
As the Senior Leader of the school, you bring strong leadership talents to inspire, guide, and engage our VP and Director level leaders and faculty as we provide the highest quality education to our learners. Working alongside other senior leaders at WGU, you will strive to ensure that the organization meets the mission and strategic objectives set forth by the Board and executive leadership while promoting a positive and engaging work environment. An emphasis will be on execution and a results orientation in the context of relationships and team building. As a servant leader you embody the following behaviors:
- Accountability for results
- Engagement and enthusiasm for change
- Adaptability and continuous learning
- Trust, respect, and collaboration
- Transparency and candor
- Efficient, data-driven decision-making
- Drive for execution demonstrated by a sense of urgency and commitment to follow-through
- Fiduciary integrity and accountability
- Develop a strategic direction and long-term vision for the school and create a plan to execute on that strategy, getting buy-in from the rest of the organization.
- Implement an expanding portfolio of health-sector programming that will responsibly grow student enrollment year-over-year, while improving on student and graduate outcomes.
- Drive operational rigor to ensure the organization, processes and infrastructure can scale with the continued success and continue to meet determined targets for student enrollment and student outcomes, faculty metrics, and other operational key performance indicators.
- Uphold WGU’s promise of providing employees with a meaningful, enjoyable, and rewarding work experience.
- Maintain a student-focused culture that provides a best-in-class education for the school’s students, especially those for whom traditional higher education models are not a good fit.
- Ensure that the School of Health retains its place as the online learning destination of choice by having the most relevant curriculum delivered in the most effective manner at an affordable price point
The successful SVP is a strategic and operational leader who is passionate about education and workforce skilling. They will be accomplished at leading significant growth of a division, company or not-for-profit organization and should have a strong mission orientation and a passion for helping underserved adults obtain higher education and better jobs. In addition, they must be highly credible in Health professionals’ space and able to clearly articulate Western Governors University’s purpose, mission, vision, and goals.
More broadly, this leader is probing, innovative, open-minded, and data driven. They will have experience attracting talent and effectively leading teams, motivating others to achieve strategic priorities and specific outcomes in a diverse, complex, and highly collaborative work environment.
Deep operational and administrative leadership at scale significant experience at a senior leadership/administrative level, including experience in the developing and managing a budget, personnel, strategic planning, and the use of technology. Preference for those that have had the experience owning a P&L in the context of a shared service setting. Expertise in the health professions industry Including a well-developed strategic view on the future of the healthcare industry and changing employment demand Demonstrated experience in a mission-oriented environment history of success within an environment that strives for student-focused outcomes with equal enthusiasm for operational rigor and business outcomes. Graduate degree in a health-related field. Masters required with PhD preferred.
CRITICAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITIES
Strategic thinking with the goal of advancing the strategic priorities of the WGU School of Health, this leader will:
- Define the evolving future of health education and workforce development both at WGU and within higher education more broadly, using logic and evidence.
- Revise strategy and propose new directions for the school based on the evolving marketplace.
- Challenge assumptions and conventional wisdom with specific, supported, reasoned proposals.
- Contribute to the development of an organizational strategy, justifying it with market insight.
- Think 3-5 years ahead into next business cycle.
Collaborating and Influencing
Recognizing the collaborative culture and the importance of incorporating diverse views, this leader will:
- Negotiate with a genuine give-and-take approach and act as a true peer, recognizing that decisions are shared by the leadership team.
- Spend time identifying all stakeholders, meeting, or connecting with all to shape and forge a collective consensus.
- Identify opportunities to build relationships both across and outside of the University.
OTHER PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
- Highly strategic with the ability to think towards the future.
- The ability to deal with ambiguity and change in a fast-faced environment