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Vice Provost, University Life

University of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Sep 9, 2022

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Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Vice Provost, University Life

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

COVID-19 vaccination is a requirement for all positions at the University of Pennsylvania. New hires are expected to be fully vaccinated before beginning work at the University. For more information about Penn's vaccine requirements and the use of Penn Open Pass, visit the Penn COVID-19 Response website for the latest information.

Posted Job Title
Vice Provost, University Life

Job Profile Title
Vice Provost, University Life

Job Description Summary
The University of Pennsylvania seeks an innovative, inclusive, collaborative, and entrepreneurial leader for the role of Vice Provost for University Life. The Vice Provost plays a critical and highly visible role in leading and supporting the University-wide student experience at Penn.

Reporting directly to the Provost, the next Vice Provost for University Life will lead the Division of University Life, working collaboratively with undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty across Penn's 12 schools and a wide range of interdisciplinary centers and institutes. The Vice Provost leads the student life portfolio at Penn, which includes academic, career and personal support; community clubs and organizations; cultural resource centers; and administrative services. The Vice Provost will lead all campus initiatives related to student life in a manner that is inclusive, innovative, strategic, data-informed, and maximizes the value of available technologies, while maintaining the responsiveness and individualized approach to students that Penn has always exemplified.

With the arrival of newly appointed President Liz Magill, a legal scholar and transformative leader, this is an exciting time to join the University of Pennsylvania. This position presents a unique opportunity to shape the lives of exceptionally talented students who are deeply committed to the Penn ethos of making a meaningful difference in the wider world. The University's longstanding emphasis on student life, combined with lessons learned from the pandemic, offer new opportunities for the Vice Provost to think creatively and flexibly about how to continue to advance the student experience at Penn.

The University invites applications and nominations for this significant leadership role.

Job Description


The Vice Provost for University Life oversees a nationally honored division providing services, support, and leadership development opportunities to support a diverse community of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Penn students benefit enormously from the University's rich global diversity and renowned interdisciplinary educational opportunities. University Life plays an integral role in students' lives, integrating student supports and co-curricular experiences in civic engagement, peer education, career planning, mentoring, and cultural programming.

Reporting to the Provost, the next Vice Provost will lead a complex portfolio of responsibilities, including the following:

  • Lead University Life departments and programs serving over 26,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students;
  • Provide leadership in the areas of long-range University Life strategic planning, student outcomes assessment, University Life facilities planning and renovation, development and resource acquisition opportunities, program review, and staffing;
  • Develop, recommend, and implement long- and short-range University Life goals, objectives, policies, and procedures; and
  • Serve as a member of the Provost's Leadership Group, the Council of Graduate Deans, the Professional Masters Deans Council, the Council of Undergraduate Deans, and the University Academic Planning and Budget Committee.

The VP will oversee a budget of $45 million and a staff of 135 full-time employees across 16 departments, including the following direct reports:

  • Senior Associate Vice Provost for University Life
  • Associate Vice Provost for University Life
  • Associate Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
  • Assistant Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Operations
  • Interim University Life Technology Services Director
  • Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost for University Life



Requires Ed.D., Ph.D., J.D., or other appropriate terminal degree.


The University of Pennsylvania seeks a collaborative and visible campus leader with strong management skills who engages regularly and enthusiastically with students and who has significant experience leading change in complex organizations. Candidates must have a passion for Penn's mission and a commitment to providing undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with an outstanding experience at Penn. An advanced degree is preferred.

The ideal candidate will possess:
  • A deep passion for student life and the holistic student experience, including personal growth and student well-being;
  • Deep experience serving the unique needs of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from a range of socioeconomic, racial, sexual identity, and other backgrounds;
  • An unyielding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and a history of strong and measurable progress advancing these issues in a campus environment;
  • An ability to build teams and to lead, inspire, mentor, and retain staff within a complex division;
  • A track record of welcoming collaboration with a range of partners and constituencies across a campus to advance the overall student experience;
  • An ability to navigate a large, decentralized, and complex research institution;
  • An understanding of national best practices around important student issues, including how to engage with parents, and an ability to be a leading voice in the national discourse surrounding student affairs and higher education;
  • Experience managing crises and demonstrated calm under pressure;
  • Facility with data and its value in determining strategy and allocating resources;
  • An understanding of complex legal regulations that may impact student affairs decisions or approaches;
  • A student-centered entrepreneurial, strategic, and evidence-driven approach to encouraging innovation and leading change;
  • A highly nuanced understanding of equity and inclusion and how to design policies and systems so that students from all backgrounds and experiences can thrive;
  • The ability to build consensus among constituents with widely varying needs and priorities;
  • Experience serving in a highly-visible leadership role serving undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, faculty, and staff;
  • Impeccable integrity and a deep commitment to the mission of Penn;
  • Outstanding communication skills, including the ability to use technology and social media effectively;
  • Superior written and oral presentation skills, adaptable for a variety of audiences including both internal and external stakeholders; and,
  • A proven ability to be both compassionate and firm in managing complex student issues and concerns in a changing global environment.


For best consideration, please send all nominations and applications, electronically and in confidence by October 20, 2022, to:

Ruth Shoemaker Wood, Ph.D., Managing Director

Fiona Jaramillo, Ed.D., Senior Associate

Storbeck Search

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Student Services

Pay Range
$50,000.00 - $350,000.00
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

To learn more, please visit:

To apply, visit jeid-55779f739cfb8140b8544f3b61e920ad
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