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Associate Vice President, Student Engagement

Florida Gulf Coast University 
Fort Myers, Florida
Posted Date
Oct 26, 2022

Associate Vice President, Student Engagement

at Florida Gulf Coast University 

Florida Gulf Coast University, a comprehensive state institution of higher education in Southwest Florida, seeks an experienced administrator and innovative leader in student success programs to serve as Associate Vice President, Student Engagement. Reporting to Dr. Mitch Cordova, the Vice President for Student Success and Enrollment Management, the Associate Vice President, Student Engagement serves on the Vice President Leadership Team and is an active participant in all aspects of University-wide student engagement. This administrator provides leadership and administrative oversight for Housing & Residence Life, Student Health Services, Campus Recreation, Prevention & Wellness, and Campus Life.

For complete information, see the Search Profile at

About the University

Accepting its first student in 1997, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is one of the newest member institutions of the State University System of Florida and is celebrating its 25th year anniversary. Emphasizing innovative, student-centered teaching and learning, the University values and promotes environmental sustainability, diversity, community partnerships, public service, civic responsibility, and lifelong learning. In U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 Best Colleges Report, FGCU is tied for 7th in Most Innovative Schools among Regional Universities in the South in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, and facilities.

     Serving nearly 16,000 students, FGCU offers 63 undergraduate programs, 26 master’s degree programs, 7 doctoral programs, and 17 academic certificates, all of which prepare students to excel and innovate. Eighty-one percent of classes are taught by full-time faculty. The University has 11 colleges and schools: College of Arts & Sciences, Lutgert College of Business, College of Education, U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering, Marieb College of Health & Human Services, Honors College, Bower School of Music & the Arts, Daveler & Kauanui School of Entrepreneurship, School of Nursing, School of Resort & Hospitality Management, and The Water School. In addition to on-campus classes, a number of undergraduate courses and graduate degree programs and certificate programs are taught online. The average freshman retention rate is 81 percent. The University holds the second-highest graduate employment rate among all Florida state universities.

     Students have access to significant academic resources and support services to keep them on track to graduate on time and launch successful careers. FGCU’s 587 faculty members represent a diverse community of scholars and researchers with a strong commitment to teaching and service. Many professors have entrepreneurial spirits and are excited by the prospect of creating new programs and initiatives that prepare students to address emerging trends and needs.

     FGCU houses over 4,700 residents in state-of-the-art award-winning residence halls, including nationally recognized Sovi Hall; of that, 80% are freshman attending college for the first time. Beyond the classroom, FGCU provides meaningful opportunities and programming that support students’ interests, enhances personal growth, and encourages campus and community involvement.

Student Success & Enrollment Management Division

Student Success & Enrollment Management is a comprehensive student-centered division that is comprised of four units containing 13 departments. The mission and goal of this division is to optimize and maximize FGCU’s efforts in 1) attracting and admitting best-fit students to FGCU, 2) enhancing student engagement and campus life, 3) improving student retention, persistence, and four-year graduation rates, and 4) decreasing the cost of attendance while enhancing the employability of students following graduation.

Academic Engagement Unit

Academic Engagement fosters student success through programs and services that support the academic mission of the institution, while playing a role in helping the University to achieve preeminence through meeting the goals outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan. The unit includes the following departments, Adaptive Services, Career Development Services, Center for Academic Achievement, Internships and Cooperative Programs, Office of the First Year Experience, Service Learning and Civic Engagement, Testing and Assessment, Student Support Services and Outreach Programs, and University Advising Services.

Enrollment Management

Enrollment Management is responsible for marketing, recruiting, yielding, admitting, financially supporting, and enrolling undergraduate and graduate students while serving and retaining the 16,000+ current FGCU students and looking for opportunities to expand recruitment strategies, leverage scholarships and merit aid, and support the success of FGCU’s growing student population by creating, maintaining, and protecting academic information. This unit supports Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Admissions, Records and Registration, Community Outreach, and Veterans Benefits.

Student Engagement

Student Engagement is dedicated to the individual needs of each student and to the support of and advocacy for the diversity of its student body. This staff is fully committed to the personal growth of FGCU students to help maximize their success while attending the University. The unit is comprised of Housing & Residence Life, Student Health Services, Campus Recreation, Prevention & Wellness, and Campus Life.

Student Financial, Enrollment & Business Services

Student Financial, Enrollment & Business Services delivers seamless, efficient, and timely financial aid, scholarships, enrollment, and business services to all students using innovative technology and the highest level of customer service. This unit includes the Enrollment Services Center, Financial Aid & Scholarships, and Retention & Graduation Services.

The Opportunity

The Associate Vice President (AVP), Student Engagement reports directly to the Vice President for Student Success & Enrollment Management (SS&EM). The AVP works collaboratively with the Vice President of SS&EM and its leadership team to:

  • Deliver intentional meaningful living and learning experiences that provide students support and creates a culture of belonging and engagement across the University.
  • Offer comprehensive health services that support the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of students.
  • Offer programming that facilitates student engagement and connection to the larger campus community.

     The AVP’s leadership team includes the Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students, Director of Campus Recreation, Director of Housing & Residential Life, Director of Prevention & Wellness, and Director of Student Health Services.

Job Responsibilities

  • Provide oversight and direction to the Assistant Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students to develop a comprehensive campus life program that maximizes opportunities for student engagement on campus for the following: Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Involvement, Student Programming Board, Student Government, Multicultural and Leadership Development Center, and Eagle Media.
  • Provide oversight for all student conduct and case management.
  • Provide oversight and direction to the Eagles Care Council to deliver an integrated health and wellness model for all students on campus. This model will include Student Health Services, Student Care Services, Campus Recreation, Prevention and Wellness, and collaborate with Counseling and Psychological Services.
  • Provide oversight and direction for all on-campus residential housing. This includes facilities management, business operations, budget management, and all residence life activities.
  • Collaborate with campus partners to ensure a vibrant Cohen Student Union that provides
  • students a comprehensive student center on campus to meet their social needs, provide opportunities for student engagement, and enhances interaction between students.
  • Engage in an analytical, empirical, data-driven approach to problem solving and decision-making.
  • Facilitate a culture of evidence and accountability in student engagement.
  • With support from the Data Analytics & Reporting Team, and in collaboration with the Office of Planning and Institutional Performance, identify student engagement trends to develop strategies to enhance student retention. Generate comprehensive, user-friendly reports for distribution to stakeholders throughout the campus.
  • Actively participate as a member of the Vice President’s leadership team.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.



  • Doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in a related field or discipline
  • Six or more years of progressive leadership experience at the director or assistant vice president level in the area of Student Engagement or Student Affairs, with an outstanding record of department and/or unit management and leadership
  • Demonstrated experience in two or more of the following areas: housing & residence life, campus recreation, campus and/or student life, student conduct, student health services, and prevention and wellness
  • Experience with employee recruitment, training, retention, and promotion decisions
  • Demonstrated experience developing strategies and/or programs for advancing students through their academic progression and with their professional goals
  • Experience articulating and executing marketing/communication strategies to successfully engage students


  • Experience with utilizing predictive analytics in a student engagement setting
  • Experience leading and managing two or more student engagement areas: housing & residence life, campus recreation, campus / student life, student conduct, student health services, prevention and wellness, student union
  • Extensive experience working with student programming, facilities management, and state and auxiliary budget operations on a campus level
  • Knowledge and ability to use technology specific to student engagement including student retention tools and resources, campus card integration, and other means to capture and use relevant student engagement information to make informed decisions
  • Personal crisis management experience, in a leadership role, within a higher education environment

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Ability to effectively address and communicate the needs of a variety of different student populations, including first time in college, first-generation, transfer, non-traditional, commuter, and traditionally underrepresented students
  • Ability to work independently, with minimum oversight, attend to multiple projects simultaneously, and to deliver accurate results and meet deadlines
  • Knowledge of contemporary best practices in student engagement and student success, as well as national trends impacting higher education
  • Knowledge and understanding of statistical and predictive analysis and the use of data analytics for knowledge-based decision making
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple responsibilities and move projects efficiently from a vision point to reality
  • Skilled with planning, budgeting, and fiscal management in a complex organization
  • Ability to effectively manage employees and complex organizations in an environment that values teamwork and professional development
  • Proven marketing experience with the ability to articulate strategies to successfully engage students
  • Knowledge and experience with the importance of the interdependence and interrelationship of all student engagement departments to assist with the strategic goals of the institution
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills
  • Ability to provide collaborative leadership and decision making
  • Ability to recruit, train, and retain a diverse staff
  • Ability to provide long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion for all community members

FGCU offers a robust benefits package including medical and dental plans, life insurance, a retirement program with tax-deferred investment options, tuition waiver for employees and their families, paid holidays, sick leave, vacation time, and competitive salaries.

Application & Nomination Process

Confidential inquiries are welcomed, and nominations are invited.


Application packet must include a) A letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and qualifications of the position; b) Current curriculum vitae or résumé; and c) At least four references with full contact information including e-mail (References will not be contacted without consent from applicant.)

Submit application packet (preferably as PDFs) to by December 1, 2022, for best consideration. Additional information will be requested upon receipt of application. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Submit nominations to with complete contact and e-mail information for the individual being nominated.

Jennifer Barfield, Senior Vice President, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, is the lead consultant for this search with Emily Parker Myers, CEO, assisting. Request a conversation regarding this search at

Florida Gulf Coast University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, national origin, marital status, genetic predisposition, sexual orientation, gender identity/gender expression, or veteran status as required by applicable state and federal law, as well as University regulations and policies.

Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting | 478-330-6222

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