Provost, VP for Academic Affairs


Job Description Summary:

Duties and Responsibilities:

Samuel Merritt University (SMU), an innovative and dynamic multi-campus private institution dedicated to educating impactful, community-based healthcare professionals, seeks a strategic and collaborative leader to serve as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. With renowned programs in nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, and podiatric medicine, Samuel Merritt University delivers a high-quality health sciences education with a focus on compassion and community engagement. In concert with a committed staff and dedicated leadership team, the provost will have a tremendous opportunity to build upon SMU’s recent successes and lead the institution through an exciting period of growth, working to strengthen existing programs and explore opportunities to expand the University’s reach and impact across its campuses and beyond.

Samuel Merritt University has a truly diverse student body of around 2,000 undergraduates and graduates across its four distinct California campuses – Oakland, Sacramento, San Mateo, and Fresno. With an 8:1 student to faculty ratio, students at SMU experience close connections to their peers and instructors while receiving a personalized approach to their education. Students across programs are trained to become skilled, caring, world-class professionals motivated by improving health outcomes and access to care in underserved communities and beyond. As a result, SMU is consistently recognized for its success in preparing students for work after graduation: graduates of SMU enjoy a 95-100% job placement rate within one year of graduation. As the largest nonprofit educator of registered nurses in California, the University is an indispensable healthcare workforce development engine in the region.

This is a propitious time to join the SMU community. In a rare moment of significant expansion of an academic institution in the San Francisco Bay area, SMU was recently approved for a new state-of-the-art 250,000 square foot campus in Oakland. Moreover, in January of 2022, SMU became an independent entity after being an affiliate of Sutter Health, a non-profit integrated health delivery system, since 1999. This has allowed the University to pursue its ambitious goal of building a new campus and unlocking their impact and potential by strategically creating new academic programs to meet the needs of the diverse communities SMU serves.

The next provost will be a key player in the execution of an ambitious academic master plan, along with its associated enrollment growth plan that has the student population doubling in the next decade. This will require strategic planning around infrastructure, facilities, and the hiring, retaining, and supporting of more world-class faculty and staff. There is also a tremendous opportunity for SMU to play a significant role in workforce development for the health sciences beyond patient care. This individual will assess existing programs’ opportunities for growth and improvements while working to create new academic programs such as midwifery, kinesiology, medical social work, psychology/mental health, health data science, medicine, and nurse leadership, among others, across the University’s four campuses.

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: . Electronic submission of materials is required.

David Bellshaw, Jaime Morgen, and Rafa Escobedo

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415.655.4900

Samuel Merritt University has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strive to build a welcoming and supportive campus environment and acknowledge that diversity is an educational imperative to achieve excellence.

Employee Status:
Exemption Status:
United States of America (Exempt)
Time Type:
Full time
Job Shift:

Pay Range:


Samuel Merritt University currently provides base salary ranges for all positions-on job advertisements-in the United States based on local requirements. Individual compensation will ultimately be determined based on a variety of relevant factors including but-not limited to qualifications, geographic location, and other relevant skills.

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