John Brown University (JBU) seeks a vice president for student development (VPSD) who will be an exceptional servant leader to advance the institution’s student life programs in fulfilling JBU’s Christian mission and vision. The VPSD will love discipling college students and will lead the student life staff and programs to invest in students’ mental, emotional, relational, spiritual, professional, and physical well-being. She or he will manage JBU’s residence life program, the student counseling center, health services, career development, Office of Christian formation, student activities, and campus safety. The VPSD will lead the student life team to develop young people who will lead and serve others in their homes, churches, communities, workplaces and the world. The VPSD will serve on the President’s cabinet and report to the President.
John Brown University’s mission is to provide Christ-centered education that prepares people to honor God and serve others by developing their intellectual, spiritual, and professional lives. Founded in 1919, JBU is a Christ-centered, Biblically-faithful, interdenominational university that represents the best of Protestant evangelicalism in our commitment to the following theological principles: the fundamental human need for conversion and lifelong discipleship; the centrality of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection for the redemption of human beings; high regard for, and obedience to, the Bible as our authority; and active involvement in a local church, in missions and in ministries that work for Biblical justice and serve people in need. At JBU, we seek to integrate faith and learning, foster holistic Christian formation, promote pragmatic liberal arts education, and prepare people to follow Christ’s call to serve others in all areas of life. All employees must affirm JBU’s Employee Expectations and Articles of Faith.
With more than 2,250 students from 37 states and 42 countries, JBU offers over 50 undergraduate programs, seven fully online bachelor’s degrees and 12 graduate degrees in business, education, cybersecurity and counseling. JBU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and holds program-specific accreditations from various agencies. More information is available at jbu.edu/accreditation.
JBU has benefited from stable and excellent leadership throughout the organization. President Chip Pollard started in 2004 and has led the organization in consistently meeting enrollment goals, completing two capital campaigns and launching a third, completing two strategic plans and launching a third, 17 major building projects, encouraging efforts to recruit and retain diverse faculty, staff, and students, and navigating the educational and financial challenges of the pandemic successfully. He served on the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) board for thirteen years and as chair for five years. Most of the president’s cabinet has served for over 20 years, and all cabinet members have held volunteer leadership positions in the CCCU, ACSD, CIC, NACUBO, and other higher education associations. JBU’s board of trustees are people of deep Christian faith, generous spirit, and professional expertise, with an average length of service of 11 years. They are deeply committed to maintaining JBU’s mission to educate students to honor God and serve others.
JBU has experienced a season of God’s favor and blessing, for which we are grateful. In the last 20 years, JBU has received over $300 million in gifts and grants and has built or renovated over 90% of the university’s facilities. JBU has only about $4 million of debt on over $220 million of assets. During that same time, JBU’s endowment has grown from about $50 million to over $150 million, much of it dedicated to scholarships and academic programs and to support maintenance costs for new facilities. This financial strength has enabled JBU to retain excellent faculty and staff with consistent compensation increases and funds for faculty and staff development. JBU has not been not immune to the economic and cultural challenges facing higher education, but it is positioned better than many institutions to respond.
JBU has received national recognition from many national newspapers and industry journals. For instance, in eight out of the last nine years, the Chronicle of Higher Education has named JBU on its “high honor roll” in its “Great Place to Work” survey. The Wall Street Journal has named JBU to its Best Colleges list since 2019, ranking us the top private school in Arkansas (2020) and top Arkansas university overall (2022, 2024). We are typically in the top 10% in our category (master’s level universities in the South) in U.S. News and World Report rankings.
JBU is located in Northwest Arkansas, a region predicted to have the third fastest job growth rate in the country behind only Austin, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina. Three of the largest corporations in the world are located here—Walmart, Tyson Foods, and JB Hunt—and there is a growing technology, entrepreneurial, and art business ecosystem in the region. The quality of life is enhanced with a world-class art museum, Crystal Bridges, 25 miles from campus, over 400 miles of mountain biking trails, several state and national historic sites, parks, and large lakes, and a new $33 million whitewater rafting park just five miles south of campus. Siloam Springs has approximately 18,350 people with affordable housing and good private and public schools.
- Leads JBU’s student development efforts as a thought leader, skillful administrator, persuasive communicator, and faithful Christian
- Chair of student development cabinet, all-campus judiciary board, university crisis response team, and threat assessment team, member of spiritual life, student success and retention, and Title IX committees, member of the president’s cabinet, and cabinet representative to the student development committee of the board of trustees
- Develops and manages all student development budgets to advance JBU’s mission
- Creates an academic and professional culture that attracts, retains, develops, recognizes and promotes excellent and diverse Christ-centered student development administrators
- Encourages, promotes and evaluates excellence in Christ-centered residential life; chapel and Christian formation programming; student activities; student discipline and Title IX processes; student care and well-being programming; student mental, emotional, and physical health services; and campus safety
- Visibly supports JBU’s student development programming by attending student development events (e.g. student activities, orientation, leadership or spiritual retreats, mission trips)
- Mentoring and discipling of student leaders
- Works collaboratively with faculty and academic administrators to enable students to flourish in all areas of their university experience
- Works in collaboration with the Office of Diversity in efforts to enable faculty, staff, and students with diverse backgrounds to flourish at JBU
- Participates in, encourages, supports and advises JBU’s enrollment efforts and student success efforts
- Advises president and president’s cabinet on student wellbeing at JBU and works collaboratively with all cabinet peers
- Winsomely represents JBU and its student development programs to external audiences to instill confidence in JBU’s care for student wellbeing
- Master’s degree in relevant field
- Demonstrated experience in:
- leading successfully in a student development or other similar context
- discipling students in the Christian faith
- recruiting, developing, mentoring, evaluating, and leading people to excel as Christ-centered professionals in student development
- understanding of budgeting in student development or other similar field
- Committed to JBU’s Biblical ideal of diversity and human sexuality
- Advocate persuasively for the value of Christian higher education offered by JBU
- Committed to following Jesus Christ in personal and professional life
- Affirm JBU’s Articles of Faith and Employee Expectations wholeheartedly
- Terminal doctoral degree in relevant field
- Demonstrated experience in:
- leading successfully in a higher education institution as a dean, vice president, or cabinet-level position
- personally recruiting, retaining, developing, recognizing, and promoting excellent and diverse Christ-centered student development professional
- managing student development budgets to maximize revenue and service to students
- initiating, evaluating, developing and, in some cases, eliminating student development programs to serve students well
- developing and managing programs for college students that promote spiritual, mental and emotional, relational, professional, academic or physical well-being
- engaging in Title IX administration and student disciplinary processes
- working with faculty and academic administrators to enable students to thrive in their college experience
A competitive salary will be commensurate with training and experience. In addition, JBU offers a comprehensive benefits package, including a 403(b) retirement plan, medical and dental insurance, tuition remission, parental leave related to the birth or adoption of a child, and moving expenses.
The position begins July 1, 2024. Applications are being accepted, and the screening process is anticipated to start on November 27, 2023, and continue until the position is filled.
JBU desires to increase the diversity of its faculty, staff, and students to honor how all humans are created in the image of God, to reflect better the diversity of the Kingdom of God, to further our Christian commitment to justice, and to increase the quality of our educational experience. JBU is pursuing the goal of teaching and working in a multicultural environment and strongly encourages applications from ethnic minorities and women.