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Interim Associate Vice President for for Student Affairs / Dean of Students

Posted: 05/05/2024

This senior student affairs officer position is an exciting opportunity for an energetic and visionary leader to champion holistic student learning and success grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Reporting to the president and serving on the executive cabinet for Bemidji State University and NTC: Bemidji’s Technical College, the Interim Associate Vice President for Student Affairs / Dean of Students (AVPSA/DOS) provides creative, strategic, and equity-minded leadership for a comprehensive portfolio of programs, services, and staff dedicated to the student experience at BSU and NTC.

The AVPSA/DOS plays a leadership role in providing guidance and direction to advance institutional missions, efforts, and strategic priorities to enhance student success including retention and completion rates in a manner that is just, equitable, and inclusive. The AVPSA/DOS coordinates and leads student crisis planning and response efforts, serves as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator for students, and oversees the student conduct program – partnering with others across campus to create and sustain a student culture of care, respect, and responsibility. In collaboration with the President and other Executive Cabinet members, the AVPSA/DOS prepares and implements the annual general fund, auxiliary, and student fee budgets for the division and its various units, as well as actively works to create safe, healthy, and inclusive environments for both institutions. 
 
Included in the AVPSA/DOS’s portfolio are the following areas that are structured to provide student-centered experiences that are designed to meet the needs of an ever-changing population of students: 

  • Campus Life and Community Standards areas including: Aramark Dining Services; Hobson Memorial Union; Housing and Residential Life; New Student Orientation; Deputy Title IX for Students, Student Conduct, and Student Crisis Response. 
  • Student Health and Well-being areas including: Gillett Wellness Center and Student Center for Health and Counseling. 
  • Student Leadership areas including: Student Senate (BSU and NTC) and the President’s Student Commission. 

CHARACTERISTIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Leadership

  • Serving as a member of the President’s Executive Cabinet Team and the Cabinets for BSU and/or NTC.? 
  • Providing thought leadership related to the scope of responsibility in planning and decision-making for BSU and NTC including service as a senior advisor and trusted partner to the President in pursuit of the vision and mission of BSU and NTC.? 
  • Center holistic student learning, success, and achievement leading to long-term educational value in all professional practices. 
  • Demonstrating self-awareness of one’s own cultural beliefs, perspectives, and privileges as a part of one’s orientation toward leadership.? 
  • Acknowledging the specific and particular realities of Indigenous, Black and other persons of color, 2SLGBTQIAP+ individuals, first-generation college students, people from low-income families, and other minoritized communities within Northern Minnesota while also connecting communities to local and regional experiences in order to foster a greater sense of belonging among employees and students.? 
  • Advancing a campus culture of proactive, transparent, and inclusive engagement with shared governance.? 
  • Actively and visibly engaging with campus, local, and regional communities. 
  • Promoting practices that are environmentally sustainable and consistent with practices advanced by American Indian stewards of the region’s land, water, and air.? 
  • Proactively engaging in data-informed practices that lead to continuous improvement.   
  • Committing to the highest level of ethical practice including allocation of time and resources for reflection, rest, mentoring/consultation, etc. 
  • Maintaining currency in areas of leadership responsibility including student affairs administration through active engagement in NASPA, ACPA, and/or other related professional associations. 

Senior Student Affairs Officer

  • Providing high level strategic leadership and day-to-day oversight of the Student Affairs division. 
  • Overseeing the administrative, programmatic, and coordinating functions of the following units and offices: Gillett Wellness Center; Hobson Memorial Union (including New Student Orientation); Housing and Residential Life; Student Center for Health and Counseling. 
  • Working in partnership with the Vice President for Finance and Administration to provide management and oversight for Aramark Dining Services. 
  • Creating a coherent vision for student-centered programs and services designed to meet the needs of diverse 21st Century learners and establishing and implementing short- and long-range organizational goals, strategic plans, policies, and operating procedures. 

Holistic and Equitable Student Learning and Success

  • Providing strategic leadership in developing, implementing, and assessing comprehensive student learning and success plans to include strategies and interventions informed by theory, inclusive and equitable practices and data-informed practices that enhance student retention, completion, graduation, and graduate outcomes. 
  • Facilitating the development of a culture that recognizes, affirms, and helps students draw upon cultural, communal, and identity-based ways of knowing, being, and doing to achieve educational outcomes. 
  • Collaborating with others on campus to ensure a welcoming, inclusive, and success-oriented environment for minoritized and all other students. 
  • Supporting the exploration and sharing of best practices related to improving retention, persistence, and completion for placed-at-risk and under-represented students. 
  • Creating and sustaining an organizational culture that is inclusive, safe, affirming and incorporates an anti-racist and social justice ethos. 
  • Embodying and exhibiting a philosophical approach grounded in the belief that all students can learn and succeed. 
  • Identifying and addressing systemic and structural inequities in educational access and outcomes related to Student Life and Success policies, programs, and services. 

Student Engagement, Well-being, and Sense of Belonging

  • Collaborating with campus partners, particularly with faculty and academic affairs, to enrich and enhance students’ curricular, co-curricular and experiential learning experiences to promote student engagement, achievement, and success. 
  • Promoting and encouraging the creation of a developmentally sound, student-centered set of options for engagement that help students perceive an increased sense of belonging. 
  • Utilizing BSU’s and NTC’s strategic priorities and organizing Student Affairs programs and services to better integrate and coordinate student support services while also increasing student engagement in campus life. 
  • Leading and supporting best practices for effective conflict resolution with students, drawing upon restorative justice practices when appropriate, understanding student mental health and well-being issues, and convening resources from multiple departments and constituencies to address complex student issues. 

Student Care and Support

  • Serving as a Deputy Title IX Coordinator and assisting with allegations of Title IX, 1B.1 (Equal Opportunity and Non- Discrimination in Employment and Education) and 1B.3 (Sexual Violence) policies, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Campus SaVE Act violations. 
  • Serving as the senior conduct officer and custodian of confidential student conduct records for both institutions. 
  • Providing leadership and support for the Care Team Committee and helping coordinate student interventions. 
  • Serving as a resource for faculty and staff with student issues and emergencies. 

Proactive and Responsive Retention Advocacy

  • Collaborating with Executive Cabinet and BSU and NTC Cabinet members, academic deans, faculty, and staff to promote, implement, and advance the strategic direction outlined in the strategic enrollment management plan and other efforts to enhance student success including retention and completion rates in a manner that is just, equitable, and inclusive. 
  • Maintaining a bias toward making decisions that are informed by research, data, and theory and that leverage students’ unique cultures, experiences, and backgrounds as strengths.  
  • In partnership with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and other campus leaders, providing the vision and support for achieving retention and student success goals by enhancing and coordinating substantive experiences beyond the classroom. 
  • Serving on the Strategic Enrollment Management Steering Committee and co-chairing the Equity 2030 Work Group that focuses on student persistence to degree and coordinating student services through the lens of equity. 

Program Assessment and Evaluation

  • Ensuring that a “best practice” student affairs program, which supports the strategic plan and emphasizes student engagement, is at the forefront of a BSU and NTC education. 
  • Creating and sustaining a culture of assessment within the Student Affairs division for continuous improvement of the programs and services offered with a commitment to adhering to CAS Standards to evaluate the range of existing programs. 
  • Leading student learning outcome assessment planning, strategy, and implementation for co-curricular and extra-curricular contexts.  
  • When representing the student experience to internal and external audiences, the AVPSA/DOS will offer an assessment and data-informed perspective and advocate for programs and services that enhance the student experience and promote student engagement. 

Fiscal and Human Resource Management

  • Collaborating with the President and Executive Cabinet members, preparing and implementing the annual general fund, auxiliary and student fee budgets for the division and its various units. 
  • Strategically managing the fiscal and human resources of the Student Affairs division. 
  • Developing, monitoring, and ensuring integrity of all budgets to include income, staffing, and expenditures. 

Other Duties

  • Developing, implementing, monitoring, and revising policies and procedures related to the Student Life and Success division and serve as an active member of the University Policy Committee. 
  • Representing the interests and resources of the division on campus committees and in a variety of contexts (e.g., enrollment management, budget planning, risk management, student activities) with students, families, and other stakeholders. 
  • Frequently collaborating with students and campus partners and modeling the qualities and characteristics necessary to be viewed as a responsive, communicative, and engaged division. 
  • As part of rotation with select vice presidents, serve as acting president when the president is traveling out of the region or state. 
  • Serving as the ex-officio administrative advisor to BSU and NTC student senates. 
  • Working in consultation with the Head of Staff, providing administrative leadership for recruitment, selection, and development of the President’s Student Leader Commission (PSLC). This includes identifying several members for donor-funded scholarships, convening meetings of the PSLC with the President, and ensuring support for PSLC programmatic initiatives.  
  • Performing other job-related duties as assigned. 
QUALIFICATIONS: 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in an appropriate and relevant discipline or field from an accredited institution.
  • Five (5) or more years of recent, successful post-masters experience in a higher education supervisory leadership role in or closely related to student affairs functions.
  • An ability to navigate shared governance environments and productively work with bargaining units and student governance.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree in an appropriate and relevant discipline or field – preferably higher education/student affairs administration or college student personnel. 
  • Ten (10) or more years of increasingly responsible senior level administrative management and effective leadership experience in higher education. 
  • Knowledge of and appreciation for the mission of regional public universities, and familiarity with public two-year technical and community colleges. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds, to interrupt oppressive structures and practices, and to create an institutional culture that is equitable, inclusive, and just. 
  • Highly refined active listening and effective interpersonal and other communication skills. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge and competence in assessment of student services and programs as well as making data-informed decisions for continuous improvement. 
  • A proven track record of providing transformational leadership by being highly visible, transparent, and approachable while acting with the highest ethical values and principles in personal and professional endeavors. 

It’s more than a job. It’s an opportunity for the extraordinary.

On the idyllic shores of Lake Bemidji, cradled among the limitless natural beauty of the North Woods and neighbored by Minnesota’s three largest Indigenous nations, Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College offer opportunities for the extraordinary. 

Bemidji State University has been ranked as one of the top 30 public institutions in the Midwest region by U.S. News & World Report each year since 2019. BSU offers its diverse student body a comprehensive spectrum of opportunities with nearly 120 undergraduate degrees and emphasis areas in more than 50 areas of study, 14 pre-professional programs, and 14 graduate programs and certificates. 

As Bemidji State continues its second century of service, our vision is simple: we educate people to lead inspired lives. To achieve this, BSU centers diversity, equity and inclusion as a core value and strives to create a campus culture in which all members are free to be their authentic selves. BSU also proactively engages with Indigenous communities in northern Minnesota and nationwide toward its goal of becoming a destination university. 

Northwest Technical College, one of only three pure technical colleges remaining in Minnesota, helps around 1,000 students align their education with their employment goals. NTC offers more than three dozen certificates, diplomas, and degrees in five career paths. For more than 50 years, NTC has prepared students for fulfilling careers in well-paying, in-demand fields. NTC's accessible, affordable, hands-on programs also help employers meet their ever-growing need for a highly skilled workforce. With an open-enrollment policy and affordable tuition, NTC meets students where they are with a convenient mix of on-campus, online, and hybrid courses. 

BSU and NTC are members of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities, the third-largest system of higher education institutions in the United States. The schools share a unique alignment, with administration and student services generally having dual responsibilities to serve both campuses. Through this alignment, NTC students can take advantage of services, support, activities, and opportunities at BSU that expand and enhance their college experience — such as full access to BSU’s library and the ability to live in BSU’s on-campus resident housing. 

For the first time, a joint strategic planning process will guide the future directions for both institutions. The schools are pursuing four shared strategic priorities: student success, the Nisidotaading initiative, northern distinction, and telling our story. These priorities will serve as the foundations for master planning processes for facilities, academic programs, fundraising, information technology, intercollegiate athletics, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, among others. 

The Nisidotaading initiative — named for an Ojibwe phrase meaning “building mutual understanding” — is creating a statewide center of excellence. It will develop communities of practice meant to help Minnesota State colleges and universities better educate their campus communities on historical trauma and lived experiences of their Indigenous populations, and how to most effectively guide Indigenous students toward their educational goals. In addition, BSU is the first university in the United States to expose all of its students to a course on Indigenous people before graduation. 

Bemidji State University acknowledges that it is located on land and water that is the current and ancestral homeland of the Ojibwe and Dakota. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide, forced assimilation, and efforts to alienate the Indigenous inhabitants from their territory here. We honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land, retained tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, and cultural resilience. Indigenous people are spiritual and physical caretakers of this land to which we all belong. Bemidji State University respects these sacred lands, stands with the community members from these Nations, and will fight injustice in all its forms. 

At Minnesota State, the work we do is more than just a job. In their pursuit of purpose, connection, and growth, our employees play a critical role on our campuses. They develop policies, provide essential services, and work to improve the well-being and quality of life for our students and for all Minnesotans. Minnesota State is committed to equity and inclusion, and we invest in our employees by providing benefits, support resources, and training and development opportunities. Unlock your potential through possibility. 

The City of Bemidji

Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College lie amid the lakes and forests of northern Minnesota. Bemidji State occupies a wooded campus along the western shore of Lake Bemidji while Northwest Technical College lies just three miles east, near Bemidji’s robust industrial district.?  

The city sits between Minnesota’s three largest American Indian tribal nations: the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the Red Lake Nation and the White Earth Nation. When settling the Bemidji area in 1750, the Ojibwe people named the lake Bemidjigamaag, which means “a lake with crossing waters” as the Mississippi River flows in from the south and exits on the east. Today, a city proper with a population of around 15,000 serves as a regional economic and cultural hub for about 100,000 Minnesotans. 

Located just minutes away from a thriving downtown Bemidji, both the BSU and NTC campus communities have convenient access to affordable restaurants, fine-dining experiences, cozy coffee shops, grocery stores — including a natural foods co-op — city parks, and nearly unlimited outdoor recreational opportunities. Small, locally-owned shops and art sculptures line Bemidji's downtown streets, while national chains are also found in and around the area.?The historic Paul Bunyan Playhouse has a calendar of classic shows, restaurants offer weekly live music performances, the First Friday Art Walk provides a tour of new monthly art exhibits, and annual festivals bring the community together throughout the year.

Additionally, the North Woods setting means students, staff, and faculty have a variety of activities available at their fingertips year-round. With more than 400 lakes — and a 240-acre research forest owned by BSU — within 25 miles of the city, there is easy access to kayaking, canoeing, swimming, boating, paddle boarding, hunting, hiking, biking, foraging, fishing, and more. An expansive network of?multi-use trail systems is available for running, cross-country skiing, single-track or fat-tire biking, and skijoring. Further, downhill skiing, snowboarding, and tubing lie just north of Bemidji at the Buena Vista Ski Area.  

Bemidji is also near two of Minnesota’s 66 state parks:?Lake Bemidji State Park, which sits along Lake Bemidji’s northern shore, and Itasca State Park, home to the majestic Mississippi River Headwaters. Both parks are popular recreational and camping destinations where locals and tourists gather for sailing, swimming, and fishing during the summer months, and?skating, hockey, curling, and—yes—more fishing in the winter.

Of course, no tour of Bemidji is complete without a visit to — and a selfie with — its two most famous residents: the iconic statues of Paul Bunyan and his trusty companion, Babe the Blue Ox. The famed duo, which has greeted visitors to Bemidji since 1937, is on the National Register of Historic Places and was once ranked by Kodak as the second most-photographed statue in America. 
 
For further information about BSU visit http://www.bemidjistate.edu or NTC at https://www.ntcmn.edu.

To Apply 

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. For best consideration, please apply by May 14, 2024.
 
Apply online at https://bemidjistate.peopleadmin.com/
 
A complete application shall include the following:
  • A cover letter specifically addressing your qualifications, the core values of student success and DEI at BSU and NTC, and the focus on enhancing value for graduates at BSU and NTC.
  • Resume / Curriculum Vitae.
  • Unofficial transcript(s) of all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
 
Please do not email applications.
 
If you have questions about this position, please contact:
Brittany Lauritsen, Director of Athletics
brittany.lauritsen@bemidjistate.edu  
 
If you have questions about submitting an application, contact:
Mary Miller
218-755-2084
mary.miller@bemidjistate.edu