The search for Aurora University's next Vice President for Academic Affairs is being assisted by Academic Search. Applications, nominations and expressions of interest can be submitted in confidence to AuroraVPAA@academicsearch.org.Applications should consist of a detailed letter ofinterest that describes the candidate's interest and alignment with the agenda for leadership, a current curriculum vitae, and a list of five professional references with current contact information. References will not be contacted without the permission of the candidate. The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications on April 30 and will review applications as they are received. Though applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled, only those materials received by May 17, 2021 are assured full consideration. Confidential discussions about this opportunity may be arranged by contacting the Scott Flanagan, Senior Consultant, at email@example.com, or Disa Mason, Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org. Though applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled, only those materials received by May 17, 2021 are assured full consideration.
Position Purpose: Reporting to the President, the Vice President forAcademic Affairs (VPAA) is the Chief AcademicOfficer (CAO) of the College. The Vice Presidentfor Academic Affairs oversees the academicadministration and collaborates closely with the deans to provide leadership for the seven schools which comprise the University. This person directs the staff of the Phillips Library and the registrar's office and supervises the directors of general education and faculty development. The vice president works with colleagues at AUOnline, and at the Woodstock Center and on the George Williams College campus in Wisconsin. S/he ensures the integrity of the general education requirements as well as compliance with the requirements of the Higher Learning Commissionand other accreditors. The vice president serves as a member of the senior staff.This search happens at a time when the Universityis poised to build upon the successes of the recent years. AU seeks an academic leader who will advance the University's purpose of empowering students for lasting personal and professional success and accelerate its journey in that direction. Aurora's innovative spirit, responsiveness to emerging trends, and financial stewardship have positioned the University for continued success. This is not an institution that is satisfied with the status quo, and AU seeks an individual who will be tireless and creative in their pursuit of the University's mission. The next VPAAwill do so in a forward looking way that anticipatesand responds quickly to emerging best practices in teaching and learning, changes in student needs and preferences, and trends in workforce development. Further, this individual will conduct this work in a dynamic environment which serves a very diverse student body.
Represents Aurora University in the most positive manner with prospective, former and current students, clients, suppliers and the community we serve. Interacts effectively with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students and other customers of our service, learns and uses operating practices of the department and Aurora University.
Upholds the Mission Statement: Aurora University an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning.
Handle confidential information with tact and discretion.
Supports learning through performance of essential job functions and performing other duties and functions as necessary or as assigned.
Essential Job Functions:
ENSURE THE UNIVERSITY OFFERS A DYNAMIC, RELEVANT SET OF ACADEMIC PROGRAMS THAT ADVANCE STUDENT SUCCESS AND INSTITUTIONAL HEALTH: As is true of institutions across the country, it is critical that Aurora offers a suite of academic programs that are grounded in its strengths and in the foundation of the liberal arts while helping students achieve personal and professional success. Aurora has been creative in identifying such opportunities; its Plus One program, for example, allows students seeking master's degrees in selected programs to do so in one additional year. Sustained success will rely on continuing to identify and quickly pursue innovations like this that meet student need and strengthen enrollment and net revenue. In addition, the VPAA must be willing to and capable of using information in real time to evaluate the success of existing programs and to make key decisions, determining what areas might need to be started, modified, discontinued, emphasized, deemphasized, etc. This individual must also be adept at working through a variety of delivery options, ensuring that these educational experiences are delivered in ways that meet student expectations—whether face to face on one of the University's campuses, at an off campus site, or in a blended or online format. Perhaps most importantly, this individual will be comfortable moving quickly in pursuit of these goals.
STRENGTHEN THE QUALITY OF THESTUDENT LEARNING EXPERIENCE: In addition to its innovative spirit, Aurora is well knownfor its student-centered approach to helping students of all backgrounds reach their dreams. The next VPAA will advance this effort through a combination of incremental improvements as well as exploring potentially more substantial change.Preparations for AU's next Higher Learning Commission visit (scheduled for fall of 2022) are already underway, with a team established and working on this important project. This person will play a leadership role in the success of that process; they will have the unique opportunity to utilize that self-study process as a chance to learn deeply about the University and to translate that learning into action. This leader will help to prioritize areas of investment—labs, classrooms, technology, support, faculty, etc.—that will maximize return in terms of student success (measured largely by retention, graduate, and job placement rates) and institutional (enrollment and financial) health. The next VPAA will continue to advance ongoing efforts to ensure every student--regardless of program, student type, or form ofdelivery—receives the high-quality, relevant educational experience for which the University is known. Similarly, the successful candidate will continue the regular process of assessing and modifying, as appropriate, the general education curriculum. In particular, the VPAA will accelerate a few crucial topics at this point in AU's history. This person will play a leadership role in ensuring the University continues its trajectory in serving a more racially and ethnically diverse student body and that its curriculum, services, et al are appropriate to ensure the success of all the students it serves. The new VPAA will work to integrate the University's online offerings more deeply into the fabric of AU, reflecting that this work is an essential part of how the University achieves its mission today and will expand its reach tomorrow. This will require an understanding of both the technology itself and the underlying financial and operating models.
LEAD COLLABORATIVELY AND AT A RAPID PACE: Aurora University seeks a VPAA who seeks to meaningfully engage others—within academic affairs and across the University—and who is willing to move at a quick pace. Collaboration at AU is not a mechanism to slow things down, but rather a method to accelerate the rate of change and to improve the quality of decisions. Similarly, the University is comfortable taking action within an environment of ambiguity—the idea of
Aurora University (AU) is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning. It is committed to helping students discover what matters and build their life around it.
AU is a private, nonprofit, independent university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It offers more than 45 undergraduate majors — such as nursing, social work, business administration, criminal justice and psychology — and a wide variety of master’s and doctoral degrees that include social work and business administration. Degree programs are grounded in real-world experiences and are led by experienced, dedicated faculty members, nearly 140 of whom are full-time. The student/faculty ratio is 18:1.
Almost 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students take classes on two main campuses — Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois, and George Williams College in Williams Bay, Wisconsin — as well as the nearby Orchard Center in Aurora and the Woodstock Center in Woodstock, Illinois. Online classes are also available. The Aurora University campus is located 40 miles west of Chicago.
AU has 24 NCAA Division III teams competing in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, Midwest Lacro...sse Conference, Midwest Women's Lacrosse Conference and Northern Collegiate Hockey Association. About 700 student-athletes compete in sports. AU has a rich history and tradition of success across the spectrum of sport offerings. From conference championships to NCAA Championship appearances to academic awards and community service, student-athletes and staff continue to bring excitement and a sense of pride to Aurora University and all of the Spartan fans across the country. At AU, we firmly believe that intercollegiate athletics should promote the character development of participants, enhance the integrity of higher education, and promote civility in society. Toward these ends, we strive to adhere to fundamental values such as respect, civility, honesty and responsibility. Student-athletes and staff are always expected to operate with the principles of sportsmanship and ethical conduct in mind.
Founded in 1893 in Mendota, Illinois, as Mendota Seminary, the institution soon changed its name to Mendota College. By 1911, it had outgrown its facilities and the following year changed its name to Aurora College and moved to Aurora, where its students could take advantage of a thriving business environment and easy access to Chicago. In 1985, Aurora College changed its name to Aurora University to better reflect the magnitude of its academic offerings. Seven years later, Aurora University and George Williams College traditions blended when the two institutions entered into an affiliation agreement that paved the way for a merger eight years later. In 2010, the Woodstock Center opened to meet the needs of students in McHenry County and surrounding communities.