Sweet Briar College — Dean of Student Life

Sweet Briar College is a women’s liberal arts institution, located in Central Virginia approximately 12 miles north of Lynchburg and 60 miles south of Charlottesville. Founded in 1901, the College’s curriculum encompasses a comprehensive baccalaureate program in the arts, sciences and humanities, as well as graduate programs in education. It is one of two women’s colleges in the United States offering an ABET-accredited engineering degree. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Sweet Briar College is committed to enhancing our community and encourages applications from qualified individuals with varied backgrounds, experiences and ideas who would increase the diversity of the College.

Job Title: Dean of Student Life 

Classification:  Full-year, full-time, benefits-eligible position

Reports to: Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

Job Summary/Objective: Sweet Briar College seeks a Dean of Student Life to further our educational mission to develop women leaders.  We seek an energetic, student-focused individual with a strong commitment to supporting our increasingly diverse student body. The successful candidate will have a primary responsibility for diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives and have demonstrated success in such work.  In addition, this individual will support student development through administration of a substantive, innovative, and engaging co-curriculum which intersects with the Leadership Core, our innovative general education program.  This individual, together with a small full-time staff, resident coordinators and advisors, will model an atmosphere of respect, caring, collective engagement, accountability, and personal growth in a tight-knit residential community.  

Essential Responsibilities:

  • Guidance and supervision of residence life, student engagement, student conduct, student leadership, spiritual life and health and wellness.
  • Manage staff, and oversee the planning, implementation, and supervision of programs and services in the student life area.
  • Partner with stakeholders across campus to support student success and retention.
  • Collaborate across the college to develop programming to support our efforts in diversity, inclusion, and equity.  
  • Collaborate with admissions to develop strategies to engage students, particularly underrepresented students.
  • Collaborate with campus stakeholders to onboard new students to the college.
  • Coordinate across the college to plan and implement parent and family programs.
  • Oversee assessment of programs and student life area to ensure continuing quality, innovation, and engagement by students.
  • Oversee the student run judicial system.
  • Monitor budgets and provide effective and responsible fiscal planning.
  • Coordinate services for students’ health challenges/needs.
  • Serve on college committees as requested.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor or designee.

Required qualifications

  • Master’s degree from an accredited institution in an appropriate field with more than 5 years of relevant collegiate experience.
  • Trained in current best practices to support diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives in the college environment.
  • Demonstrated excellence in supporting a diverse student body.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, and students to engage, provide support to, and motivate students.
  • Demonstrated skill in organization, leadership, and management.  
  • Demonstrated effective leadership skills.
  • Demonstrated effective problem-solving and strategic planning skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in various forms and strong presentation and facilitation skills.
  • Ability to manage budgets and maintain records/databases to track, compile and interpret data. 
  • Ability to maintain confidential information.
  • Ability to prioritize workload with multiple demands and frequent interruptions. 
  • Evening and weekend work inherent in the position.

Preferred qualifications

  • Ph.D. or Ed.D. in relevant field
  • 5-7 years of professional experience in student affairs in a residential, liberal arts setting with progressively more responsibilities
  • Experience in student conduct systems
  • Experience working at a single sex education 

Work Environment:  Office setting, working with students and visitors, computers, files and other materials.

Physical Demands:  Standing, bending, and lifting up to 25 pounds. 

Travel:  Occasional travel to consortium-related meetings and for professional development.

Work Hours:  Flexible hours with occasional night and weekend shifts. 

Other Duties: This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice.

How to Apply:
To apply, visit the Sweet Briar College Career Center: https://sbc.edu/human-resources/faculty-staff-job-openings/. All applications should include: 1) cover letter; 2) resume or curriculum vitae; 3) a statement highlighting contributions to or future plans for promoting diversity and inclusion through work in this position; and 4) the names and full contact information for three professional references.  Review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled. 

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