Connecticut State Colleges and Universities — Campus CEO

Areas of Opportunity: Asnuntuck Community College, Naugatuck Valley Community College, Norwalk Community College, Quinebaug Community College, Tunxis Community College

Academic Career & Executive Search is pleased to assist Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) in their search for Campus CEOs. The ideal candidate is a successful change agent highly skilled and comfortable navigating in a fluid and dynamic environment. S/he is an engaging leader with a strong background in community engagement and development. 

CSCU Community Colleges:
The Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) and the CT State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) are undertaking a major reorganization of Connecticut’s community colleges.  The BOR and CSCU plan to consolidate the 12 individually accredited colleges into a singly accredited institution by 2023.  This single institution with 12 campuses geographically distributed statewide will provide credit and non-credit programs to more than 80,000 students in rural, suburban and urban communities.  This bold plan to establish an academically integrated institution will provide Connecticut students with an affordable, accessible, high-quality education that meets their personal goals and the community-based workforce needs of the state.  A structural change of this magnitude will ensure a sustainable future for the community colleges. 

Implementing such a significant transformation will involve aligning college curricula statewide to support high-quality educational programs and seamless transfer; implementing initiatives such as Guided Pathways to improve and increase student enrollment, retention, completion, and career readiness; centralizing administrative functions; and sharing resources across campuses. The new consolidated institution will be administered by a regionalized leadership team, of which the Campus CEO will be a key position. The BOR and CSCU seek leaders for this transformational change to position the campuses, their students and graduates, and Connecticut for a secure and vibrant future.    

Job Summary:
The Campus CEO is the lead campus administrator and serves as the on-site operational leader, providing guidance on developing and implementing strategic plans, as well as providing input on budgetary, enrollment, academic, and related matters. S/he is the chief liaison to the external community and works closely with the campus foundation as well as other stakeholders to generate resources for the campus.

The Campus CEO will provide critical focus and expertise on continuous improvement, collaborative oversight of campus functions, and promotion of a safe and comfortable environment for teaching and learning. In addition, the Campus CEO must be knowledgeable of all facets of campus functions, adept at collaboration in a highly matrixed organization and able to identify opportunities for improving operational excellence, and providing an exceptional student learning experience.  

This position will report to their respective Regional President. Current direct reports include the campus leaders, Student Affairs, Administrative Services as well as other staff when necessary.    

Essential Duties:

  1. Oversee general management and leadership of campus operations including managing and allocating resources to achieve overall plans and objectives.
  2. Raise revenue and resources that support student access and success; act as campus spokesperson and donor liaison to support the fundraising efforts of the campus foundation.
  3. Connect the campus strategy of achieving high levels of student access and success with the operations of administrative and academic units.
  4. Support state-wide efforts to identify gaps in student outcomes based on factors such as race, ethnicity, and gender and mobilize the campus to improve results.
  5. Lead the campus to achieve significantly improved results in student outcomes by implementing well-designed institutional changes at scale, and ensuring efforts are sustained over the long term.
  6. Engage with campus stakeholders to understand their concerns and needs to discern opportunities for improvements.
  7. Ensure the campus has employees that are qualified, trained, and motivated to perform the responsibilities set forth in their respective position descriptions.
  8. Motivate, coach, and develop individuals across the organization involved in leading or executing operational excellence or continuous improvement objectives. 
  9. Analyze and implement solutions across the campus to identify and eliminate waste, reduce costs, promote educational excellence, and improve the student experience. 
  10. Monitor performance and provide in-depth and timely management commentary on operational excellence results and lead the debate on any corrective measures and other control processes.
  11. Related duties as required.

Leadership Competencies:

  1. Demonstrates a deep commitment to student access and success.
  2. Experienced administrator in a college or system.
  3. Strong working knowledge and depth of understanding of most areas in a college or university, specifically of the factors that affect net revenues.
  4. Outstanding and proven leadership and interpersonal capabilities; ability to collaborate broadly across all levels of the organization to achieve results.
  5. Ability to raise funds from private, state, and national sources and to articulate to external audiences the value of supporting higher education institutions.
  6. Self-motivated team player with the ability to handle multiple work-streams and ad-hoc tasks simultaneously.
  7. Critical thinker, ability to understand complex processes and willing to ask tough questions and challenge status quo.
  8. Experienced in a highly involved union setting.
  9. Knowledge and understanding of institutional policies and procedures and the regulatory environment within which they operate.
  10. Deep understanding of the strategic needs of the community.
  11. Knowledge and understanding of current educational trends, issues and challenges for community colleges.
  12. Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills along with the ability to interact effectively with academic leadership, faculty, community leadership, and funding agencies.
  13. Adept at gaining agreement on necessary change and motivating and overseeing change management.
  14. Expressed values consistent with the mission of the system and high ethical standards.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree plus five (5) years of experience leading multi-functional teams in higher education setting or an organization of similar complexity. 
  • Well-rounded understanding of ways to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the quality of education and student success. 
  • Equivalent education and experience that meet the minimum qualifications for the position may be considered.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Preference for candidates with experience in higher education, particularly in unionized environments

Areas of Opportunity: 

Asnuntuck Community College (ACC)  Asnuntuck Community College and IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan

The mission of Asnuntuck Community College is to offer quality education in an accessible, affordable, and nurturing environment. Established in 1969, Asnuntuck Community College is located in Enfield, CT situated between two sprawling urban cities, Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA making it an ideal location that harnesses urban opportunities while also being adjacent to rural New England communities in the north-central Connecticut and western Massachusetts communities and beyond. Asnuntuck serves nearly 4,000 credit and non-credit students. The small, collaborative team of faculty and staff impart a family-like culture for the diverse student body. 

Strengths: Identified areas include an ideal location with an urban feel, small and collaborative team of faculty and staff with a family atmosphere, and diverse student backgrounds (rural, urban, varied socio-economic). Other strengths include, a continuous focus on updating campus facilities, state-of-the-art advanced manufacturing technology center, highly engaged campus that is well connected with the community along with many private sector partnerships, a supportive Foundation and Advocacy Board who funds scholarships and mini grants that provide opportunities for students that may never have been within reach and a staff and faculty committed to collaboration across departments in order to best serve the needs of students.

Challenges: Identified areas include the need to address declining student enrollment by prioritizing the development of academic programs, especially those related to IT, cyber-security, and nursing to address workforce demands. Also identified was the continued development of programs and strategies that explicitly address issues of equity including improving students’ success among those who are historically underserved and underrepresented. Additional challenges include the need to identify and manage financial resources with consideration of faculty to student ratio, and staffing to meet growing student needs such as mental health services as well as the need to build a culture of evidenced-based decision making that is simultaneously data informed and values input from across the college.

Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC)  Naugatuck Valley Community College and IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan

With campuses located in Waterbury and Danbury, CT, NVCC serves over 10,000 credit and non-credit students across twenty-two towns in the southwestern portion of the state. With over 70 associate degree programs and more than 30 certifications, the top programs include Nursing, Advanced Manufacturing Technology, and General Studies. NVCC is a vibrant, diverse, and caring community of faculty, staff, and students. NVCC was designated as an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in 2015, over 31% of students are Hispanic.

Strengths: Identified areas include an ideally sized campus with excellent facilities and program options including superior advanced manufacturing technology, nursing, arts and allied health medical programs as well as an award winning library and a very strong tutoring and student support system. Also identified are dedicated faculty committed to student success and equity across two campus locations supporting a diverse, multi-cultural student body representing more than 50 countries.

Challenges: Identified areas include the importance of bringing in more financial funds to address growing student resource needs as well as campus infrastructure and technology requirements including the training of dedicated faculty. Additional areas include the need to address equity and student academic preparation and a supportive Foundation Board poised for growth needed to match campus size and complexity.

Norwalk Community College (NCC)   Norwalk Community College and IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan   

Located in Norwalk, CT, NCC serves the ten town region of lower Fairfield County and attracts students throughout the tri-state area and overseas. Established in 1961, NCC was the first public, two-year college established in CT and currently serves nearly 12,000 credit and non-credit students. The campus offers over 50 associate degree and over 20 certificate programs. 

Strengths:  Identified areas include a culturally diverse region and population with a campus history of proven response and action around diversity, equity and inclusion. Also identified was a strong connection and culture of partnership with community collaborators and synergy between the campus and area business and community. The $25M foundation is one of the strongest foundations in the system, which has helped support unique college programs such as nursing and allied health, veterinary tech, engineering, culinary arts, and film studies. NCC possesses an innovative faculty and staff body who actively support student success through a variety of student-centered initiatives and programs. Many graduates go on to earn four-year degrees from both state and out-of-state institutions.

Challenges:  Identified areas include increasing the diversity of faculty and staff to better reflect the composition of the student body, the need to address student retention and enrollment issues, and the need to bring in more financial resources to support marketing and recruitment. Another identified area is the need to use existing staff more effectively due to an increase in retirements.

Quinebaug Valley Community College (QVCC)  Quinebaug Valley Community College and IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan

With campuses located in Danielson and Willimantic, CT, QVCC serves the communities of Windham County located in the northeastern corner of the state. Established in 1971, QVCC serves over 3100 credit and non-credit students and offers 55 degree and certificate programs ranging from Allied Health to Technology Studies. QVCC has been named a Military Friendly School for seven years.

Strengths: Identified areas include a small, friendly, family like atmosphere, devoted and hardworking faculty and staff committed to student success, strong community and foundation support, a flexible and fluid transfer to four-year colleges and a robust calendar of activities that encourage student and community engagement. Cross trained staff in Student Services can assist students from admission to completion. Additional opportunities for growth include non-traditional students throughout the service region, and the population of southeast Windham county, where the college just relocated its satellite location to Main St. in Willimantic. 

Challenges: Identified areas include an updated enrollment management plan that focuses on current market conditions and recruiting students from under-represented groups, a need for more robust efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, a need to utilize and maximize staff more effectively in light of an increase in retirements, a need to expand degree and certificate program offerings by adding additional institutional partners through articulation agreements, transfer pipelines, and dual enrollment initiatives and a greater emphasis on efforts to recruit staff and faculty of color and/or diverse backgrounds.

Tunxis Community College (TCC)  Tunxis Community College and IPEDS Link, Strategic Plan

With campuses located in Farmington and Bristol, CT, Tunxis Community College (TCC) serves the Farmington Valley area located in central CT. Established in 1969, TCC serves 10,000 credit and non-credit students and offers over 60 associate degree and certificate programs. Nearly 70% of the students come from the primary service areas of Avon, Berlin, Bristol, Burlington, Farmington, New Britain, Plainville, Plymouth/Terryville, Simsbury, Southington and Wolcott. Tunxis is one of the largest providers of workforce training programs within the CT community college system.

Strengths: Identified areas include a friendly, suburban campus that is small enough for most people to know one another yet large enough to offer a wide variety of degree and certificate programs. The college enjoys an overwhelmingly positive reputation from the communities it serves. Both campus locations support a diverse student body and a dedicated faculty and staff. TCC offers the only public dental hygiene program in the state and continues to expand its academic offerings with the recent acquisition of a new 44,000 sf Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. Most recently, Tunxis has emerged as a leader in student services by offering prospective and returning students consolidated student services in their new Admissions and Enrollment Center. Co-location of Admission, Financial Aid and Registration will streamline services by providing a one stop shop experience for students.

Challenges: Identified areas include the need to increase the diversity of faculty and staff to better reflect the composition of the student body. The college is also cultivating new and alternative revenue streams and exploring the utilization of automation to standardize processes and improve communication. In addition, the college would like to increase collaborations with area high schools, improve student retention and enrollment, and improve the promotion of support services and resources for current students.

Application Instructions:

To be viewed by the committee, materials must be submitted through the search firm’s online link. Please do not email applications. Application link: https://acesrch.applicantstack.com/x/detail/a21esjyloz3s

For best consideration, applications should be received by January 04, 2021.  Applicants can identify a preferred campus location or may apply without preference for any given campus.  

Applicants must include a letter of application not to exceed two pages in which they address the leadership competencies and qualifications outlined herein and a curriculum vita. All applications will remain confidential pending the selection of finalists. 

Nominations and inquiries are treated confidentially and may be sent to: Jennifer Muller, Academic Career & Executive Search at jennifer@ACESrch.com.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) does not discriminate on the basis of  race, color, age, religious creed, marital status, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, past or present history of mental disability, sex, including pregnancy, sexual harassment, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, workplace hazards to reproductive systems, retaliation, veteran status, or criminal record.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:  Leah Glende, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, 61 Woodland Street, Hartford, CT 06105, 860-723-0727 or by email at glendel@ct.edu.

The CSCU System is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans.

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