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Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students

February 02, 2017


Excellent Opportunity for a Successful Student Affairs Leader

Earlham College is seeking an experienced, dynamic, and collaborative student affairs professional to serve the community as the next Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students (VP/DOS). The Vice President is an integral part of the Earlham culture that exemplifies, and is proud of, its Quaker values and history. Emphasizing intellectual challenge, global engagement, community involvement (on- and off-campus), and service to others, Earlham requires a candidate who will embrace the campus culture, will provide a vision for the future, and is able to establish outstanding relationships with students, faculty and staff. The successful VP/DOS must work closely and effectively with faculty, staff, and students in order to elevate the experience of students and engage the College community.

Earlham is a selective, liberal arts college founded by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and located in Richmond, Indiana. It serves 1,031 undergraduate students from 47 states and 60 countries. The student population includes 26.9% domestic students of color and 22.5% international students. The College also offers one graduate degree (Master of Arts in Teaching) and is affiliated with the Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary. The Earlham community lives its commitment to respect for persons, integrity, peace and justice, simplicity, and community decision-making. These principles are integrated throughout the College and, to be successful, the new VP/DOS must understand and genuinely embrace this approach to student life. The VP/DOS must be actively engaged in student life and College culture, fostering strong partnerships to enhance meaningful student learning experiences.

The Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students reports directly to the President. It is an exciting time at Earlham as the College prepares for its new President. The VP/DOS leads and inspires a Student Life team responsible for Counseling Services, Diversity and Inclusion, Health Services, Newlin Quaker Center, Residence Life, Religious Life, Student Activities, and Wellness Programs. Though Athletics does not currently report to the VP/DOS, close collaborative relationships are essential for success with all students. In addition, the VP/DOS is expected to work closely with members of the community to support students and enhance the lives of students on campus. The Vice President participates in College governance by serving on standing committees, including Senior Staff, and co-advises Earlham Student Government. These groups all operate via consensus, and most have students and faculty as members.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities

  • Provide vision, inspiration, and leadership for Student Life staff in their responsibilities with the goal of improving student life in a community that values diversity, student self-governance, and faculty participation.
  • Provide senior level administrative management for Student Life in fiscal matters, program development and assessment, strategic planning, and implementation of overall goals.
  • Work closely with students, faculty, and staff to ensure student satisfaction with programs and practices in ways that blend best practices and the unique aspects of the College.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the values of the College through actions and communications, and expect the same of the Student Life staff, including a deep understanding of and commitment to the issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to all facets of difference.
  • Provide support and guidance to faculty and the Director of the Earlham Plan for Integrative Collaboration (EPIC) related to students’ co-curricular activities.
  • Respond to campus crises and emergency situations and coordinate activities to support students, families, and the College community in such situations.
  • Serve actively on College committees in order to represent the division and students.

Experience & Qualifications

The Vice President and Dean of Students is required to have (1) an advanced degree in a field related to the responsibilities of the position; a terminal degree is preferred; (2) substantial and progressively more responsible senior level administrative, management, and leadership experience in higher education over the last 10 years, with experience in a similar environment preferred; (3) a minimum of seven years of experience supervising student life professional staff; (4) demonstrated understanding of, and commitment to, the broad issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion; experience working with international students is strongly preferred; and (5) proven ability to engage in the academic life of the institution and to partner with faculty and other staff on extensive co-curricular programs. Additional qualifications include experience in strategic planning, resource management, process improvement, and consensus-based decision-making.

To succeed in this position, the next Vice President for Student Life at Earlham College must understand, through experience or research, the values and practices of a residential liberal arts college rooted in Quaker traditions. It is these traditions that make Earlham an institution that can provide a rewarding career working with and supporting a diverse student body actively engaged in learning about and changing the world.

Application Instructions

Earlham has partnered with Keeling & Associates, LLC, in this search process. Applications must include a resume and a letter of interest addressing the requirements of the position. These documents can be sent, preferably as PDFs, to A confidential review of applications will begin on March 13, 2017. For a confidential discussion about this opportunity, or to nominate a candidate, please contact K&A Vice President Dr. Jan Walbert at

Earlham College continues to build a community that reflects the gender and racial diversity of the society at large, and, therefore, we are particularly interested in inviting and encouraging applications from African Americans, other ethnic minorities, and women. Earlham also is eager to solicit applications from members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Earlham utilizes E-Verify to confirm employment eligibility for all newly hired employees within the United States.

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