Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Stonehill College

Easton, MA   |   January 27, 2020

Summary of Opportunity

With its 75th anniversary approaching in 2023, Stonehill seeks a new Provost who will offer energetic, innovative, and intellectual leadership to the academic community and play a lead role in the development of vision and strategy for the College.  Reporting to the President, the Provost will provide oversight of educational affairs and activities that contribute to the College’s mission to provide a rich learning environment for students. A key member of the President’s leadership team, the Provost will play a critical role in establishing the academic vision and advancing the mission of the institution. As a leader of faculty, the Provost will actively mentor and develop full-time and part-time faculty while providing leadership for planning, recruitment, and retention efforts.

Founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1948, Stonehill College is a private Catholic college located just 22 miles from downtown Boston on a beautiful 384-acre campus in Easton, Massachusetts. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, the College engages more than 2,400 students through its 60 majors and 50 minors in academic programs in the liberal arts, sciences, and pre-professional fields. The College comprises two schools, the Leo J. Meehan School of Business and the Thomas and Donna May School of Arts and Sciences, both of which are now housed in recently constructed buildings. The College employs 177 full-time faculty members (58% tenured, 16% tenure-track, and 26% term-renewable and visiting).

Stonehill seeks a visionary, collaborative, and transparent academic leader with a strong background in scholarship and teaching. The Provost will be expected to foster a culture of innovation, reward creativity and measured risks, and promote diversity, inclusion, and equity values.  The individual must also be a visible and enthusiastic advocate for academic quality and appreciate the changing needs of Stonehill students.  The Provost will be committed to the vision of faculty as teacher/scholars; embrace interdisciplinarity; engage with faculty, students, and staff across a diverse set of academic pursuits; and be committed to the open exchange of ideas across campus.

About Stonehill College

As a Catholic college, Stonehill is committed to the mutually enriching discourse between intellectual inquiry and a life of faith. As a college in the Holy Cross tradition, Stonehill seeks to help students develop their abilities and discover the deepest longings in their lives. In fulfillment of its motto, Lux et Spes (Latin for “Light and Hope”), the College fosters the competence to see and the courage to act. This commitment is animated by the five values of a Holy Cross education: mind (academic rigor), community, hope, zeal, and heart (service). Stonehill is committed to building and sustaining a campus community that embraces diversity and inclusion in its teaching, learning, living, and working. Stonehill values a diversity of persons, opinions, and cultural and religious perspectives.

Stonehill College encourages students to achieve a lifelong desire for self-discovery through their involvement in academics, student life, and leadership. Grounded in the liberal arts with a multi-disciplinary General Education core, Stonehill College offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees, as well as a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications and a Master of Education in Inclusive Education. Enrollment for a new Master of Professional Studies in Data Analytics will begin in fall 2020. Stonehill launched graduate programs in 2018 and seeks to introduce 4+1 opportunities to enroll Stonehill undergraduates for an additional year in Master’s programs on campus and online. Thirty-one students are currently enrolled in the College’s two graduate programs.

Mission

Father Basil Moreau, C.S.C., the founder of the Congregation, held as a primary concern that education affects the whole person. Father Moreau spoke and wrote of educating the heart as well as instructing the mind, of developing people of values as well as scholars. As the Mission Statement affirms, “Stonehill College educates the whole person so that each Stonehill graduate thinks, acts, and leads with courage toward the creation of a more just and compassionate world.”

This mission is celebrated in many ways, including the strong presence of campus ministry, a myriad of student service clubs, the annual Founder’s Day Celebration, and nationally recognized visiting speakers. For three consecutive years, Stonehill has been recognized by The Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, Outreach, and Partnership and named to the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service. The Mission Statement strongly resonates with the community, as seen in the 2018 Employee Survey in which 91% respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they understand how their work contributes to Stonehill’s mission. In addition, over 90% of graduating seniors in 2018 responded that their Stonehill experience was effective or very effective in preparing them to contribute to a just and compassionate world. 

The Student Experience at Stonehill

An active campus with NCAA Division II varsity teams and intramural sports, Stonehill is a vibrant community that offers opportunities for meaningful service experiences that challenge and teach students to be agents of social change. Students at Stonehill make the most of the opportunities offered by the College, with 98% of students participating in internships, study abroad programs, research, or fieldwork. The average undergraduate first to second year retention is 85%, and the average four-year graduation rate is 77%. The six-month and one-year career placement rates are 92.5% and 96.9%, respectively.

Research and Scholarly Activities at Stonehill

Stonehill faculty are actively engaged in scholarly contributions to their disciplines, while prioritizing their commitment to teaching students within a liberal arts setting. The College makes several internal grants and awards available to faculty and provides assistance in obtaining external funding for scholarly research. Faculty achievements are communicated and celebrated through the annual Faculty Focus publication.

Finances and Fundraising

Well-managed fiscally with a strong balance sheet, Stonehill’s financials demonstrate disciplined and deliberate planning, resulting in consistent budget surpluses. The College’s annual operating budget is $104 million, and the endowment is valued approximately at $217 million. Stonehill is in the silent phase of a comprehensive campaign to secure funding for scholarships, academic initiatives, and capital construction for new academic buildings.

Faculty Governance

Faculty are key stakeholders and are committed to Stonehill’s continued success and excellence. Faculty voices are heard informally and formally through various forums and committees. Elected by the faculty and with representation from across disciplines, the Faculty Senate meets regularly and enhances its work through the following standing committees: Curriculum; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Professional Development; Compensation; Governance; Standards and Standing; and Rank and Tenure. The Faculty Senate President and Vice President, elected by the Senators, attend regular meetings with the Provost and President and meet annually with the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Campus, Local Community, and Location

A suburb of Boston with a population of approximately 24,000, Easton, Massachusetts has experienced rapid and positive growth over the last decade. Easton offers its citizens the enjoyment of the Natural Resource Trust Sheep Pasture and Borderland State Park. Approximately 15% of the community is dedicated conservation land. A recent redesign of the 375-acre campus created a “walking campus,” which includes ponds and wooded trails, complementing the town’s dedication to preservation and conservation. Stonehill is also adjacent to the historic City of Brockton, which prides itself on its diversity of cultures and is home to approximately 100,000 residents. Brockton is home to the College’s Downtown Center for Community Engagement, as well as a post-grad service program. Supporting the community by providing access to educational and athletic facilities, as well as a number of practica and internships, the College is an integral part of its neighboring communities. The campus remains active during the summer months, hosting a variety of academic and recreational programs for both adults and children.

Overview of the Role

With responsibility for the entire academic enterprise, the Provost oversees the following direct reports:

  • Dean of the May School of Arts & Sciences
  • Dean of the Meehan School of Business
  • Associate Provost for Academic Achievement
  • Associate Provost for Academic Assessment and Faculty Development
  • Registrar
  • Assistant Dean of General Education
  • Director of the Library
  • Executive Assistant to the Provost

The Provost and the academic leadership team have a vital role in recruiting, mentoring, and retaining a diverse community of faculty, both full-time and part-time. Among the priorities at Stonehill for the incoming Provost is to identify opportunities for faculty collaboration across departments and schools to encourage intellectual partnerships and operational efficiencies. The Provost will be a creative leader who embraces a shared governance environment and inspires faculty and staff. Strong candidates will have demonstrated the ability to collaborate successfully with other senior leaders on strategy, planning, and financial management, and with academic leaders on program and curricular development.

The Provost is an advocate for the faculty with an abiding commitment to programmatic, pedagogical, teaching, research, and scholarly excellence. Working with academic administration, faculty, and various governing bodies, the Provost oversees academic policy and curricular formulation and implementation. The Provost manages the tenure and promotion process and provides for and supervises regular and timely evaluation of College faculty, deans, and academic staff. The Provost works closely with the academic leadership team and the Director of Human Resources to promote diversity and inclusion in all forms among faculty, students, and staff.

Future Opportunities for the Provost

This is a dynamic time to join Stonehill, and the Provost will have the opportunity to shape the future of the institution in partnership with college leadership and faculty. The Provost will need to provide leadership in developing, refining, and bringing to completion a number of key objectives:

  • Developing a Strategy and Vision for the Academic Enterprise: As higher education experiences rapid change with shifting demographics impacting enrollments and increasing competition, the new Provost must anticipate trends that will allow Stonehill to deliver excellence nimbly and pragmatically. This involves exploring new models of pedagogy and delivery of instruction, determining the right balance of undergraduate and graduate academic programs, and reviewing faculty workloads. In addition, Stonehill anticipates reclassification in the next decade from a Liberal Arts institution to a Master/Comprehensive one. The new Provost will need to understand the academic and operational implications of this reclassification and provide necessary leadership that seizes upon the opportunities of change while preserving the centrality of the liberal arts tradition at the College. With the College’s 75th anniversary in 2023, the academic vision will continue to inform the institutional strategic plan.
  • Embracing Innovation and Change: The new Provost must foster an environment that welcomes diversity, opposing views, agility, innovative thinking, and risk-taking in order for faculty to thrive. This will require new strategic thinking and the ability to set priorities that will necessitate challenging decisions.
  • Building a More Diverse and Inclusive Environment: The institution is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff. The new Provost will embrace access and equity as core values and provide strong leadership on recruitment and retention of faculty from underrepresented groups. This will require the ability to cultivate an environment where all individuals are seen, heard, and valued. 
  • Reimagining the Curriculum, Accreditation Requirements, and Assessment: Having completed an accreditation visit from the New England Commission of Higher Education in October 2019, Stonehill recently received the final report that encourages the continued advancement of the College’s strengths, including its mission, faculty and staff commitment, and an agile and nimble ethos. The final report also challenges the College to continue to seek ways to improve its organizational structure, enhance internal communication, manage the pace of change within its academic programs, and ensure meaningful, ongoing assessment. The institution has recently assembled a committee to review the General Education curriculum for the first time since 2005, and the next AACSB reaccreditation will occur during the academic year 2021-2022. It will be vital for the new Provost to offer guidance and leadership to respond to recommendations and to ensure accreditation requirements are met. 
  • Fostering a Culture of Collaboration, Trust, and Transparency: The Provost will increase collaboration, promote partnerships across and within schools and departments, and implement a shared vision for change. The new Provost will need to communicate consistently, openly, and authentically in a thoughtful manner with a wide variety of stakeholders and maximize the effectiveness of shared governance among the Deans and faculty.
  • Strengthening Operations and Infrastructure for the Academic Enterprise: In 2017, Stonehill reorganized academic departments into two schools, the Leo J. Meehan School of Business and the Thomas and Donna May School of Arts & Sciences. This restructuring has created opportunities to strengthen processes and procedures and to clarify roles within academic leadership.
Qualifications and Experience

The successful candidate will be a passionate, accomplished scholar and strong leader who is a visible and enthusiastic advocate for academic and faculty excellence for all students. The Provost will embrace interdisciplinary collaboration across the curriculum and engage with faculty, students, and staff across a diverse set of academic pursuits. The Provost must have the ability to be strategic, mission focused, and intentional about student success. Outstanding verbal and written communication skills are essential. This leader will have demonstrated a high level of integrity, as well as interpersonal skills that evoke trust, inspire confidence, and embrace transparency.

Qualified candidates will have an earned doctorate from an accredited university in the candidate’s academic or professional field and a minimum of five years of administrative leadership experience at the level of Dean or higher. An exemplary record of both scholarship and teaching is required.

Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following capabilities and attributes:

  • Significant experience as a successful senior academic leader within higher education, with responsibilities that include academic program development, curriculum, personnel, strategic planning, and accreditation;
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and the capacity and understanding to fulfill the unique mission of educating a diverse group of students within the culture of a Catholic institution of higher learning;
  • Demonstrated expertise in, and proven commitment to, diversity and supporting an inclusive environment that engages students, faculty, and staff across the campus and in the community;
  • Ability to formulate and articulate sound policies and demonstrated ability to identify, resolve, and consult on a wide range of administrative and academic personnel issues with a clear sense of institutional values, needs, and priorities;
  • Demonstrated record of attracting, recruiting, and inspiring faculty members across all disciplines;
  • Relevant experience in building teams and forging positive and productive relationships with faculty and staff;
  • Proven record of mentoring, coaching and leading faculty and staff that resulted in career advancement;
  • Demonstrated experience with academic planning, including program development and innovation, strategic planning, enrollment, and financial management;
  • Commitment to shared governance;
  • Proven record of decision-making that has enhanced student enrollment, retention, and success;
  • Expertise in assessing academic programs and using assessment results to ensure innovation and high quality in existing programs while also developing new programs;
  • Experience with multiple forms of course delivery, including traditional coursework, online learning, and blended models;
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills and the ability to listen to diverse voices.
  • Demonstrated experience leading change and effective methods of communication that resulted in positive outcomes;
  • Proven ability to articulate vision and inspire individuals both internally and externally;
  • An appreciation and aptitude for synthesizing, interpreting, utilizing, and communicating data to inform, support, and execute decision-making and implementation;
  • Manner that conveys and engenders respect, openness, and thoughtful discourse;
  • Ability to effectively handle ambiguity, complexity, and conflict while providing steady leadership toward achieving goals; and
  • Proven personal integrity, ethics, and initiative.
Contact

Stonehill College has engaged Diversified Search/Koya Leadership Partners to assist in this search. Please submit applications, expressions of interest, and nominations to Shavon Bell and Andrew Wheeler here.

As a Catholic College founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross, Stonehill College believes in the inherent dignity and worth of every person. As such, the College is committed to providing a multicultural environment free from discrimination for its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. 

Therefore, Stonehill College prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, veteran status, marital status, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other legally protected status in admission to, access to, treatment in or employment in its programs and activities, except where such conditions may constitute bona fide qualifications for the programs or activities in question.

About Diversified Search/Koya Leadership Partners

Diversified Search/Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with mission-driven organizations, institutions of higher education and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information, visit www.koyapartners.com.