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Assistant Vice President for Student Life

Apply now Posting #: 4232
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Administrator, Student Affairs

Position Title & Department:

 Assistant Vice President for Student Life; Student Affairs
Posting #


Department Description:

In the Catholic tradition, the Student Affairs Division strives to create an inclusive educational environment that motivates and supports student learning and personal development, serves the University community, and inspires students to make a positive contribution to society. Our philosophy and approach are to work collaboratively with Academic Affairs and all areas of the University to create an integrated learning environment. We are committed to fostering a sense of belonging and continuously building toward a just, welcoming and caring community for all.


Central to the work of the entire Student Affairs Division is a focus on the quality of the student experience as embodied in the Thriving Student Model, which seeks to facilitate a leading edge co-curricular experience grounded in inclusion, diversity and equity. In support of this focus, the AVP/SL works closely with the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the Assistant Vice President for Wellness, the Assistant Vice President for Auxiliary Services,  and with members of the Academic Affairs division in implementing institutional and divisional goals, programs, and learning outcomes that reflect an integrated approach to student learning and help create a seamless learning environment where all students can thrive and experience a sense of belonging.


The Student Affairs Division is a dynamic, student-centered learning organization. We are poised to create a vibrant and active co-curricular learning experience for all students. Our emphasis on leadership development and social change allows us to work on educating future ethical leaders to serve in a complex, global and changing world. We are committed to fostering a sense of belonging and continuously building toward a just, welcoming and caring community for all.

University Description:

The University of San Diego, which began as separate colleges for men and women, celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2019. The University was founded under the leadership of Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill of the Society of the Sacred Heart and Bishop Charles Francis Buddy of the Diocese of San Diego. With more than 9,000 students from 85 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD's small class sizes, compassionate culture, unique learning opportunities, study-abroad opportunities and state-of-the-art resources ensure that graduates of our undergraduate and graduate programs succeed after graduation and throughout their lives.


The University is set at the edge of an international gateway on a campus that's consistently ranked among the nation's most beautiful. Its focus on academic excellence — inspired by faith, infused with contemporary Catholic values and nurtured in a warm, community environment — empowers innovative, confident, original thinkers to make positive contributions by confronting humanity's urgent challenges in places near and far.

Detailed Description:

Assistant Vice President for Student Life


With a total budget (including the Associated Student Government) of approximately $3.5MM, the Assistant Vice President for Student Life oversees seventeen full-time staff, with seven direct reports and an executive assistant, and [MOU1] assists the Division of Student Affairs in a variety of critical ways, including crisis response.


The Assistant Vice President for Student Life has general supervision of the areas of Student Activities and Involvement (including the Associated Student Government, student organizations and student activities), Fraternity and Sorority Life, Graduate Student Life, the United Front Multicultural Commons, Women’s Commons, Black Student Resource Commons, LGBTQ+ and Allies Commons, and the Military and Veterans Program. This position also directs the Torero Renaissance Scholars Program and oversees the USD Food Pantry and Torero Closet. 


The AVP for Student Life has major responsibility for the overall direction and management of the programs and services under their leadership. In support of the Thriving Student Model, the AVP for Student Life ensures that these programs and services are fully aligned with the mission and values of the institution and are managed in ways that reflect the highest standards of quality. The AVPSL is responsible for maintaining a regularly occurring assessment of student needs and interests, programs, services, and facilities, and using the results to inform decisions related to policy formation, process improvement, and program effectiveness.


Leadership and Administrative Responsibilities


  • Creates and maintains close, collaborative partnerships with other departments within and external to Student Affairs as well as with faculty and academic administrators in order to enhance student learning and development and create an integrated experience for USD students.
  • With the VPSA and other Assistant Vice Presidents, initiates and conducts strategic planning processes and has responsibility for initiating and achieving results towards the SASP plan on an annual basis.
  • Ensures the Thriving Student Model, including students’ sense of belonging and the University’s Co-Curricular Learning Outcomes are at the core of the work completed by the respective units.
  • Keeps abreast of current trends, directions and developments in student affairs and student development areas through reading and conference attendance, and consultation with staff and faculty within the region. Forwards significant and relevant information to the VPSA and other Assistant Vice Presidents. 
  • Conducts regular assessments, including systematic assessment of student interests and needs, to determine Student Life programmatic strengths and weaknesses, and initiates and implements new or revised programs as appropriate.
  • As a member of the Vice President of Student Affairs Council, assists the Vice President for Student Affairs in preparing and designing staff retreats, in-service programs and staff meetings.  Prepares and submits reports as required.
  • Collaborates with University Advancement to strategize regarding increasing undergraduate student rates of giving to the university as well as cultivate donations for programs under their purview.
  • Manages student and other sensitive, timely matters in the absence of the Dean of Students.
  • Represents Student Life on selected University committees and boards.
  • Represents the Student Life functional area to the outside community.
  • Serves as a Student Affairs liaison on behalf of the Student Life functional area, particularly regarding student issues.
  • Serves as a member of the University’s Emergency Response Team.
  • Participates in and, when appropriate, represents Student Affairs at major University events such as Homecoming/Family Weekend, New Student Orientation, and others as designated.
  • Works in collaboration with Athletics, Alumni Relations and others to enhance school spirit, Torero Pride, and increase alumni participation.
  • Ensures units implement and achieve annual goals and objectives.

Policy Management, Interpretation and Development     

  • Interprets and implements federal, state and local laws, regulations, codes and other legal requirements involving the operation of all Student Life units as relevant.
  • Serves as a student contact for Associated Student Government and student organizations on matters related to student organizations, programs and policies.
  • Coordinates all Critical Issue Review Team (CIRT) Meetings related to sexual or relationship violence. Co-chairs the University’s Sexual Violence Education and Response Steering Committee and works closely with Department of Public Safety, Title IX administrators, the C.A.R.E. Program and others to address education, prevention and response related to these issues.
  • Facilitates the University Assembly Request Process for all student assemblies on behalf of the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  • Works with staff on the review and revision of the Graduate and Undergraduate Student Organization Handbooks, Fraternity and Sorority Life Handbook, and other related policy and protocol resources and documents.


Staff Recruitment, Selection, Evaluation and Professional Development

  • Has overall responsibility for the recruitment and selection, hiring, supervision, in-service education, and evaluation of all Student Life staff.  Meets required expectations set by HR for performance evaluation and job description revisions.
  • Designs and implements professional development and evaluation plans for all professional employees. Annually updates job descriptions.
  • Prepares and revises staffing plans designed to meet the current and future needs of the Student Life area and student organizations.
  • Holds regular meetings with direct reports as well as the entire team of the Student Life area.
  • Oversees and upholds personnel policies for Student Life and Associated Student Government are in compliance with USD policies.

Student Basic Needs Support 

  • Directs the Torero Renaissance Scholars Program, providing recruitment, training, guidance and support for volunteer coaches. Also supervises the graduate assistant for the program.
  • Provides oversight to the USD Food Pantry and Torero Closet, ensuring expectations are met, and positive relations are maintained, and monthly reports submitted to the San Diego Food Bank and other related organizations.
  • Manage the Students in Need Fund in collaboration with Associated Student Government, Financial Aid, Student Accounts and the Torero Store.

Resource Management                                                                                                        

  • Prepares the budget and operates within annual budget allocations of all related units.
  • Initiates and coordinates any activities related to fundraising and the process of research, writing and submission of grant proposals to secure alternative sources of funding functional areas.
  • Actively seek innovative technologies in support of program development and implementation.
  • Oversee the development and administration of unit budgets, ensuring that expenses are consistent with the priorities reflected in the Division’s strategic initiatives.

Special Conditions of Employment:

The University of San Diego is requiring all employees to follow our Covid-19 vaccine requirement process. https://www.sandiego.edu/onward/ 

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Job Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications:

    • Ph.D. or Ed.D. preferred; Master’s degree required
    • Minimum of 10 years professional experience in higher education (preferably in academic and student affairs)

    Performance Expectations: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

    • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships and communicate effectively with a diverse population, both within and outside the University
    • Ability to effectively mentor, supervise and support staff
    • Demonstrated conflict management and dispute resolution competencies
    • Understanding and appreciation of a Catholic liberal arts education
    • Experience with change management
    • Experience, knowledge and demonstrated practice of cultural competency and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
    • Superb writing and oral communication skills
    • Advanced analytical, problem solving and critical thinking skills
    • Competence in developing and managing budgets, including maintenance of appropriate departmental correspondence and reports
    • Ability to identify and analyze a variety of issues and problems, making recommendations for policy change and/or taking action to resolve
    • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw conclusions, and effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or Board of Trustees
    • Strong skills in areas of prioritizing, strategic planning, working in a fast-paced environment and meeting deadlines in spite of frequent interruptions and change of focus
    • Competence in managing complex administrative processes effectively and efficiently
    • Demonstrated skill in ensuring that unit and divisional project goals and objectives are met
    • Understanding of trauma informed care approaches, the foster care system, and needs of vulnerable student populations
    • Thorough understanding of Title IX regulations and federal and state guidelines
    • General understanding of the military connected population’s needs, benefits and certification processes
    • Demonstrated practice of centering diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism in one’s work including an ongoing commitment to personal learning and development in this area 
    • Strong organizational skills with ability to handle several major projects simultaneously
Posting Salary:

Commensurate with experience; Excellent Benefits

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

Special Application Instructions:

Sage Search Partners is assisting University of San Diego with this search. Confidential nominations, applications (CV and cover letter) and expressions of interest should be submitted to AVPUSD@sagesearch.com.

Additional Details:

Hours: 40 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled, priority review will begin on July 25th

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Clery Act, the University of San Diego publishes a combined Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for review. This report includes institutional policies concerning: campus security; procedures for reporting crime, fire, and other emergencies; emergency response and evacuation procedures; sexual misconduct and relationship violence reporting and response standards and protocols; alcohol and drug policies; and statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred within the institutions Clery reportable geography. Individuals may request a print copy of the report at the University of San Diego Department of Public Safety, located in the Hughes Administration Center, Room 150.