Opportunity and Position Summary
Mount Saint Mary College invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and the Dean of the College, the college’s chief academic officer. This position reports directly to the president.
The VPAA will be an innovative leader who can provide a vision, direction, and guidance for all aspects of academic life at the College, including enriching academic programs and faculties, and enhancing teaching, research, and the student experience. The VPAA will play a significant role on the leadership team of the College to help achieve the institution’s strategic goals and vision of excellence, including that of our President, Dr. Jason Adsit: to become the most community service-oriented college in the United States. The VPAA will achieve this vision through overseeing all aspects of the College’s academic areas, guiding faculty development, fostering partnerships, and strengthening administrative processes and support systems.
The new VPAA must be an experienced administrator who possesses demonstrated leadership experience; the knowledge of, and ability to, promote the College’s mission; and a clear sense of the complex challenges of an institution with undergraduate and graduate programs in the Northeast. Extraordinary communication skills are essential for success, as is the ability to work collaboratively throughout the institution to foster a culture of collegiality and innovation.
The ideal candidate will bring experience in online education and demonstrated leadership in improving student outcomes in an environment that values diversity and inclusive excellence. In addition to experience comparable to that of a vice president, dean, or associate vice president, the VPAA will have an earned a doctorate or terminal professional degree and a record of scholarly achievement that would merit a faculty appointment.
The role of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Dean of the College is the chief academic officer, reporting directly to the President. The Vice President for Academic Affairs provides oversight and vision for academic programs and policies; faculty recruitment and evaluation; and academic budget planning and implementation. Current direct reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs include the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Director of the Library, the Dean of Nursing, the Dean of Business, the Academic Division Chairs, and the Registrar. Other areas that fall within Academic Affairs are the Career Center, Office of Online Learning, and the Writing Center.
The Vice President is a critical member of the college leadership team and in addition to serving on the President's Cabinet, also works with the Board of Trustees in areas of educational policy and management of College resources, and serves as an advocate for faculty and students on all academic matters.
Strategy and Academic Leadership
- Serves as a member of the President's Cabinet, leading specific strategic initiatives identified by the President and contributing actively to the leadership team.
- Serves as the principal College academic planning officer, acting with the input and involvement of the trustees, the other members of the President's Cabinet, the Academic Deans, Chairs of the Academic Divisions, Academic Affairs staff, and faculty at large.
- Serves as the main academic liaison to the Board of Trustees and the Academic Affairs Committee. Prepares documents and reports in the areas of academic responsibility.
- Participates in program development as a member of the Program Development and Curriculum Committees
- Provides high-level oversight for all academic initiatives and offices related to Academic Affairs.
- Participates as an ex officio member on all faculty committees.
- Oversees orientation and development of faculty.
- Is the chief academic advisor to the President.
- Discharges the duties of the President in his/her absence.
- Coordinates institutional self-studies and reports to assure continued accreditation.
- Participates in College committees and meetings as outlined in the Faculty Handbook or as appropriate.
- Fulfills VPAA responsibilities at convocation, commencement, and other formal events.
- Receives recommendations from the Faculty Senate and other Faculty and academic committees, reviews these recommendations, and presents a position on these recommendations to the President and/or to the Cabinet when appropriate.
- Works closely with the President and the Chief Financial Officer to make decisions about new faculty positions.
- Appoints academic division chairs in consultation with faculty after receiving the recommendation from the division.
- Appoints academic Deans after consultation with faculty and the President
- Holds final responsibility for all budgets in Academic Affairs and works with the President and Cabinet on College budget matters.
- Submits an annual report to the President.
- Serves as Secretary to the Board of Trustees Faculty and Academic Affairs Committee.
- Determines salary recommendations and conducts hiring negotiations with new faculty and Academic Affairs staff for which the President has final authority.
- Ensures timely evaluation of all faculty by the Promotion and Tenure Committee and makes recommendations to the President and Board.
Staff Supervision and Development
- Promotes a culture of high performance and develops staff using a supportive, collaborative, and data-driven approach.
- Ensures all areas are customer-focused in their dealings with students, faculty, staff, and others.
- Provides leadership by overseeing, directing, and supervising employees in the Academic Affairs offices. This includes actively participating in the selection, hiring, training, and evaluation of all direct reports, in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources.
- Orients and guides direct reports by communicating departmental standard procedures, and philosophy of mentoring and supervising students.
- Facilitates and directs the process of goal setting for all direct reports, conducts regular meetings to monitor workflow, and offers feedback and guidance to support the professional development of direct reports.
- Delegates tasks to appropriate departmental staff members as new college initiatives arise.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Earned doctorate or terminal degree.
- Record of successful teaching and professional activity; appropriate record of professional publication or comparable scholarship.
- Demonstrated leadership and strategic thinking ability.
- Fosters a strong sense of community and shared governance, working with faculty.
- Demonstrated ability to execute on initiatives and follow through to successful conclusion.
- Prior administrative experience (vice president, dean, department chair, director, etc.) required- including budget-development and oversight.
- Ability to learn new skills quickly and embrace mentoring and coaching.
- Open and collaborative leadership style that is conducive to shared governance; ability to encourage and nurture faculty development while maintaining high standards of academic excellence and achievement.
- Ability to recognize the importance of integrative and experiential learning and the practical application of knowledge.
- Ability to analyze the position of Mount Saint Mary College in the changing landscape of undergraduate education.
- Understanding of the importance and value of the Liberal Arts.
- Commitment to Mount Saint Mary College’s program of academics, work, community engagement, cross-cultural understanding, and sustainability/environmental responsibility.
- Commitment to developing and enhancing the integration of academics, work, and community engagement.
- A strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all academic practices.
About Mount Saint Mary College
Mount Saint Mary College is an institution of higher education guided by the Catholic and Dominican traditions of academic rigor, pursuit of truth, social justice, leadership, and service. The College Bylaws indicate that Mount Saint Mary College “aims to give its students a Catholic cultural-professional education in the liberal arts tradition.”
This distinctive approach provides the philosophy for our commitment to educating the whole person and to cultivating intellectual achievement, religious and spiritual growth, and the development of moral character.
Consistent with these principles, Mount Saint Mary College endeavors to graduate students who
- are inquisitive and value the free exchange of ideas in pursuit of truth
- are analytical in their approach to problem solving
- are motivated toward self-improvement
- have developed an aesthetic sense
- possess effective leadership and communication skills
- respect the value and ethics of the Catholic and Dominican traditions
- embrace civic responsibility and community service
The deepening of Mount Saint Mary College’s commitment to these principles will involve the leadership efforts of the entire college community, within a culture of academic excellence.
As reflected in its motto Doce Me Veritatem (Teach Me the Truth), Mount Saint Mary College, founded by the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, is an independent, coeducational institution committed to providing students with a liberal arts education to prepare them for lives of leadership and service. Through a variety of majors and professional programs, students are also prepared for career entry or graduate and professional studies.
Consistent with Judeo-Christian values and the Dominican tradition of education that values the inherent worth of the individual, the mission of Mount Saint Mary College is to create an environment which fosters close student-faculty interaction that enables students to reach their full potential as lifelong learners. Mount Saint Mary College strives to provide a stimulating environment that promotes the intellectual and personal growth of undergraduate and graduate students.
History of the College
The Dominican Sisters of Newburgh established Mount Saint Mary College as we know it now in October of 1959, but they have had an academic presence in Newburgh since 1883, when a small group from New York City established Mount Saint Mary Academy at the request of the pastor of Saint Mary’s Church in Newburgh. Their reputation in education, and consequently the size of the Academy, grew in several stages; and in 1930 the Sisters opened the Mount Saint Mary Normal and Training School, which was certified by the New York State Education Department as a teacher training institution.
In 1954, the Mount became eligible to grant the degree of associate in arts, and in 1959 the Board of Regents amended the College’s charter to make it a four-year liberal arts college. In 1964, the Mount celebrated the commencement of its first graduates from the four-year liberal arts college, which by then was known as Mount Saint Mary College. In 1968, the College received full accreditation from the Middle States Association. The institution had been all female; but in the spring of that year, the first male student began taking classes at the newly co-educational Mount Saint Mary College. In 1984, the College's first master’s degree program was introduced, leading to a Master of Science in Special Education. Since that time, the Mount has experienced an enormous growth of programs and expansion of buildings.
For a complete history of the college, see msmc.edu/MSMChistory
Mount Saint Mary College offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as collaboration programs with other institutions and several five-year degree programs. Six divisions and two schools provide those program offerings: the Divisions of Arts and Letters, Education, Mathematics and Information Technology, Natural Sciences, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Social Sciences; and the Schools of Business and Nursing.
More than 50 undergraduate programs are offered across a wide range of subjects. See msmc.edu/programs for a complete list and links to further information.
The College also offers graduate programs in Business Administration, Education, and Nursing, including post-master’s certificates. See msmc.edu/gradprograms for more details.
The Mount also offers several five-year degree programs: an Accounting BS/MBA program; a Business BS/MBA program; and Biology, Chemistry, Math, History or English BA with a Master of Science in Education (MSEd).
Collaboration programs at the Mount offer the bachelor’s degree plus advanced degrees from participating colleges, such as Fordham University, Pace University, and New York Medical College. These programs include Counseling, Physical Therapy, Podiatry, Publishing, and Social Work.
First Year Experience Program
Specially designed programming throughout the first year of college cultivates community- based learning, academic success, the personal development necessary for college life, and a connection to Mount Saint Mary College as first-year students become active members in the community of learners.
The Mount has a robust Study Abroad program that enables students to take classes for a semester or summer session in England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, and many other countries.
Students in the Honors Program at the Mount are given many opportunities to pursue their academic interests and career paths, and to develop new perspectives in the arts, the sciences, history, culture and society, and technology. Honors students enjoy benefits, including honors housing and early registration.
The College also has 16 Honor Societies: Alpha Chi (general), Alpha Sigma Lambda (Adult Degree Completion), Beta Beta Beta (Biology), Delta Mu Delta (Accounting and Business), Gamma Sigma Epsilon (Chemistry), Kappa Delta Pi (Education), Kappa Mu Epsilon (Mathematics), Lambda Pi Eta (Communication Arts), Phi Alpha Theta (History), Psi Chi (Psychology), Sigma Tau Delta (English), Sigma Theta Tau (Nursing), Tau Upsilon Alpha (Human Services), Chi Alpha Epsilon (for students admitted through non-traditional criteria), Gamma Nu Eta (Information Technology), and Sigma Delta Pi (Hispanic Studies).
Centers and Institutes
Five centers provide frameworks for involvement, discussion, and research in interdisciplinary or specialized areas:
- The Catholic and Dominican Institute (CDI) promotes the College’s Dominican heritage, study, and service, provides a forum for discussion of contemporary ethical issues, and enhances Catholic and Jewish dialogue. The Institute welcomes persons of varied faiths and acknowledges different religious traditions as essential to the College’s intellectual and spiritual life.
- The Center on Aging and Disability Policy (CADP) promotes an interdisciplinary perspective dedicated to excellence in research and scholarship in the field of gerontology.
- The Center for Adolescent Research and Development (CARD) is a clearinghouse for research initiatives related to psychological, social, cultural, educational, and health issues for contemporary adolescents and young adults.
- The Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL) offers services to parents and teachers of students in pre-K through 12th grade, rich experiences for students in Mount Saint Mary College teacher programs, and opportunities for researchers in reading and writing processes and instruction.
- The Center for Community Engagement fosters and facilitates the efforts of all Mount Saint Mary College constituencies to work for social justice and equality in the surrounding community. The Center collaborates with community partners to provide needed expertise, plan and implement new community-focused initiatives, and identify useful service-learning opportunities for our students.
The Desmond Campus programs support the goals of Mount Saint Mary College in providing various non-credit learning opportunities and enrichment for residents of the greater Hudson Valley, including bus trips to arts events or historic sites.
Dr. Jason N. Adsit, the Mount’s seventh president, began his tenure on June 1, 2018. Since taking the reins, Dr. Adsit has quickly become a fixture at the college. His vision for the Mount’s future is a comprehensive, institution-wide commitment to service-learning and community engagement. Students, faculty, and staff will participate in a broad array of high-impact practices related to service-learning across the entire institution. Professors will develop service-learning components within all academic programs, the college will increase meaningful connections with additional local service organizations, students will be given opportunities to engage in study abroad trips with a strong service component, and more.
Dr. Adsit joined the Mount family from D’Youville College in Buffalo, N.Y., where he served as Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences, and Education, as well as Director of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program. As chief academic officer, Dr. Adsit oversaw all undergraduate and graduate programs in the School, including the departments of Biology and Mathematics, Business, Chemistry, Education, and Liberal Arts.
An accomplished author and speaker, Dr. Adsit earned a doctoral degree in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from American University in Washington, D.C.
Mount Saint Mary College has 17,560 alumni overall.
Faculty and Staff
There are 79 full-time and 170 part-time faculty. The full-time equivalency for faculty is 136. Sixty-three percent are tenured, and 86 percent have a terminal degree. The Mount has 303 administrative and support staff.
Mount Saint Mary College’s total enrollment as of fall 2019 is 2,236 students, 1,654 of whom study full-time. The total FTE figure is 1,977. Of this FTE, 1,881 are undergraduate students, with 860 residing on campus. (The percentage of freshmen who live on campus is proportionately high, at 71 percent.)
The most populous programs as of fall 2019 are: Nursing (604), Education certification (231) Business (196), Psychology (161), and Biology (103). Among graduate students, the most populous programs are Nursing (187), Business Management (59), and Education (106).
First-time, full-time students come overwhelmingly from New York State: 51 percent from Mid-Hudson, 20 percent from Long Island, and 14 percent from New York City. Seven percent come from Connecticut and 4 percent from New Jersey.
Seventy two percent of degree-seeking traditional students in the fall semester of 2019 were female. The ethnic identifications for degree-seeking traditional students were 61 percent white, 14 percent Hispanics of any race, 7 percent black, 1 percent other, and 1 percent two or more races (14 percent unknown).
The one-year retention rate was 80 percent and six-year graduation rate 63 percent.
Student and Graduate Employment
The Career Center, held in very high regard by students, alumni, and local employers, offers individual career counseling to enable students to participate in a variety of experiential opportunities such as internships, volunteer, and shadow positions in all majors. Students typically complete one or more internships for three academic credits of approximately 10 hours per week. Nursing students obtain externships that are paid, but do not carry academic credit. In 2017-18, 306 individual students had paid or credit-bearing internship, volunteer, and/or shadow positions.
More than 90 percent of undergraduates were employed six months after graduating: 73.7 percent full-time and 16.7 percent part-time. For master’s degree graduates, 83 percent were employed full-time and 15 percent part-time.
The Mount is a Division III college with 21 men’s and women’s teams. The College participates in the Skyline Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, and indoor/outdoor track and field. For women, there is basketball, cheerleading, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, indoor/ outdoor track and field, and volleyball.
The Elaine and William Kaplan Recreation Center is the hub of athletics on campus. It features a 1,200-seat basketball facility, a 25-yard pool, a strength and conditioning center, an aerobics room, an athletic training room, and offices for athletics administrators and coaches.