Skip to main content Skip to main content

Position Profile

Florida State University (FSU) invites nominations, expressions of interest, and applications for the position of Vice President for Student Affairs. FSU seeks a visionary and collaborative leader to head the Division of Student Affairs with exceptional administrative abilities, interpersonal skills, and a commitment to innovation. The next Vice President will work closely with FSU’s senior administration to advance the University’s academic mission and Florida State’s goal of becoming a “Top 25” ranked public university by enhancing the Division’s work in creating a welcoming, supportive, and challenging environment that maximizes student well-being, learning, and success. This position will be a key partner in enhancing FSU’s cohesive community by contributing to initiatives designed to increase diversity and inclusiveness and develop globally and culturally competent students who are prepared to succeed in our multicultural and global society.

The University: As one of the nation’s most elite research universities with the Carnegie Foundation’s highest designation (Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity), Florida State University offers a distinctive academic environment built on cherished values and unique heritage, a welcoming campus on the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida, championship athletics, and a prime location in the heart of the state capital. Combining traditional strength in the arts and humanities with a recognized leadership in the sciences, Florida State University provides unmatched opportunities for students and faculty through challenging academics, cultural discovery, and community interaction. Underlying and supporting the educational experience at Florida State University is the development of new generations of citizen leaders, based on the concepts inscribed in the FSU seal: Vires, Artes, Mores – Strength, Skill, and Character. Epitomized by recently named Rhodes Scholars Garrett Johnson and Myron Rolle – elite athletes and scholars committed to public service – and Joseph O’Shea – a campus and community leader as well as a top scholar – Florida State’s 41,000 students are dedicated to academic excellence and to providing leadership in our complex world.

Florida State University’s 16 colleges offer more than 275 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, professional, and specialist degree programs, including medicine and law, covering a broad array of disciplines critical to society today. Each year the University awards over 2,000 graduate and professional degrees. With an impressive breadth of leading graduate, professional, and undergraduate programs, Florida State University is a demanding, intellectually stimulating, yet warm and caring environment for students and faculty. Recognized nationally for commitment to diversity, Florida State University is a national leader in the number of doctorates awarded to African-American students and in the graduation rate of African-American undergraduates. The College of Medicine and College of Law are ranked in the nation’s Top 10 for Hispanic students. Florida State University’s arts programs – dance, film, music, and theatre – rank among the finest in the world, offering an arts education comparable to leading conservatories. The creative writing program is ranked among the nation’s best and is home to the most consistently honored and published student body in the United States. Florida State is responsible for governance of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and associated arts programs, one of the largest museum/university complexes in the nation.

Other programs consistently included in the top public university list include physics, chemistry, political science, psychology, earth sciences, mathematical sciences, criminology, public administration, library science, information, human sciences, business, and law. At the Ph.D. level, interdisciplinary programs draw on notable research faculty strengths that transcend the traditional disciplines, including neuroscience, molecular biophysics, computational science, materials science, and research at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, which is home to the world’s most powerful magnets. Florida State has built a reputation as a strong research center in both the sciences and the humanities. The faculty generates approximately $220 million annually in external funds to be used for research. These external funds are in the form of contracts and grants from private foundations, industries and government agencies, and are used to support research, improve research facilities, and provide stipends for graduate students. Florida State consistently ranks in the top 10 universities nationally in physical sciences grants awarded by the National Science Foundation. Florida State University faculty includes: members of the National Academy of Sciences; the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; Pulitzer Prize winners; a Nobel Laureate; Oscar winners; and Guggenheim, Fulbright, and National Endowment for the Humanities fellows.

Additional information about Florida State, including its history and programs, can be found at

University Vision: The Florida State University will be one of the world’s premier institutions of higher education, devoted to transforming the lives of our students, shaping the future of our state and society, and offering programs of national and international distinction in a climate of inquiry, engagement, collegiality, diversity, and achievement.

Points of Pride: Florida State’s next Vice President for Student Affairs will join a distinguished university that has earned many national accolades. The University is rich in tradition, nationally recognized for its academic, arts, and athletic programs, and avidly supported by an ardent alumni base of approximately 300,000. Accomplishments and points of pride include:

• Florida State has advanced its national ranking and is now ranked among the top 45 public universities (U.S. News & World Report, 2015 Best College Rankings) in the country. Led by a world-renowned faculty that has included six Nobel laureates and numerous eminent scholars in many areas of the arts and sciences, its academic programs continue to receive major recognition for their quality and strength, and the university is moving rapidly toward its goal of becoming a “Top 25” ranked university.

• The University leads all other public institutions in Florida in National Science Foundation funding. Florida State has recently launched significant hiring initiatives to build research strengths in areas that address enduring global challenges in which the potential for innovation is high.

• The Florida Legislature has recognized Florida State as one of two “preeminent” universities within the state and is providing an additional $25 million a year allocation to pursue national prominence.

• Located in Florida State’s new Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, the Office of National Fellowships mentors the University’s most talented students, who have won prestigious national awards, including Rhodes, Truman, and Goldwater scholarships. Among research universities, Florida State is one of the top producers of student Fulbright scholars. It is important to note that in each of the past three years, the University led the state in the total number of these scholars.

• Florida State’s excellence also shines beyond traditional academic settings. Students supplement their academic pursuits each year with hundreds of thousands of hours of community service time outside the classroom. In immeasurable ways, the University reaches out to the region, state, nation, and global community. This level of service has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation, which has selected Florida State for inclusion in its prestigious Community Engagement classification.

• Florida State is committed to the success of those who have served our country as members of the U.S. armed forces and is making significant strides towards its goal of becoming the most veteran friendly and empowering university in the nation.

• Florida State has an outstanding campus environment that includes a culture of collegiality, distinguished students, and an excellent sense of community. The University has an extraordinarily accomplished and dedicated faculty, prominent athletic programs, and enjoys excellent town and gown relations. It is a comprehensive university with a small college feel.

• Although Florida State’s intercollegiate athletic history spans only half the time of most of its national competitors, the University has a rich history of success in athletics. It is the only athletics program in the nation that has had 94 out of 96 of its teams reach the post-season the past five years, a remarkable 97.9 percent success rate. The Seminoles have had two student-athletes who were named Rhodes Scholars, and since 2008 a total of eight Florida State student-athletes have been named national player of the year. The University has produced 510 All-Americans and 599 All-ACC selections and won 34 ACC team championships and 29 individual National Championships. In just the past seven years, 25 Seminoles have been named academic All-Americans, 474 have been named to an All-ACC Academic team, and 25 have been named the ACC’s student-athlete of the year in their sport.

Division of Student Affairs at Florida State: The Division of Student Affairs seeks a forward-thinking leader who will shape the future of the FSU student experience. Through innovative programming, the Division of Student Affairs will develop students’ intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being; educate students through inclusive services, courses, and programs; create student-centered policies and programs in collaboration with partners; and lead the University to anticipate student needs and resolve issues.

Florida State University’s Division of Student Affairs has been named a 15+ Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs by The Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) at the Ohio State University, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine, and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). The CHEE study examined criteria such as workplace diversity, staffing practices, work environment, family friendliness, salary/benefits and professional development opportunities at institutions of higher learning across the country in developing the rankings.

The Division of Student Affairs has partnered with FSU’s College of Education to develop a pipeline of student affairs professionals while becoming a key contributor in the areas of educational leadership and policy development. Through collaborations on the local, state, and national levels, the Division of Student Affairs has positioned itself to serve as a leader in the field.

In addition to its history in engaging in scholarly work with professional organizations, the Division of Student Affairs takes pride in its achievements related to responsible decision making and the development of FSU students. Given its strategic goals to build community, educate leaders to make a difference, integrate learning, and ensure operational excellence, the staff are accomplishing these goals by developing strategies to increase student engagement and learning opportunities across campus; enhancing and supporting student leadership learning initiatives; expanding internship and experiential opportunities; expanding internationalization efforts in partnership with Academic Affairs; increasing mental health and wellness resources; implementing a Division of Student Affairs student leader learning outcomes assessment; and encouraging the study of the college student experience and program effectiveness to promote student success.

For more information regarding the Division of Student Affairs, please visit

Position Summary: Reporting to the President, the Vice President will lead a talented and dedicated student affairs team committed to providing a caring environment, promoting sustained achievement, and fostering learning and the holistic development of students, faculty, and staff. The functional areas reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs include: Campus Recreation, Career Center, Center for Academic Retention and Enhancement, Center for Global Engagement, Center for Leadership and Social Change, Dean of Students, Oglesby Union, Student Government Association, University Counseling Center, University Health Services and University Housing.

Responsibilities: The Vice President for Student Affairs must empower the Division to effectively meet the goals of the University through strong partnerships across the institution and within communities the University serves. This will be accomplished through:

Advocacy – The Vice President must work closely with students, departments, and faculty to ensure that student needs are recognized and addressed. This position is charged with promoting the intellectual, social, and personal development of students.

Collaboration – This role includes developing collaborative relationships with students, student organizations, student government, the University’s executive team, faculty, and staff to achieve a vision for the University where all campus members embrace an inclusive learning community with respect, responsibility, and acceptance for all cultures.

Leadership – The Vice President will play an integral role in fulfilling the University’s mission and strategic goals. The position is both high profile and high impact. As an essential member of the University’s senior leadership team, the Vice President will collaborate across divisional boundaries and will be expected to invest in new ideas as well as build upon effective programs and services and many existing strengths of the University.

Administration – The Vice President must be able to recognize and act upon the unique characteristics of Florida State University—its region, environment, and student populations. The position requires a deep understanding of and passion for American higher education, the ability to inspire teamwork and cooperation, and the will to innovate and take calculated risks. The successful candidate will have a broad understanding of and be responsive to the competitive challenges, technological opportunities, and cutting-edge practices required for institutions and students to be successful in the rapidly-changing higher education landscape. Fairness, diversity and inclusivity are core values at FSU and the successful candidate will have demonstrated these same values in previous roles.

Qualities and Characteristics:

• Ability to enhance the student experience by developing programming, which contains measurable outcomes, aimed at increasing the retention and graduation rates of students;
• Ability to develop student success programming using high impact or proven practices, which achieve desired outcomes;
• Ability to advance initiatives aimed at student success, engagement, and career entry;
• Ability to promote partnerships between the university and the region, including high schools and community colleges;
• Ability to provide leadership in campus-wide emergency and crisis situations and provide support to students and their families, as appropriate;
• Ability to use data to inform effective practices with students from varying backgrounds and needs;
• Ability to work collaboratively with other divisions, with special emphasis on the relationship between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs;
• Leadership skills with an emphasis on organizational effectiveness, team building, budgeting, and planning including the use of metrics for monitoring goal attainment;
• Ability to advocate for a diverse student body and to foster learning communities to promote an inclusive campus environment;
• Ability to work with internal and external constituents on fundraising activities; and
• Ability to think strategically about student success factors and potential initiatives, as well as the ability to work collaboratively across university divisions towards student success goals.

Required Qualifications:

• The successful candidate will have at least 10 years of progressive leadership experience at a comprehensive doctoral level institution.
• Master’s degree is required; Ph.D. is preferred.

Preferred Qualifications: The most attractive candidates for this position will have the following:

• Substantial progressive executive and managerial experience in student affairs administration, with particular expertise in the areas of improving student life and the student experience;
• Evidence of accomplishments (including measurable outcomes) in consulting and collaborating with campus constituencies to develop, administer, and improve student academic and support services to increase student retention and graduation rates;
• Personal involvement in student activities and enthusiasm for working with students and promoting their learning and success;
• Experience allocating and managing resources, team building, budgeting and planning including the use of metrics for monitoring goal attainment;
• Demonstrated ability to innovate and continuously improve student services and methodologies;
• Experience providing leadership in campus-wide emergency and crisis situations;
• Financial management experience;
• Knowledge of student development theory and programs;
• Knowledge of student due process policies/procedures;
• Knowledge and understanding of the current issues and trends in student affairs and student development;
• Strong supervisory and leadership skills;
• Knowledge of mediation and/or conflict resolution strategies and methods and skill in mediating disputes between students, staff and students, staff and students/parents and community representatives;
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds;
• Proven ability to work with a diverse faculty, staff and Issues in Higher Education magazine student body, and with all members of the academic and campus-wide communities; and
• Record of creativity and noteworthy success in initiating and implementing programs that attract and retain a diverse student body, and initiatives that improve student life and experience around issues of diversity for all students, particularly those from diverse backgrounds.

Application and Nomination Process: The Search Committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue to accept applications and nominations until the position is filled. Applicants must submit a current resume and a cover letter describing relevant experience and interest in the position. Submission of materials via email is strongly encouraged. Nominations should include the contact information of the nominee. All nominations and applications will be handled in confidence.

In accordance with the State of Florida’s open records laws, all applications and letters of interest will be made public. Application materials should be submitted to:


Alberto Pimentel
Managing Partner
Brian Dennis

Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates
6512 Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601

Refer to code “FSU-VPSA” in subject line

FSU is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. FSU’s Equal Opportunity Statement can be viewed at: