University of Northern Iowa - Vice President for Student Life

IA, Cedar Falls

The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) seeks an experienced and innovative leader to serve as its Vice President for Student Life (VPSL). The next VPSL will join UNI at a critical moment in its history, will build on a strong foundation and will revitalize the Division of Student Life. Reporting directly to President Mark Nook and serving as a member of the President’s Senior Leadership Team, the next Vice President for Student Life will have a primary focus on student success including being a proactive partner with academic affairs; champion data-informed and metric-oriented student success efforts; strategically manage the resources, programs and personnel of the division with clarity and efficiency; and advance the institution’s efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion to fully realize the benefits of a robust multicultural community.

The university’s next Vice President will be a strategic and experienced student affairs leader who takes initiative and has the collaborative and interpersonal skills to operate effectively with multiple constituencies and to achieve results. In the midst of the university’s safe and flexible return to campus for the academic year, the student life division plays a critical role in rebuilding and broadening the sense of community with student-centered practices that meet the needs of a diverse and changing student population. 

As one of three public universities in the state of Iowa, UNI is the only comprehensive and serves the state, region and beyond with programs designed to support and enhance the economy. The University is proud of its rating at #2 among Top Public Regional Schools – Midwest (US News and World Report) and its recognition as the site of Iowa’s #1 teacher education program. True to its roots, UNI continues to emphasize hands-on learning and service as preparation for meaningful careers and civic engagement. With a population of 9,231 undergraduate and graduate students, UNI offers more than 90 fields of study, 300+ student clubs and organizations, 17 Division I collegiate athletics programs, a multitude of fine arts options, and more.

The Vice President oversees a talented, dedicated team and has executive responsibility for the Division of Student Life which currently includes the following units: Career Services; Center for Multicultural Education; Counseling Center; Dean of Students; Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice; Gender and Sexuality Services; Maucker Union; Military and Veteran Student Support; Student Accessibility Services; Student Employment; Student Health Clinic; Student Involvement and Event Services; Student Wellness Services; and Recreation Services. The university plans to move the housing and dining portfolio into the Student Life division in 2023.

A doctorate or other relevant terminal degree and at least seven years of progressive, senior management experience in higher education and/or student affairs is required. The Vice President will be expected to offer demonstrated competence in budgeting, financial, human resources, and crisis management; an ability to work and build positive relationships with students and others on campus and to partner with key constituencies, experience in strategic planning and assessment; strong communication and problem-solving skills; commitment to educational excellence; and an ability to provide inclusive and collaborative, transparent, and data-informed leadership; and a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and social justice is required.

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. The search process will continue until the position is filled. Application materials including a current resume or cv and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile, should be submitted by January 5, 2022 using the buttons below. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Sheila Murphy and Jennifer Meyers Pickard, Ph.D. at