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Spring 2024

The Duke chapel, lit up in early sunlight, against a pale blue sky, in early winter.

Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

The Leadership Opportunity

Background and Context

Duke University seeks a new Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (DOS) to prioritize the undergraduate and graduate student experience while leading a variety of strategic and operational initiatives. Reporting to the Vice Provost/Vice President for Student Affairs, the Dean of Students is an organizational manager, responsible for leadership of key units and also fostering an inclusive environment that emphasizes community, advocacy, and well-being. The DOS promotes and exemplifies Duke’s shared values - respect, trust, inclusion, discovery, and excellence — which are the foundation of the University’s culture, and which guide and inform the university’s strategic framework to empower the boldest thinkers, transform teaching and learning, renew the campus community, partner with purpose, and engage a global network. The DOS is highly influential in creating a student and staff culture of inclusion, belonging, and innovation.

Opportunities and expectations

  • Lead the following key units: Counseling & Psychological Services, Student Health, DukeReach, DuWell, Graduate and Professional Student Services, Student Affairs Assessment, Student Conduct & Community Standards, New Student Programs, Parent & Family Programs, Residential Education, Time Away, and Veteran’s Programs.
  • Work closely with colleagues to ensure their work is responsive, coordinated, data-driven and closely aligned with the mission of the Division of Student Affairs, the university leadership and its community members.
  • Develop and implement proactive strategies to support student mental health and overall wellbeing, consistent with the mission and values of Duke.
  • Advance efforts to scale innovative, data driven strategies for student wellness at the undergraduate and graduate/professional levels.
  • Work closely with colleagues in Student Affairs and the University Health System to ensure that outreach and support programs, policies, and practices regarding student mental health and wellness are cohesively included in all aspects of the student experience and reflect the current relevant research and national best practices.
  • Foster innovation in the student experience to meet the challenges facing higher education in the 21st century and serve as a key thought partner for the VPSA to provide leadership and strategic direction for a broad range of services and programs that enrich all Duke students’ growth and engagement.
  • Develop comprehensive programs and services that foster resilience and purpose while enhancing each student’s ability to relate mutually and meaningfully with others.
  • Advance ongoing efforts to ensure undergraduate students’ academic and co-curricular foci are meaningfully connected to their residential and leadership experience through QuadEx, Duke’s innovative living and learning strategy.
  • Provide effective leadership and guidance when student-related crises occur. Manage through campus-level and individual student crises with equanimity, discretion, and a sense of responsibility and respect for students, families, and the institution.
  • Work collaboratively to develop and manage the university’s response to various student-related crises and is knowledgeable about issues related to confidentiality and federal policy.
  • Enrich on-campus life and social engagement for students with different backgrounds. Serve as an approachable leader who earns the trust and respect of students while providing a model of engagement with them for other administrators and faculty.
  • Promote a culture within Duke that balances the need to support students in their academic and personal endeavors with the need to encourage their growth into autonomous and independent adults.
  • Collaborate with other leaders in the Division of Student Affairs to envision and implement new ways to advance Duke’s commitment to the values of community and inclusion, building an intentional and inclusive campus culture that ensures students of all racial, socio-economic, religious, gender, citizenship, and neurodiverse identities thrive at Duke.

Candidate Profile

The Dean of Students (DOS) is a highly visible and vital member of the Student Affairs senior leadership team who oversees a wide range of services and programs available on campus for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The DOS provides the overall vision, planning, strategic direction, and management to areas related to students’ holistic wellbeing and engagement, including health and well-being, residential education, conduct and community standards, crisis response and on-call services, experiential orientation, and specialty programs for parents, veterans, graduate and professional students, and students returning from time away from campus. The DOS serves on several committees and task forces and plays a key role implementing QuadEx, Duke’s living and learning strategy unveiled in 2022. The DOS will foster an inclusive, dynamic, and collaborative environment for more than 150 full time staff and 500+ student leaders.

Ideal Experience and General Qualifications

Ideal candidates will have many of the following experiences and qualities:

  • A master’s degree in a relevant field and a minimum 10 years work experience, including progressively responsible positions within an educational setting and significant management experience in a student affairs or similar setting are required; doctorate preferred. Proven experience developing leaders and supervising teams in a complex setting.
  • A deep understanding of the educational value of a diverse community; a demonstrated track record of advancing diversity and enhancing inclusiveness; an ability to bring groups and individuals to common ground across lines of difference, including but not limited to race, religion, gender, and socioeconomic status.
  • A long-standing commitment to the needs of students from a variety of backgrounds and an understanding of the resources necessary to provide a campus living experience that supports their intellectual growth, physical and mental health, and cultural practices.
  • Ability to work effectively, respectfully, creatively, and collaboratively in a highly complex, challenging environment.
  • Proven skills as a senior manager, with demonstrated ability to mentor and support staff and provide successful oversight of people and space; a track record for inspiring colleagues with energy and a dedication to their professional development, as well as a commitment to clarity and accountability.
  • Sincere engagement with students and the campus community; a strong, visible presence and active participation in a range of campus activities; the ability to engage with students in a variety of settings using current technology and modes of interaction.
  • A liveliness of intellect and a commitment to engage collaboratively with faculty members and to respond effectively to their needs and concerns.
  • Wisdom and judgment; the capacity to make and stand by difficult decisions, always mindful of the need for fairness, consistency, and the potential impact of each decision on individuals and the broader community.
  • Sophisticated interpersonal skills; a firm, but fair, approach to the resolution of conflict; a commitment to consult extensively, balanced by a willingness to act decisively when consensus is elusive; energy, agility, sense of humor.
  • Proven ability to manage through crises with equanimity, discretion, and a sense of responsibility and respect for students, families, and the institution.
  • A strong advocate for Duke University, the institution's priorities, and its teaching, research, and service mission; an energetic and conscientious administrator broadly familiar with issues in higher education as they relate to all aspects of the undergraduate and graduate student experience.

Other Personal Characteristics

  • Uncompromising integrity and the highest ethical and moral standards.
  • Ambition, creativity, and broad intellectual curiosity.
  • Collaborative, transparent, collegial, and approachable.

The search process

The Duke University Dean of Students Search Committee is eager to receive input that will help it build a deep and diverse pool of talented individuals. To that end, the Search Committee welcomes your comments, inquiries, applications, and nominations, which may be submitted via e-mail with supporting materials to:

Duke University prohibits discrimination and harassment and provides equal employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. Duke is committed to recruiting, hiring, and promoting qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.

Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Duke prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any of its educational programs or activities. For more information, please visit

About the Institution

The University

Duke University, regarded as one of the nation’s leading research universities and among the most selective in student admissions, was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco products and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892, where Benjamin Newton Duke served as a primary benefactor and link with the Duke family until his death in 1929. In December 1924, the provisions of indenture by Benjamin’s brother, James B. Duke, created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman’s College of Duke University until 1972, when the men’s and women’s undergraduate colleges merged. All undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Duke, which maintains a historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church, has research and development expenditures of over $1 billion annually and has been a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) since 1938.

Schools & Colleges

10 schools and colleges including Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, School of Law, Divinity School, Graduate School, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, Pratt School of Engineering, Fuqua School of Business, Nicholas School of the Environment, and Sanford School of Public Policy.

Institutions & Centers

A cornerstone of Duke’s commitment to inquiry across disciplines are the 11 institutes and centers including the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Social Science Research Institute, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences, Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Rhodes Information Initiative at Duke, Duke Science & Society, and Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy.

Students, Faculty and Employees

  • 6,417 Undergraduate Students; 10,122 Graduate & Professional Students; 16,539 Total Students.
  • All Faculty 4,109 (includes professors of the practice, research professors, lecturers, clinical professors, and medical associates). 1,654 Total Tenured/Tenured Track Professors.
  • Total employees 45,502 (including Duke University Health System).

Financial and Operating Information

  • Duke University's endowment had a market value of $11.6 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2023.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel welcome and valued, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these principles.

For additional information on Duke University, please visit To download a PDF of the full job description, click here.