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Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies

The University of Kansas is searching for a Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies (VP for UGS) to lead undergraduate education in a way that promotes a superior academic experience through engaged learning and other emerging instructional platforms in an effort to provide an excellent student experience.  

The VP for UGS provides leadership to the units within Undergraduate Studies including First-Year Experience, the Undergraduate Advising Center, the Academic Achievement and Access Center, the KU Writing Center, University Career Center, Office of Fellowships, Center for Service Learning, Center for Undergraduate Research, and the Military-Affiliated Student Center. This position will focus on collaborating with faculty and campus stakeholders to build and implement the vision for undergraduate education at the Lawrence and KU Edwards campuses that increases student retention and progression to graduation. This VP represents the university’s interest in various national, regional, and local partnerships that help enhance the undergraduate student experience including but not limited to the University Innovation Alliance (UIA), KC Scholars, and KC Degrees.

The ideal candidate will also contribute to the University’s mission to promote social, economic, and environmental justice in a space dedicated to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion. This position is a full-time, 12-month position that reports to and serves at the pleasure of the Provost. This opportunity may include a .20 FTE faculty position in an academic unit based upon candidate credentials and interest.

Job Duties

80% Leadership

Vision Setting and Data Driven Decision Making

  • Set the vision and ensure support for building and sustaining high quality educational experiences for KU undergraduates.
  • Supervise the undergraduate studies leadership team, which includes assistant vice provosts and unit directors.
  • Provide budgetary oversight for the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
  • Advise the Provost and Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Affairs on matters involving undergraduate education.
  • Utilize data-driven tools to identify opportunities to enhance the retention, persistence, and completion of students with a particular focus on opportunities to bridge attainment gaps for historically underrepresented student populations.
  • Foster partnerships across the university to identify, develop, and implement academic-based student success strategies (such as addressing high DFW-rate courses, curricular bottlenecks, class availability, etc.) to improve undergraduate student retention, time to degree, degree completion rates, and the student educational experience.
  • Partner with the academic units, the Center for Teaching Excellence, and the Center for Online and Distance Learning to advance a culture of continual improvement in teaching practices and build opportunities for course redesign and development to improve student academic success, particularly in freshman gateway courses.
  • Advance the use of data to evaluate and continuously improve upon the effectiveness of curricula and best practices for student success and in meeting benchmarks for retention, graduation and equity of underrepresented populations.
  • Provide guidance to incorporate experiential learning into the educational and curricular structure of the university.

Oversight in Execution and Implementation Efforts

  • Work with campus constituents to develop and revise relevant academic policies and procedures to advance student success.
  • Collaborate with academic units and the undergraduate academic advising community to enhance the undergraduate student experience with academic advising including but not limited to, providing oversight and leadership for strategic use of advising technology and the creation of four-year plans and degree maps to encourage student progress toward degree.
  • Work with campus partners, including the Center for Teaching Excellence and academic units, to ensure the development of a sustainable plan for assessment of student learning; partner with the AVP for Academic Affairs to ensure appropriate reporting of learning assessment to the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Partner with campus and community stakeholders, including the Transfer and Articulation Policy Council, to establish a smooth and seamless transfer experience for students.
  • Develop and implement strategy to sustain and assess the university-wide KU Core curriculum. Work with the chair of the University Core Curriculum Committee (UCCC) to provide leadership and administrative support for the UCCC.
  • Provide strategic leadership for the concurrent enrollment program, Jayhawk Blueprint, including oversight of course offerings, program assessment, communication with campus and community stakeholders, and opportunities to expand partnerships.

20% Other duties as assigned by the Provost

Required Qualifications

  • Earned doctorate or other terminal degree.
  • At least seven years of progressively responsible administrative experience in higher education, including developing and leading undergraduate student success initiatives at the university level.
  • At least five years of experience in personnel management and budget management.
  • Experience addressing the needs and concerns of underrepresented and other marginalized groups and a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as demonstrated by application materials.
  • Experience developing and maintaining strategic, collaborative relationships with stakeholders at the university and in the community.
  • At least three years of experience teaching at the undergraduate level, OR experience with curriculum development and collaboration with academic units as demonstrated by application materials.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Superior skills in oral and written communication as demonstrated by application and the interview process.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills as demonstrated by application and the interview process.
  • Experience with strategic planning and implementation.
  • Experience in a large public research university, either as student or employee.
  • Experience using data to develop, implement, and evaluate student success initiatives.
  • Experience leading an academic unit within a public research university.

Terms of Appointment

The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies at the University of Kansas will receive a competitive compensation package and comprehensive employee benefits.


Interested candidates should use the “Apply to Job” button on the official job posting.

A complete online application will include the following:

  1. letter of application highlighting relevant educational, research, and administrative experience;
  2. curriculum vita;
  3. a statement of diversity and inclusion;
  4. a statement outlining a vision for the role of undergraduate education;
  5. contact information (including email) of three professional references. No further reference checks will be made without approval of the applicant. 

The position is available with a negotiated start date on or around July 1, 2020.  Applicants are encouraged to apply by January 10, 2020, in order to receive optimal consideration.

Confidential nominations are invited and may be sent to vpugsearch@ku.edu no later than November 29. Applications, inquiries, and nominations can be addressed to:

Tammara Durham, Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Ron Ragan, Dean for the School of Pharmacy
Co-Chairs of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Search Committee

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities.


Search Committee

Name Title Contact
Tammara Durham, Co-Chair Vice Provost of Student Affairs tdurham@ku.edu
Ron Ragan, Co-Chair Dean of Pharmacy ronragan@ku.edu
Charlie Bankart Associate Vice Provost for International Affairs cbankart@ku.edu
Barry Fitzgerald Professor of Design, School of Architecture and Design bfitz@ku.edu
Weizhang Huang Professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics whuang@ku.edu
Angela Karlin Assistant Vice Provost of Financial Aid and Scholarships akarlin@ku.edu
Karen Ledom Director Advising and Student Services for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences kjh@ku.edu
Achal Patel undergraduate student, aerospace engineering achalpatel221199@ku.edu
Shannon Portillo Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Edwards Campus sportillo@ku.edu
Antoinette Redmond recruiter in the School of Business redmonda@ku.edu
Andrew Shoemaker Director of the Academic Achievement and Access Center shoe@ku.edu
Belinda Sturm Professor of Civil , Environmental and Architectural Engineering and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research bmcswain@ku.edu
Mercedeh Tavacoli undergraduate student, Biology mtavacoli@ku.edu
Doug Ward Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications and Associate Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence dbward@ku.edu
Michael Williams Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communications mikewms@ku.edu
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