Job Details
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
BGSU Main Campus

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Bowling Green State University, a doctoral/high-research public university in northwest Ohio, seeks a collaborative and innovative leader to serve as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs (Vice Provost). It is an exciting time at BGSU, with President Rodney Rogers having begun his tenure in early 2018 and Provost Joe Whitehead in January 2019. BGSU is entering the next decade on a strong upward trajectory, and the University’s leadership continues to move BGSU forward with a commitment to serve both traditional and post-traditional students. BGSU embraces its role as a public university, acting in the public interest to create public good, and intentionally preparing students for their lives after graduation. The Vice Provost position has a critical role in achieving this mission by improving academic quality throughout the University and further enhancing BGSU’s commitment to the success of students, faculty, and programs.

Reporting to the Provost, the Vice Provost will have a leadership role in the implementation of the University’s new strategic plan and will ensure BGSU supports a holistic and intentional approach to undergraduate education, including the integration of career and academic advising and an institutional focus on post-traditional students. The Vice Provost will develop strategic and innovative partnerships with and among vice presidents and their divisions, deans and their colleges, faculty, students, staff, and committees. In addition, the role has an important, external-facing component in that the Vice Provost works closely with accrediting bodies and the Ohio Department of Higher Education on new academic program development, transfer articulation agreements, and regional compacts. The Vice Provost currently has nine direct reports, including staff that oversee the general education curriculum, retention and student success, experiential and innovative learning, career and academic advising, undergraduate research and scholarship, and online, summer, and winter session academic programs.

BGSU seeks candidates who will bring to the role the vision, energy, and creativity needed to lead the institution’s academic units during a critical time of change in higher education. The Vice Provost must be an exceptionally strong communicator and engage each academic department, school, and college, along with student government, faculty, and external stakeholders to champion and lead the advancement of Academic Affairs and institutional initiatives. The successful candidate will have an earned doctorate from an accredited institution in one of the disciplines represented in the University and a minimum of three years of academic leadership experience in a university setting; teaching, scholarly research/creative activity, and service credentials meriting appointment at the rank of associate or full professor with tenure; an understanding of and commitment to demographic, social, and intellectualdiversity; and a fair, collaborative, and transparent leadership style that will engender trust among all members of the University community.

BGSU has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this recruitment. All applications, inquiries, and nominations, which will remain confidential, should be directed to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document.

Established in 1910 as a teacher-training institution, BGSU awarded its first bachelor's degrees in 1917. In 1929, the functions of BGSU were expanded to provide four-year degree programs in the College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts. The College of Business and graduate programs were added in 1935, the year in which BGSU attained full university status.

In 1947, the Graduate School was formed, and BGSU awarded its first doctorate in English in 1963.

Beginning in 1946, extension programs of the University were offered in Sandusky, Ohio. During the next two decades, course offerings there were expanded, and in 1965 a regional campus of the University was established to serve Erie, Huron, and Ottawa Counties. That campus is now Firelands College (BGSU Firelands), located in Huron, Ohio. BGSU Firelands, which opened for classes in 1967, offers career and technical education leading to associate degrees in 15 areas as well as eight bachelor's degree programs.

In the 1970s, three new colleges were added to the University's curricular offerings: the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Musical Arts, and the Graduate College. A decade later, the School of Technology was granted college status. Most recently, an Honors
College was established to support the growth in the honors program.

Today, BGSU offers more than 200 majors and programs within the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Health and Human Services, the Honors College, the College of Musical Arts, the
College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering, BGSU Firelands, and the Graduate College. Approximately 19,500 students enrolled for the 2018-19 academic year, hailing from all 50 states and 70 countries. About 900 talented and passionate faculty teach
across all majors, with 80 percent holding terminal degrees in their field. With a commitment to experiential learning across disciplines and majors, BGSU was the first institution in Ohio to offer an “internship guarantee” to incoming students, and the University is a charter member of the Accreditation Council for Co-op and Internship (ACCI), which accredits cooperative education programs. The University is consistently recognized for the quality of its programs and has been named a No. 1 public university for student engagement by the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education; Business Insider ranked BGSU Ohio’s No. 1 university for quality and affordability. Bloomberg Businessweek ranks BGSU’s undergraduate business programs among the top 5 percent in the nation and the top 2 percent in the world. BGSU ranks first among public universities in Ohio for boosting former students’ earnings 10 years after college, according to a national ranking by The Economist. Finally, the University earned the prestigious 2017 NCAA Award for Diversity and Inclusion.

University Leadership
Dr. Rodney K. Rogers assumed the role as the 12th president of Bowling Green State University on February 23, 2018, after serving in the interim post since January 1, 2018. Before being named president, Dr. Rogers had served as Provost and Senior Vice President since
2012 and, before that, dean of the BGSU College of Business since 2006. Experienced in both academia and business, Dr. Rogers has a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, an MBA from BGSU, and a B.A. in music from Ohio Northern University. Before completing his doctorate at Case, he practiced as a CPA for 10 years. As BGSU’s chief academic officer, Dr. Rogers was a key architect of efforts and initiatives that have contributed to BGSU seeing significant increases in student success, including its best four-year graduation rate as well as the highest freshman academic profile in the University’s history. As president, Dr. Rogers has led efforts to update and reaffirm the campus strategic plan to reflect the rapidly evolving higher education context in which BGSU operates. He has engaged Mercy Health, Ohio’s largest health care provider, to create an exciting new partnership with Mercy College of Ohio; and most recently introduced an innovative academic program in collaboration with Cedar Fair, a Bachelor of Science in Resort and Attraction Management.

Dr. Joe B. Whitehead Jr. was appointed BGSU’s Provost and Senior Vice President for  Academic Affairs in January 2019. A trained physicist, Dr. Whitehead arrived at BGSU from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCAT), where he was a professor of physics and a senior adviser for research with the University of North Carolina System. Previously, Dr. Whitehead served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at NCAT, where he was successful in growing enrollment and retention, improving student success, and raising the university's research profile. Earlier, as the dean of the College of Science and Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi, he led the development of new programs in engineering, science, and logistics, as well as innovative initiatives to support students and increase research, scholarship, and creative activities. Coming to BGSU marked a return to Ohio as Dr. Whitehead received both his master’s and doctorate in physics from Kent State University.

Strategic Plan: Focus on the Future
In the spring of 2018, President Rogers hosted a series of open-house forums to discuss Focus on the Future: Advancing BGSU’s Strategic Plan. Those meetings led to the development of six strategic objectives that guide the University’s future:

  • Redefining Student Success: Provide undergraduate and graduate students (traditional and post-traditional) a demonstrably superior and innovative learning experience that intentionally prepares them to lead meaningful and productive lives.
  • Increasing and Connecting Research and Creative Activities for Public Good: Support and focus BGSU’s research and creative activities to serve the public interest and support its commitment to the public good.
  • Empowering and Supporting People to Achieve Excellence: Support all individuals to build a quality learning community that fosters diversity and inclusion, collaboration, creativity, and excellence.
  • Advancing Impact through Engagement: Expand domestic and international engagement and partnerships to benefit students, academic programs, research, and outreach.
  • Aligning for Excellence and Value: Enhance the quality and value of a BGSU education by developing a physical, organizational, academic, and financial infrastructure that ensures the University’s short- and long-term vitality and success.
  • Telling the Story: Raise BGSU’s profile as a national, comprehensive research university that drives the social, economic, educational, and cultural vitality of the region, nation, and world.

More about the strategic plan can be found at https://www.bgsu.edu/strategic-plan.html.

Campus and Student Life

The University’s primary campus is in the historic city of Bowling Green in beautiful northwest Ohio. This campus comprises 119 buildings on 1,338 park-like acres. The last 10 years have seen significant investment in BGSU’s physical profile, with approximately $500 million
committed to improving campus for all stakeholders. With 30 new or renovated buildings, BGSU has invested in both student and academic life. Students have benefitted from new residence halls and dining experiences, a renovated Student Recreation Center and other athletic facilities, and, in partnership with the Wood County Hospital, the new Falcon Health Center. Significant renovations have been made to some of the oldest signature buildings on campus, including the Moseley Science Building, University Hall, and the Michael & Sara Kuhlin Center that houses the School of Media and Communication. In the coming years the University will continue to invest in the physical plant, with planned renovations for the College of Technology, Architecture, and Applied Engineering, and the Robert W. and Patricia A. Maurer Center for the College of Business. There has been increased emphasis in recent years on providing new active learning classroom space for innovative and new academic programming. To that end, the campus has renovated or opened 10 new buildings in the last four years, resulting in over 80 percent of classrooms being converted to active learning spaces, establishing BGSU as a national leader in this area. In addition, BGSU has partnered with the state of Ohio to build the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation crime laboratory, and with North Star Aviation for a new hangar/classroom building. BGSU remains the only aviation program in the country with an airport on its main campus.

The University Libraries comprises general collections (housed within the William T. Jerome Library) in social sciences, humanities, and sciences; government documents; the Curriculum Resource Center; and is home to three nationally prominent special collections: the Browne Popular Culture Library, the Center for Archival Collections, which includes the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, and the Music Library & Bill Schurk Sound Archives. At BGSU, learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom. From orientation to
commencement, programs and services available across campus contribute to a vibrant learning community in which students develop leadership skills, identify and explore personal interests, refine scholarship and intellectual abilities, learn from service opportunities, and
prepare for roles as future professionals and community leaders. BGSU is a highly residential institution, and most first-year and second-year students live on campus. In total, approximately 6,000 students take advantage of a diverse residential community of 14 residence halls and 19 learning and theme communities. BGSU also offers a wide array of student activities, with 325 student organizations, 40 fraternities and sororities, 26 club sports, and 56 intramural sports. The BGSU Falcons compete in the NCAA Division I Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and play in 18 sports. Approximately 8,700 students participated in service-learning and/or community service projects last year, and intensive coop, internship, and practicum experiences for students remain extremely popular.

The University’s budget is $416.2 million, which includes educational, general, and auxiliary budgets for the Bowling Green and Firelands campuses. The single largest revenue stream for the University is tuition and fees. The University had limited tuition increases over the past five years to ensure tuition remains affordable. After almost 10 years with no tuition changes, graduate students saw a 2.5 percent increase for in-state tuition for FY 2018, with an additional 2.5 percent increase effective in FY 2019. The Bowling Green State University Foundation assets total approximately $175.1 million.

BGSU’s current $200 million comprehensive campaign, Changing Lives for the World, is raising money to support student scholarships; named professorships, chairs, coaches, and leadership positions; the campus master plan; and named colleges, schools, and programs. The campaign, which has currently raised over $150 million, recognizes the strong efforts that have brought the University to where it is today and represents a crucial investment in the University’s future for generations to come. More information about the capital campaign can be found at http://fortheworld.bgsu.edu/.

Bowling Green is a city of roughly 30,000 residents located in northwest Ohio, about 15 miles south of Toledo. The county seat of Wood County, Bowling Green has a picturesque downtown with restaurants, shops, and cafés. The city offers the benefits of a small college town, including a good public school system and private and parochial options. It also provides easy access to the country and the world just a one-hour drive away via Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a major hub for national and global airlines.

The area also offers abundant recreational opportunities. The Toledo Museum of Art’s collection of more than 30,000 works of art ranks among the finest in the United States and the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium has more than 9,000 animals representing over 800 species. Northwest Ohio is home to miles of shorelines, islands, and riverbanks that provide striking geographies and abundant nature. More species of freshwater fish and birds make their home in the region than just about anywhere else in the nation, and an impressive string of parks and reserves makes all this wildlife readily accessible.

Reporting to the Provost, the Vice Provost must respond to emerging issues, ideas, best practices, and challenges, and think strategically with the Provost and other members of the Provost’s leadership team about how best to support the undergraduate and post-traditional
student community and the University. Specifically, the Vice Provost will:


  • Oversee the general education curriculum (BG Perspective);
  • Lead the institution-wide integration of career development and academic advising to provide a holistic academic support network for students;
  • Lead the continued development of academic programs, including post-traditional, online, and blended;
  • Lead and coordinate campus-wide efforts to improve retention, persistence, and graduation rates;
  • Lead the development and academic operations of summer semester and winter session;
  • Strategically plan and budget for all assigned units and initiatives;
  • Oversee state initiatives, including institutional collaborations around programs and shared resources such as the Guaranteed Transfer Pathway, Ohio Strong Start to Finish, Articulation and Transfer Network, and Regional Compacts;
  • Provide leadership for the development of residential learning communities;
  • Chair and participate in standing and ad hoc committees as indicated by University governance structures and as appointed by the Provost;
  • Fulfill other existing and emerging duties as assigned by the Provost.

BGSU seeks an outstanding Vice Provost with the vision, skill, and motivation to lead undergraduate and post-traditional student education efforts across campus to ensure continued academic excellence and growth. Specific opportunities and challenges for the Vice Provost include:

Ensure student success is infused into all University strategic efforts.
Although the University has a rich tradition of student-centeredness with a focus on excellence in undergraduate student learning, the strategic plan, Focus on the Future, redefines student success to include preparation for a successful life post-graduation. For example, the University has invested in the development of 22 residential learning communities that have deepened student connectedness to campus. In recent years the University has placed greater emphasis on the post-traditional student community, providing innovative and alternative methods of academic learning via distance learning programs, including the highly successful eCampus and blended-learning options. With demographic projections predicting a continued reduction in traditional college-age students in Ohio and across the country in the next five to ten years, the Vice Provost will need to create structures that promote access to and inclusion in high-impact educational experiences and practices for all students. Forging strong partnerships with the leaders of both academic and student affairs, the Vice Provost will need to pay close attention to student developmental matters, student support services, and student engagement, resulting in the unwavering support of student success inside and outside of the classroom.

Define and build the optimal structure for the Vice Provost’s office to best support priority initiatives.

Working in close collaboration with the Provost, the Vice Provost will evaluate and determine the right organizational structures to enhance BGSU’s existing and potential strengths, ensuring the institution is efficient and effective in aligning student success and retention opportunities across campus. An example of this alignment is the integration of academic and career advising that will provide a holistic approach in preparing students for success while at BGSU and throughout their careers. In consultation with the Provost and the Vice President for Student Affairs and Vice Provost, the Vice Provost will determine how to best operationalize this innovative partnership, determining the right structure to optimize the student experience. Working with the Provost and other senior University leaders, the Vice Provost will communicate these changes to the campus community by working through established shared governance channels.

Lead the development of new academic programs, including revisions to the general education curriculum and programs for post-traditional students.

The Vice Provost will work with faculty, department chairs, associate deans, and deans to develop new academic programs. To ensure these programs are available to students in a timely manner, the Vice Provost will work with Faculty Senate and other academic leaders to craft a streamlined academic approval process. In addition, the Vice Provost will work with accrediting bodies and state authorities to ensure there are minimal external delays to launching new programs. The Vice Provost will also lead the effort to refine the general education curriculum to ensure it complies with updated expectations from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

With a significant investment in new active learning classrooms and online teaching technologies over the past five years, BGSU is a national leader in this area. The Vice Provost will need to further leverage this investment by leading and supporting faculty and staff to promote greater innovation and focus on identifying new and creative ways to engage students and enhance student learning. Through the Vice Provost’s support of distance learning, primarily the eCampus and blended learning programs on the main campus as well as Firelands
College, BGSU can continue to realize post-traditional student access and support, broadening its reach to an ever-expanding learning community.

Strengthen organizational processes to encourage innovation and creativity while ensuring effective allocation of resources.

Working closely with the Provost, the Vice Provost will streamline organizational processes to better define roles and responsibilities across the division while encouraging creative thinking and innovative approaches to the work. The Vice Provost will oversee the budget for many important academic initiatives with competing demands; while creative thinking doesn’t necessarily generate new resources, it can identify efficiencies to better leverage existing resources. To be successful in these efforts, the Vice Provost will need to establish trust across the institution, building bridges among academic divisions by serving as a reliable conduit for information among institutional leaders and promoting communication and direction among faculty, staff, and students. Intentionally analyzing and utilizing data and technology to inform strategy, the Vice Provost will coordinate multiple cross-campus initiatives and project future trends to anticipate institutional planning, policy, business, and other decision-making needs.

Enhance the University’s commitment to building a community that fosters, celebrates, and appreciates diversity and inclusion.

BGSU has a deep commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion throughout the campus and much work has been done to ensure these themes are embedded in the campus culture. The Vice Provost will be expected to share in this commitment. President Rogers convened a
Diversity and Inclusion Task Force in early February 2019 and its recommendations to the campus community can be found on the President’s website. The strength of BGSU continues to be in its people, supporting each other to enhance its learning community so that it fosters diversity and inclusion, collaboration, creativity, and excellence. The thoughtful perspectives and commitment to open inquiry that characterize a BGSU education can only be fully realized in a community that embraces diversity, broadly defined. Working with other University leaders, the Vice Provost will pursue efforts to improve campus climate, reduce gaps in retention and graduation rates between groups of students, and generally enable the high ideals of inclusivity to be achieved. In all parts of the job, the Vice Provost will celebrate BGSU’s diversity, leveraging all forms of difference to generate creative solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

The successful candidate will meet the following minimum credential requirements:

  •  An earned doctorate from an accredited institution;
  • Teaching, scholarly research/creative activity, and service credentials meriting appointment to the rank of associate or full professor with tenure in the candidate’s home unit;
  • Three-to-five years of academic leadership experience at the department, college, university, or system level.
  • Information regarding guidelines for tenure and promotion can be found under the heading Faculty Affairs linked from the Provost’s website (https://www.bgsu.edu/provost.html).
  • The successful candidate will possess many, if not all, of the following preferred skills, qualities, and credentials:
  • Demonstrated success in organizational leadership, including the ability to accomplish objectives through personal influence and persuasion;
  • Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with administrators, faculty, students, staff, and other constituencies;
  • Understanding of the importance of collaboration and synergy among and across campus organizations and individuals to support academic priorities and yield positive  outcomes;
  • Collegial shared governance, transparent leadership, and a commitment to demographic and intellectual diversity;
  • Strategic and resource planning; budgeting; management; and change processes.

BGSU has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm. Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applications received by July 8, 2019 will be given full consideration. Nominations, inquiries, and applications, including a letter of interest describing the individual’s qualifications for the position and curriculum vitae, should be
sent in confidence to

Jeff Kessner, Managing Associate
Robin Dougherty, Senior Associate
1300 19th Street, NW
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

To apply: www.imsearch.com/7066

Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Bowling Green State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer, is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, and strongly encourages applications from women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities regardless of age, gender identity, genetic information, religion, or sexual orientation.


PhD or terminal degree
Full Time