Dean of Student Life   Olivet, MI   Full-time     Education
Posted on May 10, 2022

Olivet College, a private liberal arts college of about 1,000 undergraduate students in southern mid-Michigan, announces its search for a Dean of Student Life (“Dean”). Reporting to the Associate Provost for Student Development, the Dean provides leadership for the departments of Residential Life, Campus Safety, Health & Wellness Center, Student Activities, Judicial Affairs, and Student Organizations, including Co-Curricular Clubs and Greek Life.

Olivet College was founded in 1844 on the principle that the future of humanity rests in the hands, hearts and minds of those who will take responsibility for themselves and others in an increasingly diverse society.  True to its 175 year history of inclusivity, Olivet is one of the most diverse private liberal arts institutions in the state.  The student body is composed of a strong mixture of first-generation, urban and rural students and those from all socioeconomic backgrounds, with approximately half qualifying annually for Federal Pell Grants.  In fall 2018 almost 36% of the undergraduate student population self-identified as non-white and the college has broad representation of students and employees from the LGBTQ+ community.

As part of the academic vision of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility, faculty, staff and students commit themselves to the Olivet College Compact, a series of statements that define the tenets of what it means to live and learn as a responsible member of the Olivet College community and the larger world.  Faculty and staff are committed to providing personalized, individualized attention for students who seek academic and personal success. It is critical that the college find a chief student life leader with vision and passion for building a strong student life experience grounded in positive relationships and focused on a holistic strategy for student success.

Olivet College was the first college by charter in Michigan to admit women and people of color. As part of its commitment to a values-based mission of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility, the College actively seeks diversity in its students, faculty and staff. Women and members of historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.


The attributes listed below are representative of the education and experience required or preferred for an individual to perform the essential responsibilities satisfactorily:

  1. Master’s Degree required; with preference in Student Affairs, Counseling, or Education Leadership; terminal degree preferred;

  2. Experience with and knowledge of guidelines pertaining to higher education compliance (Title IX, ADA/504, Title V, etc.) required;

  3. Demonstrated experience leading, developing, and/or implementing diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts for students and/or employees; and,

  4. At least 5 years of experience in student affairs in an institution of higher education, which includes:

    • Supervision of Direct Reports

    • Judicial Affairs

    • Crisis Management

  5. ​Applicants must be eligible to work in the United States. If hired, a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, must be completed at the start of employment.

STARTING DATE: Start date preferred on or around July 1, 2022

APPLICATION PROCESS:  Review of applications will begin May 1st and will continue until the position is filled.

Click on this link to go to the Career Center. Select this position title and then click on the “Apply” button. From there, follow the instructions to complete a profile and submit the following materials:

  1. Letter of application, including reasons for interest in this position at Olivet College and highlighting areas of preparation or expertise that align with position outcomes;

  2. A one-page statement of leadership vision, philosophy and approach for the role of Dean of Student Life;

  3. Resume or curriculum vitae including three to five references;

  4. Transcript from the highest degree-granting institution(s) demonstrating coursework in this area (unofficial transcripts will be accepted; official transcripts will be required if selected to continue as a candidate in the hiring process).




The success of the Dean of Student Life will be demonstrated by the existence of the following:

  1. An integrated and holistic student-centered approach to the student experience that incorporates attention to the residential opportunities as well as mental and physical health and wellness to promote academic and social success for students;

  2. Students who are engaged and connected with each other and who feel empowered to create and contribute to a positive college experience for themselves;

  3. A student population that is committed to living the principles of the Olivet College Compact;

  4. Positive residential student morale that is based upon a supportive and inclusive living and learning environment, clearly communicated expectations, and equitable treatment;

  5. Student clubs and organizations that are effective, vibrant, and vital components of our campus community;

  6. Creative and active learning environments in all college housing units;

  7. A student life team that is well-trained, professional in approach, and committed to serving the needs of diverse constituencies;

  8. An increasing number of students who are satisfied with their student experience, particularly related to co-curricular opportunities, Greek Life, residential living, health and wellness services, and campus safety;

  9. A dean who is personally engaged with supporting all aspects of the student experience, from academic, athletics, Greek Life, and co-curricular programming; and,

  10. A dean with positive and productive working relationships with students as well as institutional stakeholders including the faculty, athletics, staff, and administration.


  1. Ensures the overall development of each student as a person within the context of the college’s vision of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility with an emphasis on active engagement in co-curricular opportunities, residential living, health and wellness services, and campus safety.

  2. Performs duties dependably and effectively in a diverse, challenging and occasionally stressful environment.

  3. Promotes diversity and the understanding and respect for all peoples and cultures.

  4. Builds community through collegial leadership, vision, creativity, and dedication. 

  5. Maintains high visibility and engagement with the student body and campus community at college events.

  6. Cultivates collaboration within the student life team.

  7. Aids retention efforts on an individual and systematic basis in consultation with the Associate Provost for Student Development.

  8. Develops and implements innovative and proactive programs, services, and procedures particular to co-curricular engagement, Greek Life, residential living, health and wellness services, and campus safety that are responsive to the changing needs and requirements of the student population.

  9. Leads the strategic plan within the areas overseen.

  10. Oversees changes to the Student Code of Conduct and the training of judicial officers regarding the Code of Conduct.

  11. Enhances the college’s student recruitment and retention of students through strategies and actions within areas of responsibility.

  12. Manages departmental operating budget and gifts, including forecasting expenditures and revenues, maintaining records, and linking program objectives and assessments to the annual budget process.

  13. Leads institutional response in all student crisis situations, working with appropriate departments and staff members as needed, and reports concerns appropriately; utilizes practices aligned to restorative justice when possible.

  14. Collaborates with stakeholders to obtain grants to launch and sustain initiatives within areas of responsibilities.

  15. Organizes, attends, or chairs a variety of administrative and staff meetings as required; serves on committees as assigned; provides administrative oversight of special projects or programs as assigned.

  16. Maintains current knowledge of instructional methods and new technologies pertinent to assigned programs; learns and applies emerging technologies and advances (e.g., computer software applications) as necessary to perform duties in an efficient, organized, and timely manner.

  17. Provides direction for the development of new programs, including contribution to the development or redesign of existing programs in student life services; seeks grants to support programming.

  18. Provides leadership and advocacy to enhance innovation and participation in issues related to student life, such as health services, student activities, veterans resources, judicial affairs, Title IX, and residence life.


The attributes listed below are representative of the skills, knowledge, and abilities required for an individual to perform the essential responsibilities satisfactorily and to be successful in this position:

  1. Be a dynamic and approachable leader with a strategic vision and holistic approach to ensuring student success within areas of responsibility;

  2. Commitment to the Olivet College mission and vision and the energy and drive to positively connect throughout the entire campus community to achieve goals;

  3. Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both oral and written, with an emphasis on exceptional listening skills;

  4. A strong commitment to inclusivity and a demonstrated ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies within a diverse community;

  5. Knowledge of applicable legislation, legal issues and best practices within student affairs;

  6. Knowledge of best practices in approaches to student retention and persistence within areas of responsibility;

  7. Ability to identify, assess and address needed resources and programs;

  8. Ability to communicate and collaborate with all college constituencies to drive consistent campus-wide retention efforts; and,

  9. Budget planning, grant writing, and management skills.


The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities, disorders, and/or impairments to perform the essential functions.

  1. The employee must be able to perform duties dependably and effectively in a diverse, challenging and occasionally stressful environment.

  2. While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to:

    1. stay in a stationary position for long periods and operate a keyboard or type;

    2. use common business office machines such as a computer, copier and telephone;

    3. handle materials weighing less than 20 lbs;

    4. traverse campus;

    5. communicate effectively with diverse constituencies;

  3. Employee must be able to be approved to drive college vehicles.

  4. Some weekend and night work is required.

  5. Some travel is required

  6. The noise level in the work environment is usually mild to moderate.

Olivet , MI