Administrative Vice President for Academic Affairs / Chief Academic Officer
Berkshire Community College (BCC), located in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is searching for an exceptional academic leader to guide the institution’s educational mission during a time of significant transformation and opportunity.
Founded in 1960, BCC was the first public community college in Massachusetts. It plays a central role in addressing educational and economic priorities for the westernmost region of the Commonwealth by preparing knowledgeable, skilled, and engaged citizens. During an academic year, BCC enrolls nearly 1,500 students in over forty degree and certificate programs. The College also enrolls students in non-credit and workforce development programs. A further 1,400 seasoned learners are members of BCC’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. BCC has capacity for growth in credit and non-credit programs that address local economic needs and students’ goals for degrees, work, and transfer.
BCC’s service area includes the thirty-two communities that form Berkshire County as well as adjacent areas of southern Vermont, eastern New York, and northwestern Connecticut. Berkshire County is primarily rural, with 128,715 residents in 927 square miles. It is known for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, and world-renowned cultural venues. Pittsfield (population 43,697) is the larger of the two county cities and the home of BCC’s campus. Academic access is also provided with expanding online and hybrid offerings. Operating in the western gateway to Massachusetts, its educational mission is essential to the vitality of the region. The nearest urban centers are Springfield and Albany, NY (one-hour drives), and Worcester (one-and-three-quarter-hour drive). Boston and New York City are equidistant (approximately 3 hours).
While Berkshire County is facing demographic challenges (including a declining and aging population), the campus remains a vibrant and diverse community of learners. A critical goal of BCC’s mission is to provide rigorous, accessible, affordable, and relevant educational degree and certificate options that are necessary to ensure the success of its diverse student population. In tandem with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Equity Agenda, BCC has an active Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council composed of faculty, staff, and students, and is currently transitioning to a new strategic plan, a campus-wide initiative that will have a sharp focus on equity-mindedness and institutional change to increase student access and success.
Equity, teaching, and learning are truly at the center of everything BCC does. The Division of Teaching and Learning Innovation facilitates faculty professional development; provides instructional design support; and assists faculty in creating high-quality, accessible courses in all formats. A sustained commitment to professional learning and thoughtful technology integration has helped BCC navigate the various challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this crisis, BCC’s faculty and staff have remained committed to the Colleges’ core mission of providing a caring, supportive, high-quality education to all students.
Reporting to the President, the VPAA is responsible for the planning, development, coordination and administration of all academic programs and functions. The VPAA provides leadership and administrative direction in areas related to academic affairs including: curriculum; diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; program development and review; assessment; information literacy; accreditation; scheduling; collective bargaining agreements; academic budget; grants development and management; internal and external committees; and other related responsibilities necessary for the effective functioning of the Academic Division. The VPAA assumes a leadership role in the implementation of the College’s strategic plan as it relates to academics.
- Collaborate with deans and faculty to plan, deliver, and assess academic programs. Identify resource needs and curriculum revisions required to maintain successful programs and identify new and ongoing program and curriculum needs confirming that programs are current and designed to ensure student success in employment and/or transfer.
- Oversee approval of new programs as well as program termination or changes in delivery.
- Ensure equitable academic practices and create supportive educational endeavors that share in the BCC vision of the continuous creation of an inclusive environment open to all identities.
- Oversee academic support and transition programs to ensure student persistence and success. Work with Student Affairs & Enrollment Management to implement strategies known to strengthen enrollment, persistence, and completion.
- Provide leadership for faculty recruitment and development that supports innovation, engaging learning environments (online, on-ground, and labs), and diverse and inclusive teaching and learning. Foster a climate of continual improvement and support professional development for faculty and staff in Academic Affairs.
- Oversee initiatives in Academic Affairs that support learning; ensure these are consistent with college mission, with student retention and success, and with initiatives as set forth by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.
- Coordinate Community Education and Workforce Development programming to align with and support the academic program and address the workforce needs and community curiosity through noncredit offerings.
- Lead collaborations with local school districts on curriculum alignment, transition programs, articulation, and dual enrollment/early college efforts to improve recruitment and success of incoming high school students. Connect the College to Berkshire County middle schools to increase college-going behavior.
- Ability to strategically define and launch diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives related to faculty and staff recruitment, retention, and professional development; curriculum and pedagogy; and student support programs and services.
- Experience working collaboratively with Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Workforce Development, and Community Education.
- Prior teaching experience with preference for community college teaching
- Successful and substantial administrative experience in educational organizations
- Earned Doctorate or senior-level academic career experience.
Berkshire Community College is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, equality, and inclusion. Our hiring process for this position, including a name-blind application review and a search committee representative of diverse constituencies across campus, reflects our commitment. The listed qualifications exemplify just one combination of attributes a successful Vice President of Academic Affairs may possess. We would like to strongly encourage anyone with an equivalent or alternative set of qualities including a passion for public education and a dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to apply.
Desired Characteristics and Traits:
The faculty, students, staff, Board of Trustees, and community partners seek a bold academic leader who utilizes a collaborative approach; values academic excellence in a context featuring an affirming culture, increased diversity, and strengthened civic engagement; embraces accountability; respects the roles of all contributors; is engaged and engaging; and possesses strong communication and listening skills. The VPAA will appreciate and advocate for the vital role of diverse students, faculty, and staff in shaping a rich, learning-centered campus.
The VPAA will be purposeful and achievement-oriented, with a history of accomplishing initiatives that benefit academic programs and, most importantly, students. Moreover, the VPAA must have demonstrable and extensive knowledge of, and interest in, educational research on state, national, and global levels, especially as it relates to reducing barriers and creating more equitable learning experiences for students from historically marginalized groups.
In this regard, the VPAA must be a strong academic leader who will champion the role of academics in increasing equity in our community and ensure that Berkshire Community College continues to provide rigorous, high quality academic programs in a supportive and inclusive educational environment, and who has a record of leading and supporting multiple initiatives committed to social and educational justice.
The VPAA will be an innovative academic leader who is responsive, open to change, data-driven, resourceful, a creative problem-solver, and savvy regarding budgets and technology. The VPAA will value online and on-campus learning and be experienced with, and supportive of, cross-curricular and cross-divisional initiatives. Furthermore, the VPAA should support and encourage professional growth for faculty and staff.
Further, the VPAA will possess a strong interest in the broader community, demonstrating a respect for and experience with developing and strengthening relationships with a myriad of community partners.
The President seeks a true partner to help lead the institution.
Source of Funding: 01/AA
Area of Assignment: Academic Affairs
Supervisor: College President
Salary: Commensurate with Experience
Effective: July 2021
Application review begins on February 8, 2021 and continues until this position is filled.
BCC is committed to providing an inclusive learning and working environment that values the diverse backgrounds of all people and encourages applications from individuals whose experiences and perspectives model the opportunities and success derived from a college education.
Application Procedures: For consideration, send cover letter, resume, and a one-page statement containing your philosophy of leading an academic division at a community college via our employment page. A list of five professional references will be required for those applicants chosen as finalists.