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Dec 18 2021

Administrative Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategy

University of California, Merced Merced, California, United States

Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategy

University of California Merced

Job #JPF01229

  • Provost / Provost / UC Merced 


Position title: Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategy
Salary range: Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience
Percent time: 100
Anticipated start: 7/1/2022
Position duration: Career


Open date: December 15th, 2021

Next review date: Monday, Jan 31, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.

Final date: Thursday, Dec 15, 2022 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Executive Summary

The University of California, Merced seeks an innovative and highly collaborative senior academic leader with a deep commitment to the values of public education to serve as its next Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategy (VPAAS). The new VPAAS will join the campus at a transformational moment for Merced and its community.

University of California, Merced
UC Merced (UC Merced) is a start-up, the tenth, and newest campus within the University of California system and has been on a remarkable trajectory since its founding in the San Joaquin Valley in 2005. UC Merced is a public land-grant research university and was established purposefully to uplift educational, health, societal, environmental, and economic outcomes, and to build civic capacity. Drawing from the community and cultural wealth of its diverse, predominantly first-generation students, UC Merced seeks to promote excellence through equity and justice and honors a broad representation of backgrounds on the campus. In a short time, UC Merced has become a top-100 institution and an R2 research enterprise. Recently, UC Merced has doubled the size of their physical campus with the nation’s largest higher education public-private partnership, substantially increased research grants awards, enrolled successive record first-year classes, and achieved record philanthropic support, including the university’s largest gift. The value of a research university stems from its ability to promote unbounded inquiry and enable its campus community and people to pursue answers to questions great and small to deepen understanding. UC Merced seeks to convene coalitions of students, staff, faculty, and community to ensure that the issues they collectively investigate and the new knowledge they create are truly appropriate to and derived from the values of all constituents.

Strategic Plan & Goals
Together with its leadership and community, UC Merced is uniquely poised to impact a rapidly changing world. To this end, Chancellor Juan Sanchez Munoz and Provost Gregg Camfield have led an inaugural long-range comprehensive strategic planning process over a year of thoughtful engagement and refinement by faculty, staff, students, and external community and partners. This strategic plan is shaped as much by UC Merced’s need to expand and sustain a community of inquiry as it is by the outcomes the work will achieve. The strategic plan reflects UC Merced’s ever-deepening commitment to continuous and iterative transformation toward a socially just, equitable, and sustainable campus and society and to expand and enrich the nature of the campus’s educational offerings and research portfolio. UC Merced will create new and diverse opportunities, empowering experiences for its students who will in turn deepen and diversify leadership across all fields and the nation. The plan includes the ambitious goal of being the youngest university ever to achieve a very high research (R1) designation, which will not only acknowledge UC Merced’s increasing research prowess and its impact but also accelerate and sustain its rise and broaden its opportunities to students. The strategic plan also elevates the importance of an inclusive workforce and flexible and sustainable infrastructure that evolves with the research and learning enterprise. The VPAAS position will play a pivotal role in the Provost’s Office in leading and contributing to significant and strategic academic and administrative initiatives and will work closely with campus leaders and diverse constituencies to advance the strategic plan.

The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategy is a senior level academic leader reporting directly to the Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost (EVC/Provost). The EVC/Provost is the chief academic officer and chief operating officer of the UC Merced campus and the EVC/Provost Office has the leadership responsibility for the planning, development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of all academic programs, policies, and their supporting infrastructure. The VPAAS will oversee a portion of EVC/Provost Office portfolio including academic planning and institutional assessment. The VPAAS will be a special advisor to the EVC/Provost and act in their stead when needed, and perhaps most significantly, the VPAAS will take a leadership role in the planning and execution of the implementation steps of the strategic plan, referenced above, as well as build a collaborative and sustainable academic planning process. The VPAAS will need to collaborate closely with the EVC/Provost Office, deans, chairs, and the Academic Senate in the translation, advocating, and shepherding of the strategic plan. The VPAAS will expertly build relationships with academic stakeholders, flexibly pivot and reorient the implementation as needed, keeping an eye on the big picture of goals and metrics without losing sight of the staff and partners and their needs. The VPAAS will collaborate with campus leaders to leverage existing divisions and units’ resources as well as build new programs to foster interdisciplinary creativity. The VPAAS will lead facilitation between and collaborate with the academic units to the VC/CFO’s Office and the Development Office in new academic programs and initiatives.

The VPAAS will contribute to building sustained growth for the Merced campus and the strategic plan implementation by leading efforts to build infrastructure for the academic planning process and to develop new academic policies and programs. The VPAAS will catalyze, influence, and partner with academic departments, chairs, and faculty and champion the connected priorities and growth of enrollment, research, physical space, and student experience. The VPAAS will influence enrollment growth by collaborating with and inspiring the faculty to build and expand programs and thereby impact recruitment strategies at UC Merced. This position will be a thought partnership in developing a sustainable and transparent annual planning and resource allocation process to move the campus and the strategic plan forward in an integrative and accountable manner. UC Merced has grown tremendously, and this position will play a key role to build the infrastructure for effective and manageable scalability that will service the campus and its internal and surrounding communities.

UC Merced seeks a leader with intellectual vision and an inquiring mindset who will bring a collegial and collaborative leadership style, strategic and operational leadership, and energy and integrity to inspire others to achieve ambitious goals and metrics. The successful candidate will understand and be committed to the collective success of the EVC/Provost Office and the campus community, and will demonstrate a proven history of productive and collaborative working relationships with stakeholder groups internal and external to their immediate area. The incoming VPAAS will bring an acute understanding of the unique potential of the UC Merced campus and its surrounding geography, to California and the world, and leverage that in support of the university’s strategic priorities. Successful leadership in this role will be demonstrated by the ability to be humble, open minded, and adaptive while keeping people focused, building efficient and effective relationships, making difficult decisions within competing priorities and resource constraints, and the expert capability to lead large-scale change. This is a unique opportunity for someone to step into a senior role in higher education to be a transparent leader and build consensus across diverse stakeholders and partners. To reflect UC Merced’s identity and history, the VPAAS will need to be creative, nimble, and determined. This role allows for tremendous opportunity to grow and make a direct impact. As a rapidly growing and diverse campus, there are no entrenched identities or processes, so the successful person may openly learn and create at UC Merced.

Key Responsibilities, Opportunities, and Challenges

The Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategy (VPAAS) has two primary responsibilities: (1) facilitating the ongoing development of campus planning processes, and (2) implementing academic and strategic plans both to reach strategic objectives and to facilitate continuous improvement in all university operations.

The VPAAS serves as lead strategist and has broad level authority to represent the organization with constituencies such as faculty, senate committee chairs, senior administrators, other UC locations, Office of the President, public agencies and the community. This role is a key advisor to the Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost (EVC/Provost) who is responsible for a highly complex or diverse and broad organization and over functions that are mission-critical in nature.

The VPAAS will provide direct policy and communications expertise, and collaborate with senior executives on short- and long-range planning. The position participates on committees, task forces responding to a variety of issues and handling sensitive negotiations with little or no precedence, requiring expedient and diplomatic action. The VPAAS applies breadth and depth of institutional knowledge to develop sound long- and short-term strategic plans and build relationships with key constituencies and stakeholders. The incumbent identifies, formulates and advises on policy development and implementation; exercises judgment in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.

Steering and coordinating the implementation of long and short term strategic and operational plans, the VPAAS analyzes data to support strategic planning, ensures data from annual and periodic assessment processes informs planning and budgeting, and partners with constituents across campus to promote integrated planning and budgeting. The VPAAS will be a member of the budget committee within the Academic Senate and collaborate on strategic academic planning initiatives, incorporating and benefiting from the feedback of the faculty.

The VPAAS will provide organization-wide influence on the identification and framing of systemic issues, and the formulation and advancement of approaches to address them. Representing the Provost/EVC, the VPAAS will have authority to make decisions on high-level task forces and long- and short-range strategic planning groups.
Central to the VPAAS’s role is to facilitate objective and timely data analysis to inform central and unit decision making processes that enable long-range strategic academic planning and budget policy. In this capacity the VPAAS works collaboratively with many constituents on campus including faculty committees, deans, vice chancellors, and chairs.

One specific and key priority will be to lead the “how” of the strategic plan implementation. The VPAAS will understand the interplay between building programs, enrollment, and physical spaces that lead to the aspirational goals. The position will continue and expand on the strategic plan implementation. The VPAAS will also build the culture and capacity for new and different academic planning processes and policies, and provide thought partnership and leadership to maturing the academic planning, resource allocation, and data management and utilization processes and operational infrastructure. The VPAAS will contribute to shifting the campus to be proactive in taking calculated risks and pivot strategies as well as build a culture of accountability.

An important opportunity for the VPAAS is academic partnership. The position will influence, inspire, and partner with departments, chairs, and faculty to build relationships and encourage the connected and integrated priorities of enrollment, research, and student experience. As part of the strategic plan implementation and campus growth, the VPAAS will lead and partner with departments and faculty to create and expand new academic programs. The VPAAS will clarify for faculty how they may fit into the overall campus strategic plan. Finally, at the basis of all of the work the VPAAS will do and especially related to the academic planning and strategic plan implementation is to consider how to interweave these pursuits with cultural transformation, dignity, anti-racism, and equity for all.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy: All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is 14 days after their first date of employment.


Basic qualifications
UC Merced seeks in its new Vice Provost for Academic Affairs & Strategy, a leader with inquiring and adaptive mindset, innovative vision, collegial and collaborative leadership style, strategic and operational management, and ability to inspire others to achieve the goals of the strategic plan. Candidates should have demonstrated successful experience of academic leadership, the ability to build coalitions, cultivate consensus, and also make difficult decisions. Candidates should have demonstrated accomplishment in fostering and supporting a climate of collaboration, inclusivity, equity, and respect.

Candidates must have an earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree and a record of scholarship and teaching requisite for an appointment as a full professor at UC Merced.

Leadership: the expert ability to inspire across a complex and diverse community; the experience and skills to provide university-wide leadership across broad ranges of areas, disciplines, and issues; the ability to lead through influence and bring various perspectives (including faculty and students) to university decision-making processes that have wide impact; the ability to promote transparency and make decisions when necessary within resource constraints and competing priorities; to be persuasive and able to translate strategic goals to various audiences.

Vision & Strategy: the ability to translate and articulate a compelling vision, to inspire and unite a campus community around vision and strategy, and the capacity to implement, operationalize, and measure the strategic goals, initiatives, and programs. Balancing vision is the expert ability to listen and be open-minded, to learn and leverage resources.

Management: the ability to establish, mentor, coach, inspire, and lead highly effective, efficient, and diverse teams toward the collective good and success; proven data-driven approach in decision-making. Exceptional planning, resource management, and financial / data acumen; understanding of the relationships between academic priorities, budget models, and fundraising.

Engagement & Knowledge of Education/Research: deep understanding of and passion for distinctive opportunities and challenges of research universities, opportunities for interdisciplinary and creative programs, changing needs of undergraduate and graduate education, and a commitment for academic quality and its assessment.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: demonstrated commitment to and a record of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in various levels and areas; expertly and authentically skilled in communicating and collaborating with diverse constituencies.

Communication & Interpersonal: ability and integrity to build trust, consensus, and coalitions among stakeholders, including faculty individuals and committees; articulate communicator across different venues to inspire and engage others toward positive and sustained change; expert ability to listen and resolve conflict; high self-awareness, emotional intelligence, flexibility, determination, calmness, and humbleness.

Interdisciplinary: demonstrated commitment and interest and/or operational success in building / fostering interdisciplinary programs; interdisciplinary thinker and collaborator; ability to work across silos and across boundaries to inspire creativity and encourage interdisciplinary research and teaching.


Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter
  • Statement of Research
  • Statement of Teaching
  • Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion – Statement on your contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, including information about your understanding of these topics, your record of activities to date, and your specific plans and goals for advancing equity and inclusion. Please review the UC Merced Diversity Statement Guidelines and UC’s Commitment to Diversity 

Reference requirements

  • 3-5 required (contact information only) 

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The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

UC Merced is a smoke & tobacco free campus (


5200 N. LAKE ROAD, MERCED, CA 95343

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Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: Administrative.

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