Employment Opportunities » Vice President of Institutional & Student Sustainability

Vice President of Institutional & Student Sustainability

Vice President of Institutional & Student Sustainability
College Unbound (CU) is an accredited and state approved college whose mission is to reinvent the higher education experience for underrepresented returning adult learners. Through rigorous and engaged scholarship, College Unbound integrates students’ own purposes for learning with the needs of their workplaces and communities, improving the lives of the students and the lives of those they touch. Started in RI, College Unbound now supports students across multiple states and looks to continue to develop an infrastructure to back this developing model.

Position Summary:
Reporting to the President and serving as a member of the College’s collaborative leadership team, the Vice President of Sustainability oversees institutional and student sustainability efforts and initiatives across the college. The Vice President of Sustainability facilitates the strategic alignment of student, institutional, and community priorities; ensuring the College functions in a manner that is authentic to the equity imperative that drives College Unbound’s student success work. The individual in this unique position is responsible for overseeing and advancing programmatic initiatives that promote student success, as well as the development, implementation, and maintenance of the necessary organizational and financial infrastructure of the College to support a thriving community and institution with national impact.

The VP of Sustainability acts as the Chief Financial Officer of the college by overseeing the business and finance operations of the college (strategic oversight of financial accounting, payroll, accounts payable/accounts receivable, tax, grant accounting, compliance, bursar functions), as well as areas of the College that support students and staff (Offices of Financial Aid, Staff Success, Student Success).

The VP of Sustainability also helps the college move toward new financial models that are not yet in place but may support the values of CU and the needs of its students, faculty, and staff. Possibility and imagination drive the work of this role as much as the current realities of the school and its allocation of resources.

For College Unbound “sustainability” is not about remaining what we are as an institution but about continually reasserting what we need to be in order to ensure students can thrive as full participants in their learning. The VP of Institutional & Student Sustainability is a critical partner in helping the college build capacity to get there.

Embedded Values:
Goal #2 in College Unbound’s Strategic Plan points to how CU can grow into a Sustainable Institution with Systems that Foster Equity and Student Success. To advance that mission, the work of the Vice President of Sustainability is grounded in the following values:
• Relationality - learning and growing in the context of kinship and community.
• Social Justice - advancing human rights, access, participation, and equity.
• Accountability - holding ourselves responsible for understanding and transforming behaviors that do not advance individual and community well-being.

The Vice President of Sustainability works collaboratively with the President and members of the Leadership Team to consider the following questions:
• What resources do we need to be a sustainable institution? How do we garner resources from entities who are aligned with our values?
• How do we work with students, alum, and community collaborators to better understand what “equity” and “student success” look like over time?
• Which funding partnerships advance equity and which inadvertently perpetuate inequity?
• If we see “people” as resources, how do our notions of “sustainability” shift? What does intersectional investment in people look like?

Duties and Responsibilities
College Unbound’s student body is currently 300 students with a full-time staff of 25 colleagues and a part-time faculty of 30 “Lab Faculty” and 50 “instructional faculty. As the college leans into a reorganization to align its structure in accordance with its Strategic Plan, the VP of Sustainability will sit within a leadership team of 5-7 colleagues and support a group across finance and student affairs of about 8 positions.

College Unbound’s team is built around a Rhode Island presence with national impact. Most, if not all, colleagues will be New England based. As the college continues to grow, the VP will have a hand in building the team around them and the sought after reach of the organization.

Institutional Sustainability (Operations, Budget, and Finance):
• Support the President and other members of the leadership team in the effective management of and enhancement of the College’s financial resources and operations, in support of the success of students and the College Unbound Community.
• Oversee the business and finance operations of the college (strategic oversight of financial accounting, payroll, accounts payable/accounts receivable, tax, grant accounting, compliance, bursar functions) as well as areas of the College’s student and staff success functions (the offices of Financial Aid, Staff Success, Student Success).
• Lead strategic efforts to enhance and streamline the College’s existing systems and financial processes, and design and implement a financial infrastructure (financial, staffing model, infrastructure, policies and practices) necessary to effectively support the College’s sustainability, growth and scaling.
• Provide guidance and leadership in the selection and acquisition of a new enterprise resources planning (ERP) system, critical to the College’s efforts to implement best in class business processes, improve financial controls and deliver precise reporting and data analytics to support stakeholders across the college, grantors, and accreditors.
• Oversee system and process modernization and redeploy assets as College Unbound transforms its financial and business operations with the implementation of a new ERP system.
• Guide the College’s budget development process on an annual basis and support the College in developing and advancing participatory budget processes.
• Work collaboratively with CU’s institutional advancement functions to support the diversification of revenue streams, and engage in budget modeling and forecasting consistent with the institution’s scaling and growth goals.
• Communicate effectively with internal and external partners, as requested, regarding the status of revenue streams, spending trends, and opportunities to increase efficiency and organizational effectiveness.
• Identify opportunities for re-engineering business processes and services such that they improve coordination of functions and programs, and leverage technologies effectively toward meeting institutional goals of providing an enhanced, equitable, and streamlined experience for students, staff, and the CU Community.
• Support College Unbound’s growth into a national institution with a national impact.

Student and Staff Sustainability:
• Provide vision, thought leadership, and strategies to advance student success grounded in equity with an intentional focus on supporting students who are adult learners from diverse backgrounds, including first generation college students, English Language learners, students who are parents, students with significant financial challenges, and students who are justice-system impacted and/or incarcerated.
• Provide expertise and thought partnership on effective known and emerging strategies related to supporting the success, retention, and degree attainment of adult learners and guide the implementation of relevant initiatives and programs.
• Supervise the Student Success area and support the Assistant Dean of Student Success in the implementation and delivery of the SWEL (Student Wellness & Engaged Living) model of student support, and related programs including CU’s wellness program, La Familia Child Care program, and Emergency Grants process.
• Provide strategic institutional and data-driven programmatic recommendations that promote student success as well as equitable access and outcomes for CU students, including the development of career pathways for CU graduates within CU.
• Advance College Unbound’s staff success initiative with the goal of creating conditions for all staff to thrive by deepening community, attending to the well-being of staff, and establishing career ladders and pathways for staff advancement.
• Oversee the College’s human resource functions including hiring and onboarding processes, payroll, benefits administration, leave time management, and performance review processes.
• Work collaboratively with other groups within CU, including:
◦ the Vice President of Lifelong Learning and Provost/Chief Academic Officer in the development of learning opportunities for staff through professional development programs and growth opportunities including but not limited to cross-training, collateral career development opportunities, affiliations with professional organizations, succession planning and goal setting, etc.;
◦ the Office of Storytelling and Assessment to design measures of institutional effectiveness to ensure the institution has the systems in place to support a growing student body and expansive reach;
◦ the Office of Growth, Adaptation, and Innovation to map out partnerships agreements and projections for the college as it could become.

Required Qualifications:
• Demonstrated cultural competence and evidence of a deep commitment to equity and social justice.
• Master’s degree with 7-10 years of relevant leadership and administrative experience in an organizational setting that is community centered and service-oriented, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Significant budget and financial management expertise and experience.
• Ability to recommend and develop financial models that are responsive to evolving conditions, including changes in potential revenue streams as well as shifts in national and student conditions.
• Previous experience examining and diversifying revenue streams and demonstrated effectiveness in creating organizational conditions for sustainability.
• Familiarity with people success frameworks and human resources functions that advance not only the effectiveness of staff but the well-being, growth, and professional development of staff.
• Ability to deepen CU’s student success initiative in a manner that is informed by student input, data about students’ lived experiences, and student outcomes, as well as evidence-based research on effective strategies for supporting adult learners.
• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in writing and verbally with a wide range of individuals and audiences, both internal and external, in a clear, concise, and easy to understand manner.
• Ability to lead effectively in the context of a diverse, engaged, and highly relational college community.
• Demonstrated ability to think creatively and expansively about what is possible; knowledge of “best practices” along with the temperament to question and improve upon them.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Terminal Degree in a related field.
• Previous experience in the non-profit sector.
• Previous experience in educational settings, preferably higher education.

Please submit nominations, inquiries, or applications to [email protected] Please note “ATTN VP Sustainability” in the subject of your email. The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For additional information about College Unbound, please visit www.collegeunbound.edu .
Phone: (401) 752-2640
325 Public Street , Providence, RI 02905