Colby-Sawyer College – Academic Vice President


Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty

Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire, seeks an Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty (AVP) who will be a dynamic leader committed to student success, faculty development, and engagement with stakeholders.  Reporting directly to the president and working closely with faculty, the AVP will build and strengthen the academic enterprise by developing and implementing strategic planning and policy.  These challenges require a leader who will be transparent, have the ability to unite and inspire faculty and staff, and collaborate with a wide range of constituencies to establish goals and strategies, achieve desired results, and plan and meet budgets.

Colby-Sawyer College

Colby-Sawyer College’s historic Georgian campus, located 90 miles from Boston, MA, and 45 miles from Manchester, NH, is home to 1,100 students. It is a private, independent, undergraduate college accredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) consisting of eight academic departments that offer 42 majors, minors, and concentrations. The college is dedicated to providing educational programs based in the liberal arts and sciences that prepare students to thrive in, as well as make a positive impact upon a dynamic, diverse, and interdependent world. Located on maple-lined Main Street, the sophisticated New England town is surrounded by the mountains of the Lake Sunapee region. The college sits on 200 acres of land, with 30 buildings that support the needs of the students and faculty. New London is located in a region known for beautiful lakes, outdoor recreation, winter sports, and a lively cultural community.

Perhaps the most remarkable asset of the college is its faculty and staff. The college has a total workforce of 339 full-time dedicated employees, including 69 fulltime faculty members. Highly regarded in their respective fields, faculty bring significant expertise to their work. All faculty embrace a student-centered philosophy of teaching and mentoring which caters to the needs of individual students and fosters student success.

At the heart of Colby-Sawyer is their student population. The college currently enrolls 1,102 undergraduate students, 16 graduate students, and 64 online students. The undergraduate students represent 28 states and 31 countries. The college has a long-standing commitment to access. Over 40 percent of its students are first-generation. As of Fall 2016, 18 percent of domestic students identified themselves as ethnic minorities and 7.8 percent of students hailed from international countries. Students are engaged in campus activities, leadership, and Division III athletics. Eighty-five percent of undergraduate students live on campus.

Leadership at Colby-Sawyer College

Susan D. Stuebner, Ed.D. assumed office on July 1, 2016, and is the ninth President of Colby-Sawyer College.

With more than twenty years of experience in higher education, President Stuebner brings considerable knowledge about strategic planning, collaborative decision-making, and institutional effectiveness to lead a comprehensive college that integrates the liberal arts and sciences with professional preparation. Most recently, she was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Allegheny College in Meadville, Penn., where she supervised financial services, human resources, development and alumni affairs, student affairs, college relations, admissions, financial aid, retention and enrollment planning. She chaired the President’s senior staff, strategic planning, and finance and facilities committees.

Prior to her role at Allegheny, President Stuebner spent a decade at Lycoming College in a variety of senior level administrative positions including Executive Assistant to the President and Institutional Planning Officer, Vice President for Planning, and Vice President for Administration and Planning. She has also served as an academic counselor at Dartmouth College, a freshman proctor and director of freshman intramurals at Harvard College, and special assistant to the president at Wheelock College. President Stuebner held the position of teaching fellow for several courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She began her career at Albright College, where she held concurrent roles as head women’s basketball coach, admissions counselor, and special assistant to the academic dean.

President Stuebner earned her A.B. in psychology from Dartmouth College. She also holds an Ed.M. and an Ed.D. from Harvard University in administration, planning, and social policy with a concentration in higher education.

Her passion for liberal education, sustainability, and creating an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and community members matches Colby-Sawyer’s own mission to offer educational programs grounded in the liberal arts and designed to prepare students to thrive in, and make positive impact upon, a dynamic, diverse, and interdependent world.

President Stuebner has been involved professionally at the national, regional, and local levels. She completed three-year terms on the NCAA Division III Financial Aid Committee, the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Small Institutions Council, and the Dartmouth College Alumni Council. She has served as a member of eight visiting teams for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. President Stuebner’s professional interests center on the sustainability of private colleges with endowments under $200 million.

The Academic Program

The college maintains its historical commitment to the liberal arts and sciences as a foundational preparation for all students. The college’s liberal education requirements were updated as part of the 2015 NEASC Self Study process and include writing proficiency, quantitative literacy, first-year symposium, one exploration course in six areas (Fine and Performing Arts, History, Humanities, Literature, Science, and Social Science), an integrated studies course, an internship, a capstone, and a learning portfolio.

At the undergraduate level, students may choose from 25 majors and 24 minor academic programs that are organized within eight departments: Business Administration, Environmental Studies, Exercise and Sport Sciences, Fine and Performing Arts, Humanities, the School of Nursing and Health Professions (Nursing and Public Health), and Social Sciences and Education. While students are distributed across the array of majors, the programs with the highest number of majors in 2015-16 were business administration, nursing, biology, child development, and exercise science.

Colby-Sawyer offers the following undergraduate degree options: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, RN to BS (nursing only, online), and Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. The first cohort of the College’s Master of Science in Nursing entered in 2016-17. In addition to its regional accreditation with NEASC, the college is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE), Commission on Collegiate Nursing (CCNE), New Hampshire Board of Nursing (NHBON), State of New Hampshire Board of Education, and American Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Colby-Sawyer students thrive in the individualized learning environment. The college’s freshmen to sophomore retention rate is 78 percent and the six-year graduation rate is 50 percent. Six months after graduation, 92 percent of the responding members of the Class of 2015 were either employed (84 percent) or pursuing graduate studies (eight percent). Of those employed, 87 percent reported working in a job directly or somewhat related to their major; 39 percent received a job offer from their internship site. The undergraduate nursing cohort that graduated in 2016 had a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX on their first attempt and graduates in the athletic training program achieved the same result on the Board of Certification exam. Students with an entering GPA of 3.75 or higher are invited to apply to Wesson Honors Program, which offers these students additional resources and an intensive, interdisciplinary learning environment. Field Study courses provide students with a several day experience away from campus during which they apply their coursework to hands-on learning and research. The sustainable learning initiative at Franklin Falls allows students from multiple departments to partner with community stakeholders in solving current and evolving needs of the city. Colby-Sawyer’s partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center affords undergraduate and graduate nursing students clinical opportunities at a Level 1 trauma center while benefiting from the personalized support and challenge of a small, residential college.

The Faculty

In the spring of 2017, the college employed 97 faculty, 69 of whom were full-time and 28 part-time. Seventy-nine percent o the college’s full-time faculty have terminal degrees. Eighty-five percent of the classes are taught by full-time faculty. Beyond the statistics, Colby-Sawyer faculty are committed to teaching and student success; however, they are also engaged in scholarly and professional work. The Teaching Enrichment Center offers ongoing professional development for faculty prior to each semester and faculty sabbaticals and professional development grants are supported fully by endowed funding.

Academic Resources

A number of support services are available to assist students in their academic success. Access Resources offers students with disabilities a variety of functional resources. The Student Learning Collaborative provides students with educational support including course tutoring, writing, study skills, and mentoring. The Harrington Center for Experiential Learning assists students in securing internships or pursuing study away opportunities. Reference and Instruction Librarians support students’ development of information literacy and research skills, as well as offer in-class and one-on-one instruction. The Cleveland Colby Colgate Archives provides primary source research opportunities and projects to students in a variety of disciplines. All of these services are located in the Susan Colgate Cleveland Library, a facility that includes two pre-Civil War historic barns that have been restored to create a unique five-story learning environment. The library owns 90,000 print books, subscribes to over 130,000 electronic books, and has an extensive collection of online learning resources including research databases and academic journals.

The Position – Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty

Reporting directly to President Sue Stuebner, the Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty serves as the chief academic officer and will be responsible for academic strategic planning, professional development and evaluation, accreditation, budgeting, the development of academic partnerships, faculty recruitment and retention, curriculum assessment and planning, and fundraising and grants.

Working closely with the academic dean, faculty, academic departments, and the academic support areas, the AVP will develop the curricular offerings of the college, support faculty and staff in their professional development, and help to provide a rich learning environment for students in support of the college’s mission. The AVP will collaborate closely with the Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students to blend academic and co-curricular offerings into a seamless educational experience for students and will also be responsible for coordinating accreditation activities for the college. S/he will chair and serve on a variety of appropriate campus and system committees and groups such as President’s Senior Leadership Team, Executive Council, Academic Council, and Academic Policies Committee.

Key Primary responsibilities and opportunities for the Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty will include:

  • Supervise all matters relating to curriculum and instruction in the college;
  • Direct faculty and academic staff recruitment and professional development activities;
  • Provide recommendations to the President on all academic appointments, tenure, and promotion matters and ensures that such processes comply with the terms of the faculty handbook;
  • Lead the development and implementation of academic strategic planning;
  • Establish priorities and plans for program development, faculty recruitment, and development;
  • Advocate for the needs of faculty and students within an engaged, rigorous, and individualized learning environment;
  • Serve as accreditation liaison officer for the institution and for academic program accreditation efforts;
  • Coordinate periodic academic program review and work with Department Chairs in the review, study, and development of curriculum and in the improvement of instruction;
  • Initiate and direct divisional reviews and to serve as ex-officio member of division groups in matters pertaining to curriculum and instruction;
  • Participate in college governance, including strategic, policy and personnel deliberations and decisions and contribute by grasping multifaceted topics, considering external environmental scans, and reaching consensus;
  • Evaluate and analyze relevant topics and issues in order to make sound policy, procedure and precedent decisions;
  • Provide academic input to institutional enrollment management efforts;
  • Serve as the staff liaison to designated committees of the Board of Trustees;
  • Responsible for development and adherence to academic affairs budget and oversight responsibility for all academic areas;
  • Participate in the life of the college, actively engaging with members of the community;
  • Research and maintain awareness of trends influencing higher education.


The Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty will have the following experiences, capabilities, and attributes:

  • Innovation leadership in a shared governance environment; inspire, develop, and retain faculty and staff, and effectively work with leaders across campus;
  • Strong track record of scholarship, teaching and working with curricula and evidence of a passionate commitment to faculty and strengthening the academic enterprise;
  • Significant experience as a successful senior academic leader within higher education, with responsibilities that included academic program development, curriculum, personnel, strategic planning, and accreditation in baccalaureate education;
  • Experience assessing academic programs and using assessment results to ensure innovation and high quality in existing programs as well as to develop new programs;
  • Experience operating in a responsibility-centered management environment and experience planning and managing budgets to achieve desired goals;
  • Effective communication, strong decision making, and ability to be transparent;
  • Ability to formulate and articulate sound policies and demonstrated ability to identify, resolve, and consult on a wide range of administrative and personnel issues with a clear sense of institutional needs and priorities;
  • Ability to implement changes, assess the impact of changes, and make mid-course corrections where appropriate;
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion;
  • Knowledge and experience in accreditation and compliance activities;
  • An earned doctorate with a successful record of teaching excellence, service, and scholarship commensurate with that of a tenured professor is required.

Applicants should submit a resume and letter discussing their interest in the position as well as their accomplishments in relationship to the listed responsibilities and qualifications. Applications and nominations should be sent to:

Andy Evans, Principal

Mo Lashendock, Vice President

Neumann Executive Search Partners, Boston, MA

Colby-Sawyer College is committed to being an inclusive and diverse campus community, which celebrates multiple perspectives. Under institutional policy, as well as under state and federal law (including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Age Discrimination Act), Colby-Sawyer College does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices or its admission practices on the basis of gender, race or ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, mental or physical disability, family or marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status, genetic information, or gender identity.

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