Nationwide search launched for RIT senior vice president for student affairs

University expects to announce results early in 2014

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Rochester Institute of Technology is launching a nationwide search for a new senior vice president for student affairs.

A 16-person search committee of students, faculty, staff and trustees—headed by James Watters, RIT senior vice president of finance and administration—is working with the national consulting firm Witt/Kieffer to coordinate the search.

RIT’s senior vice president of student affairs oversees a $25 million annual budget and a staff of more than 200 people in the university’s Student Life, Wellness, Student Learning and Athletics departments. The office serves students in RIT’s nine colleges, a diverse population of more than 15,000 undergraduates and 2,900 graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, including more than 1,300 deaf and hard-of-hearing students at its National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

“Finding the right person to serve as senior vice president of student affairs is important to this university, and to the success of our students,” said RIT President Bill Destler. “We’re looking for candidates who are imaginative and creative, have strong managerial and administrative skills, as well as demonstrated records of success in advocating effectively for students with all university constituencies, working collaboratively with other leaders to advance university goals and fostering a multicultural, diverse environment.”

According to Watters, candidates must have:

  • At least a master’s degree in higher education, education administration, higher education leadership or counseling/student services. An earned doctorate is highly preferred. In exceptional circumstances, work experience may substitute for some of the educational requirements;
  • Competency in American Sign Language, or a willingness to develop such competency

RIT has set up a website,, with more information on the senior vice president for student affairs position, as well as the university and the Greater Rochester community. Candidates are invited to submit résumés, letters of application and the names and contact information for five references in confidence to Jon Derek Croteau and Amy Crutchfield at

The search committee hopes to name its choice for senior vice president for student affairs early in 2014. The new vice president will replace Mary-Beth Cooper, who left in August to become president of Springfield College.