Position Description/Leadership Statement

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The James Madison University Board of Visitors invites nominations and applications for the position of president. The new president will build on the impressive record of retiring President Linwood H. Rose.


James Madison is a public comprehensive university located in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and is the only university in America named for James Madison. The university places great emphasis on the quality of the undergraduate student experience in its bachelor’s level programs and offers a complementary array of distinguished master’s, educational specialist, and doctoral programs aimed at meeting strategic state and national needs. James Madison remains highly selective in admissions and enrolls over 19,000 students. The university provides a comprehensive collegiate experience for its students rooted in the liberal arts and encompassing an extensive variety of professional and pre-professional programs. The students’ academic program is complemented by a multitude of learning opportunities outside the classroom. The university has been a coeducational institution since 1966 and is primarily residential. JMU has a total operating budget of over $400M in FY 2010-2011.

James Madison ranks in the top ten public universities nationally for its four-year graduation rate and has a six-year rate of eighty-two percent. JMU students consistently report a satisfaction rate of over 93% which is a result of the institution’s student-centered culture and is a product of an engaged teaching faculty with a student/faculty ratio of 16.1:1.

For 17 years in a row, U.S. News & World Report identifies JMU as the South’s top-ranked public master’s-level school. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance rated JMU as the 28th best value among public colleges. Students receive a superb education, excellent return on investment, and are prepared for a bright future. JMU recently gained recognition with the Carnegie Classification for Civic Engagement and earned a place on the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for commitment to service and civic engagement on campus and in the nation. JMU’s emphasis on the importance of international education places it among national leaders for the number of students studying abroad annually.

Academic Divisions: College of Arts and Letters; College of Business; College of Education; College of Integrated Science and Technology; College of Science and Mathematics; College of Visual and Performing Arts; The Graduate School.

Enrollment (Fall 2010) Percent Enrollment by Ethnicity

Undergraduate: 17,657
Graduate: 1,777
Full-Time: 17,872
Part-Time: 1,562
In-State: 71.4%

Out-of-State: 28.6%

Total enrollment: 19,434

Asian American/Pacific Isle 4.54%
American Indian/Alaskan 0.23%
African American 3.94%
Hispanic 3.07%
White 79.33%
Unreported 7.57%
Number of International Students 290
Number of Countries Represented by Student body 78

Faculty and Staff (Fall 2010)

Degree Programs Offered

Full-Time Instructional Faculty 906
Full-Time Instructional Faculty with Tenure 51%
Full-Time Instructional Faculty with Terminal Degrees 78%
Part-Time Instructional Faculty 360
Full-Time Classified Staff 1,214

Undergraduate: 69
Master’s: 31
Educational Specialist: 2
Doctoral: 7
Total: 109


Wilson Hall at James Madison University



JMU is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia along Interstate 81, approximately two hours from Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va. The campus is easily accessible from I-81’s Exit 245 or the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD).


Mission Statement

We are a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.

Vision Statement

To be the leading comprehensive university.

Values Statement

Our student-centered community values excellence, integrity and mutual respect.



  • The university will offer a wide variety of quality academic programs: general education core, liberal arts, professional programs, and graduate programs of distinction.
  • The university will be innovative in its programs and services.
  • The university will complement its residentially-based academic offerings with non-degree, competency certification and distributed education programs.
  • The university’s students will possess optimum competencies in written and oral communication, critical thinking, information systems, quantitative literacy and scientific literacy as basic graduation requirements.
  • The university’s faculty will integrate scholarship, service and teaching to enhance student learning and provide a challenging and supportive environment with a heightened sense of intellectual stimulation.
  • The university will develop and offer international curricula, associations and experiences that enhance the global competencies of the student.
  • The university will continue to be a selective institution in our admission practices and admit students who will enable the university to realize its mission.
  • The university will focus on student learning and development through collaboration across all divisions.
  • The university will be a diverse community whose members share in, and contribute to, a common JMU experience.
  • The university will provide students with a wide array of extracurricular activities.
  • The university will serve our state, region and nation, and will be recognized on a national basis.
  • The university will maintain our heritage of nurturing and cultivating enduring relationships with its constituencies.


  • The university will enhance and diversify funding sources, expand its strategic alliances, and develop broad-based financial support among a variety of constituents.
  • The university will possess sufficient resources (financial, facilities, human and technology) to achieve its goals.
  • The university will involve the entire campus community in a well-defined, consistently used and commonly understood process for planning and decision-making that emphasizes accountability and ties resource allocation to institutional effectiveness.
  • The university will be an attractive, safe, friendly and service-oriented campus.
  • The university will invest in the professional development of its people.
  • The university will be an environmentally literate community whose members think critically and act, individually and collectively, as model stewards of the natural world.


Summary of Opportunities:

  1. Create new and expand partnerships (advisory councils, volunteers, foundations, community, public-private, higher education, k-12, strategic alliances).
  2. Engage campus in planning for the future (strategic plan; facilities master plan; financial plan; enrollment plan).
  3. Maintain and capitalize on the university’s reputation (Fulbright, Rhode Scholars, Goldwaters, etc.).
  4. Apply emerging technologies in instructional delivery, administrative services, communication.
  5. Conduct another successful capital campaign.
  6. Earn reaffirmation of accreditation and successfully implement our Quality Enhancement Plan .
  7. Develop new academic programs to meet student, state, and societal needs.
  8. Develop strategies to address the recommendations of the Higher Education Commission.
  9. Become a leader in the higher education community in environmental stewardship, diversity enhancement, and international programs.
  10. Enhance community relationships.

Summary of Challenges:

  1. Complacency; stability and success can lead to comfort with status quo.
  2. Shifting definition of the relationship between higher education and the public good.
  3. Ability to attract and retain qualified employees (competition, aging, compensation) and students (institutional competition).
  4. Government intervention affecting institutional autonomy.


The president of the university is the chief executive officer and is appointed by and responsible to the board of visitors. The president is responsible for the leadership and day-to-day administration of the institution in compliance with university policies and consistent with all applicable state and federal laws. Among a wide range of delegated responsibilities from the BOV, the president's duties encompass the following:

Academic Programs

  • Ensures that appropriate and quality academic programs are developed and provided.
  • Confers all degrees at commencements.
  • Recommends the addition or elimination of degree programs to the Board of Visitors, SCHEV and accrediting bodies.


  • Develops, in concert with others in the university community, a shared vision and mission for the university within the parameters prescribed in the Code of Virginia.
  • Observes and anticipates trends and issues affecting higher education.
  • Develops a strategic plan for the institution with complementary operational plans for enrollment, facilities, technology, personnel and etc. to implement the university's mission and vision.
  • Represents the university to the executive and legislative branches of government.
  • Articulates the vision and serves as the principal voice of the institution.
  • Presides at university events and meetings.


  • Develops and maintains a talented executive team and an institutional management structure to lead and manage the following functions:
    • Education
    • Student life
    • Facilities and services
    • Financial Management
    • Health and safety
    • Planning
    • Fund raising, constituent development and stewardship
    • Athletics
  • Serves as the link of communication between the BOV and the faculty and administrative staff of the University.
  • Contingent upon the ultimate authority of the BOV, makes all personnel appointments, develops salary and compensation plans for faculty and staff and approves annual salary adjustments. Approves faculty rank promotions and faculty tenure decisions. Establishes new positions within the operating constraints of available resources. Reports personnel actions to the BOV consistent with its reporting procedures.


  • Attends all BOV meetings, including committee meetings and closed sessions with the exception of those meetings devoted to discussions of matters affecting the president personally, unless otherwise invited.
  • Reports quarterly to the BOV on the accomplishments of the university.
  • Recommends the agenda to the BOV for its quarterly and annual meetings.
  • Oversees a system of internal shared governance with faculty, staff and students.

Fiscal Management

  • Oversees the development of biennial, annual operating and capital outlay budget submissions; and, annual operating plans.
  • Ensures that financial controls are in place for the proper fiscal management.
  • Manages internal audit as a shared responsibility with the Board of Visitors.

Fund Raising/Constituent Support

  • Plays a prominent and sustained role in fund raising, including direct solicitations from major private donors as well as public and private entities to support the university's operating funds, endowment, facilities, and research grants and contracts.
  • Actively participates in cultivating and stewarding friends and donors to the University.
  • Communicates and interacts effectively with all constituencies of the campus community, including the local community, the alumni, and the public at large to carry out the University’s mission and goals.


JMU’s next president should possess a distinguished record of executive leadership while also demonstrating a commitment to scholarship, learning, and discovery. The successful candidate must embrace excellence, integrity, and exhibit the leadership abilities required to achieve the university’s vision.  The desired leader should have a proven track record for building an accomplished, talented, and diverse senior leadership team.  Experience in securing funding from multiple sources is expected.

Candidates with scholarly accomplishments and a record of success in academic administration are preferred.


  • Strong core values, including impeccable integrity, sound judgment, and a commitment to transparency.
  • A commitment to meaningful shared governance.
  • Well developed interpersonal skills, including listening skills that are effective with all stakeholders.
  • Appreciation for JMU’s current strengths and desire to preserve its historical roots and identity.
  • Ability to apply analytical skills to problem solving.
  • Confident and self-secure; inclusive, but decisive.
  • Fosters innovation and promotes new ideas.
  • Entrepreneurial in spirit; consensus building by nature.
  • Politically astute.
  • Articulate champion for education.
  • Comfortable with complexity, ambiguity, demanding expectations, and high visibility.


Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. is assisting James Madison University in the search.  Screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made.  For best consideration, materials should be provided by August 24, 2011. Application materials should include a letter addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position requirements, a resume and contact information for at least five references.  Submission of materials as MS Word attachments is strongly encouraged.


Individuals wishing to nominate a candidate should include the name, position, address, and telephone number of the nominee.  A letter of addressing how the candidate’s experiences match the position requirements is recommended.

Confidential inquiries, nominations, and application materials should be directed to:

Jan Greenwood or Betty Turner Asher
Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc.
42 Business Center Drive, Suite 206
Miramar Beach, FL 32550
Phone: 850.650.2277 Fax: 850.650.2272
E-mail: jangreenwood@greenwoodsearch.com


For more information about James Madison University, please visit the web site at
James Madison University is an Equal Opportunity Employer