The Position: Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

James Madison University invites applications for the position of Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.  

The University

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 is 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 class¬room.

JMU 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 of the last 18 years, U.S. News & World Report identified 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.

The university is located along Interstate 81, approximately two hours from Washington, D.C., and Richmond, VA. The campus is easily accessible via I-81’s Exit 245 or the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD).

University 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 Division of Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs consists of six colleges - 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 - and the Graduate School, University Studies and the School of Engineering. In addition, the division includes the following academic support programs: Outreach and Engagement, International Programs, Libraries and Educational Technologies, and Student Success Programs.


Full-Time Instructional Faculty 924
Full-Time Instructional Faculty with Tenure 52%
Full-Time Instructional with Terminal Degrees 79%
Part-Time Instructional Faculty 476

Academic Affairs Defining Characteristics

  • 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 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 develop and offer international curricula, associations and experiences that enhance the global competencies of the student
  • The university will focus on student learning and development through collaboration across all divisions

Position Qualifications

JMU’s next provost/senior vice president for academic affairs should possess a distinguished record of academic leadership, while also demonstrating a commitment to scholarship, learning, and service. The successful candidate must embrace excellence, integrity, and exhibit the leadership abilities required to help achieve the university’s vision.  The desired leader should have a proven track record for building an accomplished, talented, and diverse leadership team. The starting salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

Position Responsibilities

The provost/senior vice president for academic affairs is the chief academic affairs officer and reports to the president. The provost is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and administration of the division. Among a wide range of responsibilities, the provost’s duties encompass the following:

Collaborates with the president and division heads of the university to foster an environment dedicated to realizing the university’s mission

Facilitates the creation and execution of a shared academic vision for the university

Supervises the deans and other academic officials

Chairs the Academic Council and serves as the university’s academic spokesperson on a variety of committees throughout the university, commonwealth and nation

Fosters an environment in which faculty are motivated to design and implement curriculum, which challenges the most serious student and promotes the highest quality liberal education and professional competence

Oversees the fiscal management of the division to ensure the wise stewardship of resources

Ensures that appropriate assessment and accreditation processes are conducted, and that results from these are used to improve the academic quality of the institution

Responsible for faculty recruitment, promotion, retention, tenure and development

Supports a shared governance model within the university


Applications will be accepted until a new provost is selected, but interested parties are encouraged to submit their materials by May 15, 2012, at which point review of applications will begin. Application materials should include: a letter addressing how the candidate’s experience matches the position requirements, curriculum vitae, the contact information for at least five professional references and unofficial transcripts (official transcripts required upon employment).  Incomplete files will not be considered. Candidates should possess a minimum of 5 years as a dean, associate dean, or department chair.  

JMU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity, Equal Access employer. We seek candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our university and who will support our efforts in providing an inclusive education.