Hendrix College Provost Position Description

Hendrix College seeks nominations and applications for the position of Provost. S/he will work closely with the College’s creative and dedicated faculty and outstanding students as well as with Hendrix’s recently named 11th President, William Tsutsui, who will formally join the campus in June 2014.

Our College

Recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative colleges six years in a row by U.S. News and World Report, Hendrix is a private liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist church and located in Conway, Arkansas, approximately 30 miles from Little Rock. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has a long tradition of close student and faculty interaction, unwavering commitment to the liberal arts, and open and progressive thought. Hendrix attracts more than 1,400 undergraduates, a 40 percent increase since the College’s signature engaged learning program, known as Odyssey, was launched in 2005.

Our Odyssey

As the 21st century began, the College charted a bold course to position itself as a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. Hendrix sought to distinguish itself by building upon and further strengthening its historic hallmarks: an unusually high level of collaboration between students and faculty and a distinctly creative approach to the traditional liberal arts. The result was Your Hendrix Odyssey: Engaging in Active Learning, a program that has expanded to become a campus-wide ethos and made us unique among our peers.

Through Odyssey, students connect the knowledge they gain in the classroom with the experience they acquire through internships, undergraduate research, service, and other hands-on learning activities. While these opportunities exist at other schools, they are often elective and ancillary to the academic program. At Hendrix, engaged learning is universal and central to the curriculum. Every student is expected to complete at least three Odyssey experiences, selected from six project categories (e.g. artistic creativity, global awareness, professional and leadership development, service to the world, special projects, and undergraduate research), before they graduate.

We do not simply require these experiences of students - we nurture and support them. The College has awarded nearly $2.5 million in competitive grants to support student-designed projects since Odyssey was introduced and faculty members may also apply for Odyssey Professorships, which support the creation of new engaged learning opportunities for students. Endowing Odyssey and providing these opportunities in perpetuity played a major role in our successful $100 million campaign.

Odyssey has earned Hendrix national recognition as a model for innovation in higher education. For the sixth consecutive year, we were named one of the country’s top “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Educators from around the country continue to seek out Hendrix for advice on developing similar engaged learning programs on their own campuses.

Odyssey has had a powerful impact on the size, geographic diversity, and academic quality of our incoming classes. More than 1,400 students make up the Hendrix student body, a 40 percent increase since Odyssey was launched in 2005. Students entering the College in 2013 hail from 32 different states and six different countries compared to 25 states and one country before Odyssey. The average ACT score and the average high school GPA of the incoming class have risen as well since the introduction of Odyssey. Most important, the success of Odyssey has inspired our creativity and passion and allowed us to imagine new ways of further strengthening our academic program and student experience.

Our Community

Hendrix students are intellectually curious, self-driven, and passionate about engaged learning and social justice. Hendrix has placed 21 Fulbright students, 30 Watson Fellow recipients, 29 Goldwater Scholarship winners, as well as Jack Kent Cooke Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellows, Truman Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and Udall Scholars. Sixty percent of the College’s graduates pursue post-graduate degrees, and Hendrix ranks first among its peers in the Associated Colleges of the South for graduates who complete doctoral degrees in math and science, according to a National Science Foundation survey.

Outside the classroom, the creativity and community-mindedness that characterizes our students contributes to an unusually inclusive and vibrant student life that revolves around residence hall affiliation rather than a Greek system. Both current students and generations of alumni are proud of Hendrix’s many campus life traditions, ranging from the 100-year old Shirttails Serenade dance competition in the fall to the variety shows and fundraising events that comprise Campus Kitty each spring.

Hendrix faculty members are nationally recognized leaders in their disciplines and devoted to teaching and mentoring undergraduate students. Our faculty have created a robust learning environment marked by academic rigor and unprecedented opportunity for intellectual and personal growth, supporting the College’s motto “Unto the Whole Person.” Working collaboratively with colleagues from across the disciplines and with peers at other institutions at home and abroad, our faculty strive to develop the most engaging course content and hands-on learning opportunities for students.

Faculty across the disciplines are committed to ongoing professional development and are prolific artistic performers, published scholars, and in-demand invited guests and presenters at local, state, national and international conferences and professional meetings. Numerous professors have received grants and fellowships supported by state and national organizations such as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Hearst Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.

Outside of the classroom, Hendrix faculty members work closely with students as advocates and mentors, successfully advising students on competitive post-graduate fellowships and other honors (e.g. Fulbright Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships, Watson Fellowships, Truman Scholarships, etc.), graduate and professional school programs, and meaningful workplace opportunities that aid students in their vocational discernment.

Our faculty view egalitarian governance as a critical component of shared decision making and action. There is no faculty senate at Hendrix. Committees with diverse representation in rank and discipline review issues and concerns, and the faculty meets collectively to discuss and decide academic, cocurricular, and student life policy. In addition to developing the Odyssey engaged learning initiative, the faculty have collectively examined and enhanced the academic calendar and curriculum, moving from the trimester calendar to the semester system, and revised the common course for first-year students, including development of a new interdisciplinary course taken by all first-year students: The Engaged Citizen.

Our staff are important members of the Hendrix community as well and often develop close relationships with both students and faculty members. The warmth and connectedness that characterizes our community is a source of pride for Hendrix and one of our fundamental values.

Our Location

Hendrix is located in Conway, Arkansas, 30 miles from Little Rock, and is one of the fastest growing communities in the state. Conway is a city of about 60,000 residents and is home to three institutions of higher learning, including the University of Central Arkansas and Central Baptist College. Conway also boasts a growing medical community and thriving technology scene.

Adjacent to the Hendrix campus is The Village at Hendrix, a traditional neighborhood development (TND) designed by the renowned New Urban planning firm of Duany-Plater Zyberk and Company and founded by Hendrix. A 90-acre mixed-used walkable community, The Village combines classic architecture and a commitment to green building principles, offering residential homes and commercial spaces, as well as housing for Hendrix students and entertainment and outdoor amenities, including the 18-acre Hendrix Creek Preserve.

Conway is part of the Little Rock-North Little Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area and the region has more than a million people. Within a 30-minute drive, there are world-class lakes, rivers and streams, plus the diverse amenities of a state capital such as theater, symphony, professional and amateur sports venues, concerts, diverse dining opportunities, museums, and expanded retail shopping.

Life in Conway combines friendly small town charm with urban amenities, including the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, a local symphony, and parks and trails for children and families. In addition, Conway’s public schools are consistently recognized for student achievement and teacher quality. Arkansas is known as the Natural State. From the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains to the timberlands and the Delta, Arkansas offers ample opportunity for outdoor recreation, including biking, bird watching, camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, paddling, spelunking, swimming, and water-skiing.

Our Future

In 2005, Hendrix launched a $70 million capital campaign, later expanded to a $100 million campaign, which was the largest in our history. The goals of the campaign included significantly increasing student financial assistance, endowing innovative curricular and co-curricular programs such as Odyssey and the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling, and building state-of-the-art facilities for teaching, research, student life, technology, wellness, and athletics. Shortly after the campaign’s successful conclusion in 2010, the Board of Trustees began to envision the next chapter for the College, seeking to build upon our unprecedented progress in the past decade.

To build on Hendrix’s momentum and advance its current priorities, the Board of Trustees in October 2011 charged a guiding coalition of administrators, faculty, trustees, and staff with leading efforts to further Hendrix’s recognition as a national leader in hands-on, intellectually challenging, liberal arts education in a demanding yet supportive environment. The coalition is examining and prioritizing a series of key strategic initiatives outlined by the Board. These initiatives include but are not limited to: expanding the Odyssey program to connect more fully with students’ life after graduation, further enhancing the breadth of and depth of the curriculum, increasing the College’s international presence, maintaining the College’s historic ties to the United Methodist Church, and reinforcing Hendrix’s already strong reputation as a national leader in science education.

Our President and Senior Leadership Team

In November 2013, Hendrix named William Tsutsui the College’s 11th President. Tsutsui, who currently serves as Dean of Dedman College of Humanities & Sciences at Southern Methodist University, will formally assume the leadership of Hendrix in June 2014. A historian of modern Japan trained at Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard, Tsutsui is an energetic proponent of the liberal arts and an award-winning scholar and classroom teacher. At SMU, he led Dedman College’s first comprehensive strategic planning effort, spearheaded the establishment of an endowed interdisciplinary institute, and championed new centers and curricular initiatives in human rights, public policy, international studies, and drug discovery.

Hendrix’s new Provost will join a seasoned senior leadership team, which oversees day-to-day operations and strategic planning. The team includes seven executive officers, including the Provost, who are responsible for academic affairs, admission and financial aid, advancement, business and finance, marketing communications, student affairs, and technology services. Under the senior leadership team is an administrative managers group that oversees professional and support staff in a range of functions that serve the Hendrix community and enhance the student experience.

Role of Our Provost

As chief academic officer, the Provost provides leadership for the overall direction of the academic program at Hendrix College. S/he supports the 109 full-time members of our faculty – as well as administration, staff, and students – in advancing Hendrix’s academic mission. Hendrix’s total academic budget is approximately $3 million. The core responsibilities of the Provost include:

  • Recruiting, supporting, and evaluating faculty and administrative staff;
  • Leading assessment, accreditation, and academic policy efforts;
  • Overseeing development of a wide range of curricular and pedagogical initiatives; and,
  • Providing budget supervision for all academic departments, programs, and academic support units, as well as for the administrative budgets in the Academic Affairs area.

The Provost oversees the professional and administrative staff associated with the Office of Academic Affairs and the following individuals report directly to the Provost:

  • Associate Provost for Academic Affairs
  • Associate Provost for Engaged Learning
  • Director of Integrated Advising
  • Academic Area Chairs (3)
  • Director of the Library
  • Director of the Crain-Maling Center of Jewish Culture
  • Director of the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language
  • Director of the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics and Calling
  • Coordinator of Institutional Data and Reporting
  • Coordinators of First- Year General Education Courses (2)
  • Assistant to the Provost’s Office

The Provost also supervises, via the direct reports listed above, the faculty and staff affiliated with the following offices and programs: all Academic Departments and Programs, Odyssey, International Programs, the Library, the Registrar’s Office, the Office of Academic Success, and the Office of Chemical Safety.

Opportunities and Challenges

Hendrix has enjoyed great momentum and success over the last decade and has emerged as one of the nation’s most innovative liberal arts colleges. The new Provost will play a critical role in addressing the following opportunities and challenges as Hendrix continues its ascent:

  • Facilitating Hendrix’s continued rise among national liberal arts colleges while retaining and strengthening its core values: In collaboration with the President and the Board of Trustees, the Provost will be expected to lead the faculty in planning and implementation of the curricular and pedagogical initiatives currently under consideration, as well as those yet to be imagined. The ongoing development of the Odyssey program and related curricular initiatives (focused on a new form of integrated advising and an expansion of the College’s interdisciplinary offerings) will be at the center of the Provost’s attention. S/he will be asked to move these efforts forward while retaining the elements of Hendrix’s culture deemed essential to its nature: close student/faculty relationships, creative thinking, and a warm and deeply egalitarian sense of community.
  • Advocating for additional resources to support the College’s faculty and academic mission: As the College anticipates the launch of a new capital campaign, the Provost will be expected to articulate persuasively the case for Hendrix and the quality of its faculty and students to alumni, trustees, parents, and other friends of the College. In addition, the Provost will also work with foundations and other external sources to secure additional resources for a wide range of academic initiatives. Within the Hendrix community, the Provost will lead the conversation about optimal allocation of resources in light of the College’s rapid and remarkable enrollment growth over the last decade.
  • Strengthening faculty leadership by means of a thoughtful examination of the current governance structure: Hendrix takes great pride in its egalitarian and democratic approach to faculty governance. As the College has grown, however, it is challenging for the faculty to meet as a single body and the idea of adjusting the governance structure has gained momentum. The Provost will lead the collective effort to consider ways in which the faculty might govern itself differently without losing its foundational sense of community. A key priority in this exercise will be further enhancing the clarity and effectiveness of communication among the faculty as well as between the faculty and the administration, the Board of Trustees, staff, and students. The Provost will also seek ways to mentor and support emerging leaders among the faculty who may have had limited administrative experience to date.
  • Recruiting and retaining additional excellent and diverse faculty: The Provost will be expected to expand the faculty by identifying, attracting, and supporting outstanding faculty who share the College’s passion for the liberal arts and a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Desired Qualifications and Characteristics

Hendrix seeks a Provost who is passionate about undergraduate teaching and the engaged liberal arts, and eager to join a warm, collaborative, and unusually collegial community. S/he should be appointable to the College’s faculty as a full professor and have administrative experience in an academic context, including recruiting, retaining, managing, and evaluating faculty and staff, overseeing budgets, and developing and implementing strategic initiatives.

In addition, the ideal candidate will possess the following:

  • An imaginative and energetic approach to liberal arts education, in keeping with the Hendrix faculty’s remarkable record of academic innovation;
  • A strong sense of the national landscape for the liberal arts, including best practices and emerging challenges;
  • Experience successfully leading complex strategic initiatives, and translating high aspirations into achievable and measurable accomplishments;
  • The ability to advocate effectively both for the faculty and for the overall academic mission of the College, with both internal and external audiences;
  • Experience with and a strong interest in joining efforts to secure external funding from private donors, foundations, government agencies, and other sources;
  • Demonstrated success in recruiting and retaining faculty from diverse backgrounds and cultivating an inclusive community;
  • A talent for bringing out the best in an exceptionally creative and committed faculty;
  • A genuine affection for and rapport with students, and a willingness to engage them in decision making;
  • An appreciation for the many different ways in which faculty integrate teaching, research, professional development, and campus/community service inside and outside the classroom;
  • A talent for collaboration and an understanding of how to work within a highly egalitarian governance structure;
  • The ability to address complex issues with integrity, diplomacy, and transparency; and,
  • A shared sense of Hendrix’s core values, which include embracing a broad and diverse spectrum of people and ideas within a warm and supportive community.

Contact

For best consideration, nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest should be forwarded to:

Sue May, Principal
Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, LP
HendrixProvost@StorbeckPimentel.com

Hendrix College adheres to the principle of equal educational and employment opportunity without regard to age, race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin. Further, the College is committed to the maintenance of an atmosphere of civility and respect for all students, faculty, and staff.

Appendix: Hendrix College Fast Facts (2013-2014)

College: Four-year, private, residential, coeducational college of liberal arts founded in 1876 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church; Phi Beta Kappa chapter Location: Conway, Arkansas, suburban city of 58,900; 30 minutes from Little Rock (metro. pop.: 699,700)

Students: 1,432 from 45 states and 13 countries; 15.2 percent minority enrollment

Academic profile, class of ’17: 46 percent in top 10th of high school class, 75 percent in top quarter; midrange scores: 1080-1320 SAT and 26-32 ACT, and 3.6-4.3 GPA

Faculty: 109 full-time, 90 percent with Ph.D. or equivalent degree

Student/faculty ratio: 11:1

Average class size: 17

Majors: 34 undergraduate majors, 37 minors; M.A. in accounting

Post graduate: The majority of our students enter graduate or professional school either immediately after graduating or the following year. Approximately one-third enroll in graduate school within the first year of graduation, while other graduates seek employment and report finding a job within six months of graduation.

Residence options: Co-ed and single sex; six traditional residence halls, five residence houses, three theme houses, and five apartment complexes (more than 80 percent of students live in college-owned housing)

Campus: 175 acres encompassing academic, residential and recreational resources, plus arboretum, gazebo, and pecan court; also includes "New Urbanism" community, The Village at Hendrix

Facilities: Art complex, life sciences center, physical sciences center, chapel, auditorium, theatre, wellness and athletics center, and new student life and technology center

Athletics: NCAA Division III, Southern Athletic Conference: Baseball (M), Basketball (M & W), Cross country (M & W), Field hockey (W), Football (M), Golf (M & W), Lacrosse (M & W), Soccer (M & W), Softball (W), Swimming and diving (M & W), Tennis (M & W), Track and field (M & W), and Volleyball (W).

Comprehensive fee, 2013-14: $48,436 (tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees)

Financial aid: 100 percent of students receive some form of achievement-based and/or need-based state, federal, or institutional assistance; $33,987 average award for 2013-14

Academic consortium: Associated Colleges of the South

Major accreditations: North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, University Senate of the United Methodist Church, National Association of Schools of Music, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, American Chemical Society

Alumni body: More than 15,000

Endowment: Approximately $156 million

Mission Statement: As a collegiate community, Hendrix is dedicated to the cultivation of whole persons through the transmission of knowledge, the refinement of intellect, the development of character, and the encouragement of a concern for worthy values. In these ways Hendrix prepares its graduates for lives of service and fulfillment in their communities and the world.