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Vice President of Academic Affairs

College Overview

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a comprehensive, multicultural, public, open-access college that provides citizens with an effective teaching and learning environment designed to improve educational attainment, enhance economic development, and enrich personal lives.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. As the only community college in Memphis, Southwest is fulfilling its mission of providing the citizens of Shelby and Fayette Counties and the surrounding Mid-South region with a high quality and affordable post-secondary education that prepares them for associate degrees, future educational opportunities, and successful employment.

Southwest is committed to cultivating a skilled workforce in the Mid-South by meeting the educational needs of students and the training and professional development needs of employers through credit and non-credit instruction online and in the traditional classroom setting. Classes are small. Many faculty are industry-trained and all are dedicated, accessible and fundamental to the College’s strong, economically relevant academic curriculum. Tuition runs about half the cost of the average state university and numerous financial aid programs enable students to attend at a minimal cost and, in many cases, tuition-free. On-campus child care, first-rate college libraries, and extensive distance education programs round out the long list of reasons for choosing Southwest as a direct pathway to a successful career.

Rooted in the Community

Just before the turn of the century, local educators recognized the increasing convergence of academic and technical education, establishing Southwest Tennessee Community College in July 2000 with the merger of two existing centers of higher learning. The former Shelby State Community College and the State Technical School of Memphis came together to operate as a single institution to make credits earned at the former Technical Institute more readily transferable to other institutions of higher learning and to reduce the overhead of maintaining two separate institutions.

Southwest has melded the legacies of the two former institutions into a twenty-first century college that truly is “greater than the sum of its parts.” The College’s two main campuses—Macon Cove and Union Avenue—and three centers (Gill Center, Maxine Smith, and Whitehaven) serve a population of nearly 1,000,000 residents.

Fast Facts

College Impact

The College has an annual economic impact that exceeds $126 million. In Fall 2018, 9,496 students enrolled at Southwest, including 639 dual enrollment students. Nearly 36 percent of these students were adults who were 25 years or older and 48 percent were classified as low-income. The college offers 34 programs leading to associate degrees and 28 programs leading to technical certificates. Located in a major medical and commercial center, Southwest emphasizes nursing, allied health, business, and technology programs while also offering a strong university parallel curriculum. During the 2018-19 academic year, Southwest conferred 1,163 credentials, of which 278 were associate of applied science degrees, 282 technical certificates, and 603 associate degrees designed to transfer to a university.

Southwest exists to provide the programs students want and employers need. In January 2019, the College met a pressing need for trained funeral service professionals with the launch of its brand new Funeral Service Education program. Nestled in a South Memphis neighborhood, the program is the first of its kind at a public college or university in Tennessee where students can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Service Education. Southwest also offers non-credit coursework and training. In 2018-19, the college provided 34,964 hours of workforce training. To meet the pressing need for a skilled workforce, Southwest has embarked upon a $6.3 million renovation of the Fulton building.

Counties Served

Shelby and Fayette counties

Student Profile

Average Student Age – 24.4

- 61.2% Female
- 38.8% Male

- 62.2% Black
- 26.3% White
- 5.7% Hispanic
- 2.6% Asian
- 3.2% Other

Average class size – 17 students

Overall job placement rate – 97 percent

Placed within degree field – 88 percent

Student Support

  • Advising and Counseling provides essential guidance for academic success
  • Academic Support Center provides free tutoring, technology enrichment and other resources
  • Student Development promotes student participation in extracurricular, cultural, athletic and community activities
  • On-site child care is available at the Macon Cove and Union Avenue campuses
  • Career Services job opportunity assistance
  • Saluqi Success Pathway helps students transition and succeed in Southwest college life

Strategic Plan

The College's strategic focus continues to be our students, the community, and excellence. Southwest fosters student success by providing academic, mental, and social support to students throughout their matriculation as they prepare to transfer to the university level or go directly into the workforce. More than 70 percent of degree-seeking new freshmen and nearly half of all students receive need-based financial aid and such state aid as TN Promise and Reconnect. The Southwest Foundation also helps students overcome financial barriers with book and tuition scholarships and emergency grants.

Southwest’s commitment to students, community and excellence is evident. A testament to its impact in the community is the groundbreaking partnership with Memphis Tomorrow and the Memphis Police Department that led to the launch of Blue Path in 2016. Blue Path is a police recruitment program that allows area students to begin working as police service technicians the summer after they graduate high school and study criminal justice at Southwest to earn their associate degree free of charge. In 2018, the college launched Swift, an accelerated program designed with working adults in mind. Students can finish select classes in just three weekends. Southwest’s commitment to students is at the center of the College’s work and culture. The American Association of Community College’s recognized Southwest for excellence in public safety in 2019 with its coveted Award of Excellence in College Safety and Planning.

Strategic Plan

Campus Profiles

Since its establishment in July 2000, Southwest has merged the legacies of two institutions into a twenty-first century college that truly is "greater than the sum of its parts." One of the largest community colleges in the Tennessee Board of Regents system, Southwest's multiple locations include two main campuses, four center locations and one site. Southwest's various locations make getting a degree convenient. The College's two main campuses serve a population of more than 650,000 residents in a five-mile radius of either location.

The improvements are taking place on the Macon Cove campus to provide state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories for credit technology courses and non-credit industrial readiness training courses, allowing these students to learn and pursue their goals in a common environment. Renovations are scheduled for completion in the fall of 2020.

Institutional Vision, Mission, and Values

Institutional Vision Statement
Southwest Tennessee Community College will become a national model for technical, career, and transfer education by fostering student success, transforming lives, and increasing the educational level of a diverse community.

Institutional Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide the citizens of Shelby and Fayette counties and the surrounding Mid-South region with a high quality and affordable post-secondary education that prepares them for associate degrees, future educational opportunities, and successful employment.

As a comprehensive, open-access, culturally diverse, public two-year college, Southwest is committed to meeting the educational needs of individual students, communities, and employers through credit and non-credit instruction using both distance learning technology and traditional campus-based classes. Southwest promotes student success in a supportive teaching and learning environment designed to raise educational levels, promote work readiness skills, enhance career advancement, prepare for university transfer, and enrich personal lives.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is committed to the education of a non-racially identifiable student body and promotes diversity and access without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status.

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a member of the College System of Tennessee under the governance of the Tennessee Board of Regents.

As a college community, the faculty and staff of Southwest Tennessee Community College are committed to the following values as guides for their professional practice:

  • Learning
  • Student success
  • Academic excellence
  • The uniqueness and worth of each individual
  • Dedicated faculty and staff
  • Responsible learners
  • Diversity
  • Personalized instruction and hands-on learning
  • Open communication, teamwork and participatory management
  • Academic freedom
  • Ethical and professional behavior
  • Community involvement
  • Continuous improvement

About the Area

In addition to being the home of blues, soul and the birthplace of rock n roll, Memphis is the Birthplace of innovations like the world’s first hotel chain and the first self-serve grocery store. And of course, we are the city that invented overnight package delivery.

Today our companies are creating sustainable agricultural practices that will help feed the world, new digital tracking technologies that ensure artists get paid appropriately for use of their music, food technology that’s changing the way the world eats, new forms of package delivery and medical research breakthroughs that aim to ensure no child’s life is cut short by cancer.

We’re home to the headquarters of some of the world’s best-known brands. We are home to three Fortune 500 companies and more than 100 Fortune 500 companies have operations in Memphis.

And our companies are making headlines. Memphis tops the list of places where Millennials are putting down roots. For the next generation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the number one dream job for Gen Z.

Greater Memphis Chamber

Ready to Work
Companies new to Memphis are discovering what long-time Memphis employers already know — Memphis has many workforce advantages. It’s located in a Right to Work state and offers a low cost of living. It also has a robust workforce with a median age of 35 and a strong work ethic. With help from the Chamber, employers can benefit from grants and incentive programs that help them identify, hire, train, develop and retain workers. Plus, there are several proven partners eager to help — strong academic institutions, community colleges, vocational schools and technical training facilities.

Workforce Depth & Breadth
Greater Memphis 2016 Labor Study Summary Top Occupations in Demand:

  • Customer Service Representatives in these industries: Information Technology, Logistics, Manufacturing, and especially the Finance, Insurance, and Business Services.
  • For the Information Technology sector, demand is high in the Information sector as well as across all sectors for IT professionals on all levels.
  • Machinists are in demand for the Medical Device Manufacturing sector and within all of the Advanced and General Manufacturing sectors.

Potential Workforce
A survey of 450 unemployed and underemployed persons revealed that 64% needed public transportation to/from worksites and 62% are willing to apply for work via smartphone. Of those surveyed, 33% were interested in customer service, 21% were interested in light manufacturing & assembly and 33% were interested in warehouse positions.

High Demand Occupations in 2021, Memphis MSA

  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics: +6.5% increase in workers
  • Computer User Support: +6.4% increase in workers
  • Customer Service Representatives: +3.0% increase in workers
  • Machinists: +7.7% increase in workers

Higher Education Needs – Focus Group Results

  • Information Technology firms expressed a desire for more availability of internship programs for IT students enrolled in vocational and 4-year programs.
  • 50% of the engineering firms participating were satisfied with the pool of engineering graduates available locally. The other 50% recommended expanded training in drafting software and other methods of engineering theory.
  • Companies in logistics and warehousing cited a shortage of customer service representatives with sales experience as well as entry-level forklift drivers.
  • Manufacturers cited a strong demand for machinists, CNC operators, grinders and middle management supervisors.

All the companies expressed a willingness to work with local schools and workforce agencies to fill the gaps.

Access a copy of the Memphis labor study by clicking here.

Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce

Opportunity Overview

Southwest Tennessee Community College is a large, multi-campus urban college. The successful candidate will have a strong understanding of, and experience with, the unique needs of students, faculty, and staff in this environment. This leader will have the opportunity to work with experienced faculty across a variety of credit and non-credit programs who are deeply committed to the students and the college. A leader who can balance the needs of faculty and students, working collaboratively across groups is necessary.

Student support and success are at the heart of the Southwest Tennessee College community. This is demonstrated through the College’s commitment to collaboration, diversity and inclusion, and strong ties to the community. The successful candidate will appreciate and support the unique needs of diverse student groups in an urban college environment. The state of Tennessee utilizes an Outcomes-Based Funding Formula, therefore understanding outcome-based performance measures is critical.

The next Vice President of Academic Affairs (VPAA) will help the College tell its story, acting as an advocate and partner in the community. Therefore, this individual needs to have strong leadership and communication skills as well as a dedication to excellence. This leader will have demonstrated success in working with program review and development, as well as accreditation. Experience with SACSCOC is preferable as the next Vice President will be heavily involved in the college’s upcoming accreditation process. The ability to work in a shared governance environment is also necessary.

The College is a proud member of the Achieving the Dream network, and is seeking an innovative leader to serve as its next Vice President for Academic Affairs. This dynamic leader will serve as a key advisor to the president and will be a demonstrated and vocal advocate for faculty. The next VPAA will be accountable for the overall success of the academic affairs operations of the College. The VPAA will promote the College’s mission by providing visionary and strategic academic leadership and oversight of all academic operations, instruction, assessment, and faculty development programs. The Vice President will effectively lead the Deans in creating and building academic programs, community focused academic services and interdisciplinary initiatives that fulfill the College’s strategic goals, with the over-arching goal of supporting student success. The VPAA’s staff will also include the Associate Vice-President for Workforce Development, Special Assistant to the VPAA and the Director of Project M.O.S.T. In addition, the position represents the College in community, state, regional, and national organizations.

Please follow this link for a complete position profile, job description, and other pertinent documents.

Required Experience/Skills

  • Doctoral degree from an accredited institution;
  • Progressive Academic Leadership with experience in and appreciation for shared governance environments employing exceptional communication and presentation skills;
  • Five years of full-time teaching and leadership experience overseeing and evaluating faculty preferably at a predominantly urban minority institution including regional accreditation experience;
  • Guiding or active participation in the curriculum and assessment and program review process;
  • Developing and implementing or participating in the development and implementation of strategic and/or academic plans and the College academic calendar;
  • Demonstrated successful experience in strategic planning, fiscal management, resource allocation and personnel supervision;
  • Demonstrated record of serving as an advocate for faculty while utilizing data to inform decision-making;
  • Experience in and commitment to providing academic programs for underserved communities and underrepresented student populations;
  • Working with business and industry partners; working with K-12 partners to provide work-based learning/dual-enrollment opportunities.

Application Process

Printable Position Profile

Please direct inquiries and nominations to the College’s search consultant: Rebecca Albertini, Vice President of Operations, Pauly Group, Inc., 3901 Wood Duck Drive, Suite E Springfield, IL 62711, Phone: 815-521-1593, Fax: 217-241-5401, E-mail: rebeccaa@paulygroup.com

Applications will be submitted directly through the college’s website. The committee will begin review of applications immediately. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, with materials submitted by Monday, October 7, 2019 receiving priority consideration. All applications are confidential and references will not be contacted without the expressed authorization of the applicant.

Other Information