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Four students holding gold UMBC letters laughing and smiling

Current Open Position Postings:

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) seeks two strategic, student-centered, and experienced student affairs leaders to serve as its inaugural assistant vice president (AVP) for health and wellbeing and its inaugural assistant vice president (AVP) for academic partnerships and high impact experiences.

Committed to inclusive excellence in practice, UMBC is proud to be one of the nation’s fastest-growing and most diverse public top-tier universities. The University’s vibrant campus is regarded as a new model for American higher education – a place where talented students, faculty, and staff thrive in a culture that embraces innovative ideas.

Orange sculptures in front of PAHB building

This is an exciting and transformational time at UMBC under the leadership of President Sheares Ashby; there is a strong understanding and appreciation for the significant role student affairs plays in student success, student retention, and providing a holistic student experience. The search for these senior leadership positions is happening concurrently while the Division of Student Affairs is undergoing an organizational restructure, which offers these new leaders an opportunity to reimagine how student affairs and academic affairs partner to provide an integrated student experience. Young and dynamic, UMBC is small enough to provide personal attention to its students yet large enough to offer state-of-the-art facilities and services that support a large population of residential students. Home to almost 14,000 students with roughly 4,000 residential students, the Division of Student Affairs supports a vibrant, robust, and actively engaged student community.

The inaugural AVPs will have an immense opportunity to assess, build, and envision a future that enhances the student experience for all students, including graduate, undergraduate, non-degree, transfer, international, and commuter students. Each AVP will oversee several departments within the Division of Student Affairs, promoting a culture that is engaged, present, and accessible to students. UMBC seeks leaders who will provide strategic and imaginative leadership, striving to create a unified vision for the division based on the needs of the university’s current student population. Both AVPs should promote the intentional and meaningful integration of student affairs and academic affairs to support the whole student, prioritizing current national issues affecting students, such as mental health and well-being, and equity and access to resources in higher education. The AVPs will be savvy managers, guiding operational and fiscal resources with pragmatic ingenuity; intellectually curious and collaborative colleagues who will join the vice president for student affairs senior leadership team; and creative leaders who are ready to imagine and execute a vision for the future of student affairs at UMBC.

Founded in 1966, UMBC, is a mid-sized public research university in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and a member of the University System of Maryland (USM). It was the first public university in Maryland to include students of all races, and it is federally designated as a Minority Serving Institution. UMBC was established upon the land of the Piscataway and Susquehannock peoples, and, over time, citizens of many more Indigenous nations came to reside in the region. UMBC humbly offers its respects to all past, present, and future Indigenous people connected to this place.

Students walking down Academic Row by the Biology buildingIn the 2021 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, UMBC ascended to the highest level of research activity, achieving the Research 1 (R1) categorization for doctoral institutions. The University delivers a distinctive undergraduate educational experience characterized by a strong liberal arts and sciences core, and offers graduate programs in engineering, information technology, science, humanities, social sciences, public policy, and human services. UMBC’s Graduate School offers 41 master’s degree programs, 24 doctoral degree programs, and 24 graduate certificate programs. The Division of Professional Studies offers an array of professionally focused master’s degrees, graduate certificates, individual courses, and non-degree training programs. Thirty-five new academic programs have been added since 2006, including three new departments: gender, women’s, and sexuality studies; media and communication studies; and marine biotechnology.

Most of the University’s academic programs are offered on its 500-acre main campus near Baltimore, with some programs offered at the Universities at Shady Grove campus – a distinctive partnership of nine USM institutions – in Rockville, Maryland, and select research and teaching facilities in downtown Baltimore. The campus is largely residential, the University enrolls almost 14,000 students, and it enjoys more than $118 million in externally funded research annually. UMBC has increased its international student population, more than doubled the proportion of students from low-income households, and more than doubled its number of annual graduates – from 1,700 to nearly 3,500 over the past 20 years.

Founded in 1966, UMBC has achieved a remarkable national and international reputation for innovation and student success, particularly in STEM. It has modeled for the world what it means to practice inclusive excellence – most notably through its Meyerhoff Scholars Program, which has been replicated at numerous institutions throughout higher education since its inception in 1988. UMBC consistently ranks among the most innovative universities and of the highest quality undergraduate teaching. For over a decade, The Chronicle of Higher Education has recognized UMBC as a “great college to work for.”

UMBC ranks among the U.S.’s top 100 public universities in federal research support, #14 in NASA funding, and #40 in federal funding for social sciences. In 2020, UMBC was honored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching with its distinguished Carnegie Community Engagement classification.

Significantly, UMBC is the nation’s #1 producer of Black undergraduates who go on to complete a Ph.D. in the natural sciences or engineering, and #1 for Black undergraduates who complete an M.D./Ph.D.

UMBC’s Vision Statement is remarkable in its clarity and ambition: “Our UMBC community redefines excellence in higher education through an inclusive culture that connects innovative teaching and learning, research across disciplines, and civic engagement. We will advance knowledge, economic prosperity, and social justice by welcoming and inspiring inquisitive minds from all backgrounds.” UMBC serves 14,148 total students: 10,490 undergraduates and 3,658 graduates. Most students (94 percent of undergraduates and 44 percent of graduates) come from the state of Maryland, the majority coming from Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties, as well as the City of Baltimore. As of fall 2023, 18 percent of undergraduate and graduate students were international, and over 100 countries
are represented in the entire student body.

Students cheering at a basketball game. Photo centered on a student holding up a UMBC Retrievers pennant.The University is firmly committed to access and is a diverse and welcoming community, with just over fifty percent of students self-identifying as students of color. As of fall 2023, across undergraduate and graduate students, the University enrolled a student body comprising 28 percent White students, 20 percent Black/African American students, 19 percent Asian American students, 8 percent Hispanic/Latinx students, and 18 percent international students. Fifty-four percent of students self-identify as men and 46 percent as women, a trend that has held relatively stable over the past 20 years.

UMBC’s 1185 faculty are recognized nationally and internationally, notably in the areas of research, scholarship, and creative achievement. In FY 2023, UMBC faculty submitted proposals for over $400 million in extramural funding and secured more than $140 million in new extramural awards, and campus-wide annual extramural research expenditures reached an all-time record of $110 million in FY 2023, including $89 million from federal funding sources. The rich and rigorous environment for teaching and learning is supported by approximately 560 full-time instructional faculty members, of which 425 hold the ranks of professor, associate professor, or assistant professor. Of those tenured or on the tenure track, approximately 49 percent self-identify as women, 6 percent as Black or African American, 5 percent as
Hispanic or Latino, and 18 percent as Asian.

Essential to all University activities and initiatives are the employees who tirelessly support and advance the institution’s mission and enhance the student experience at UMBC. The University employs approximately 1,291 staff members in a variety of non-faculty roles. As of 2023, 60 percent of UMBC staff self-identify as women, 20 percent as Black or African American, 3 percent as Hispanic or Latino, 5 percent as Asian, 0.08 percent as American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.2 percent as Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.

UMBC embraces a strong shared-governance model, in which academic success is facilitated by fostering an empowering institutional culture and broad leadership for innovation among senior leaders, administrators, staff, faculty, and students. The University Steering Committee, comprising the leaders of the University’s three senates, the Graduate Student Association, and the Student Government Association, is the cornerstone of UMBC’s shared governance system. The strong shared governance model at UMBC is a key element of its empowerment.

President Valerie Sheares AshbyValerie Sheares Ashby was appointed to the presidency of UMBC on August 1, 2022. She is the first woman to serve in this role.

Dr. Sheares Ashby previously served as dean of Duke University’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences. In this role since 2015, she led a 700-person faculty spanning nearly 40 departments and programs in rethinking what it means to deliver a world-class liberal arts education while navigating a pandemic and consistently promoting diversity and inclusion as a means of achieving excellence in both teaching and research.

Dr. Sheares Ashby came to Duke from UNC, where she served on the faculty since 2003 and chaired the chemistry department from 2012 to 2015. In her role as department chair, she was instrumental in UNC’s collaboration with UMBC to launch the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program, among the earliest Meyerhoff Scholars replication pilots at an R1 institution. She began her academic career at Iowa State University as an assistant professor in 1996 and was promoted to associate professor in 2002. While at Iowa State, Dr. Sheares Ashby was a mentor for the Iowa State University Program for Women in Science & Engineering, a summer research program for undergraduate and high school students.

As a researcher, Dr. Sheares Ashby has focused on synthetic polymer chemistry with an emphasis on designing and synthesizing materials for biomedical applications such as X-ray contrast agents and drug delivery materials. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Career Development Award, DuPont Young Faculty Award, and 3M Young Faculty Award, as well as numerous teaching awards.

She received her B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and completed postdoctoral research at Universitat Mainz in Germany as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow and NATO Postdoctoral Fellow.

President Shares Ashby’s Full Biography

Dr. Renique KershA strategic leader with more than 20 years of higher education experience, Dr. Renique Kersh became UMBC’s vice president for student affairs on August 15, 2023.

Throughout her career, Dr. Kersh has led student success and engagement with a strong commitment to creating experiential equity, providing leadership development, and building strong teams. She is committed to putting students at the center of important institutional decisions. Her experience in both academic and student affairs provides her with a broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing undergraduate and graduate students and higher education institutions and positions her well to lead institutional efforts.

Prior to UMBC, Dr. Kersh has provided visionary leadership at both public and private institutions, engaging university stakeholders in the critical and collaborative work required to ensure that students are transformed by their experiences both in and out of the classroom. Her commitment to outcomes has resulted in retention gains, reductions in equity gaps, reductions in barriers to student success, increases in engagement for underrepresented students in undergraduate research, and service learning experiences, as well as the merging of academic support and career services to increase efficiency and the level of service delivery.

She began her career in Residential Life at UMBC and has held mid-level and senior-level leadership positions at North Central College, Northern Illinois University, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and Simmons University.

Dr. Kersh earned her B.A. in Communications from Oakland University, her M.Ed. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, and her Ph.D. in Community Health from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Unlocking Potential. Transforming Lives.

Our commitments:

  • We inspire a culture of collaboration.
  • We center student success and growth.
  • We foster an inclusive and supportive environment.
  • We engage with civility and respect.
  • We bridge learning and experience.
  • We prioritize care and well-being.

The mission of the Division of Student Affairs is to foster a supportive, inclusive, and engaged campus community where every undergraduate and graduate student can achieve their full potential. We envision an environment where the lived experiences of our students are valued and where every student is challenged, supported, and engaged in transformative experiences that prepare them to make an impact at UMBC and beyond.

Student Affairs currently encompasses 10 departments focused on student development, engagement, and success, including Campus

Excited students dressed in UMBC apparel sitting under the sculptures in front of the PAHB building Life, the Career Center, The Center for Democracy and Civic Life, Communications and Marketing, Initiatives for Identity, Inclusion & Belonging, Off-Campus Student Services, the Office of Health Promotion, Residential Life, Retriever Integrated Health, and Student Conduct and Community Standards.

These inaugural positions offer the opportunity to be part of a passionate, collaborative and committed team building a legacy to ensure that every UMBC student thrives in their academics, as engaged community members, and as global citizens. The division is engaged in an exciting, transformative period as we work together to strategically re-envision the division’s next chapter and how it responds to the needs of undergraduate and graduate students in a changing world. This includes developing a roadmap and a foundation that includes seven key areas: health and wellbeing (including the health and wellbeing of Student Affairs staff); engagement, leadership and belonging; administration, facilities, and auxiliary services; academic partnerships and high impact experiences; and student support and outreach.

Student Affairs’ partnerships across the division and campus are critical to this work. For example, the division is prioritizing the integration of student affairs and academic affairs to support the whole student, focusing on current national issues affecting students such as mental health and wellbeing, and equity and access to resources in higher education. It also includes leveraging technology to evaluate success, developing communication structures, and bringing academics together with co-curricular engagement experiences. In addition, as demographics change quickly and as part of our university commitment to inclusive excellence, Student Affairs’ growing collaboration with the Division of Institutional Equity will help to build the infrastructure needed to support the diverse student body and ensure each member of our community feels welcome and supported.

Apply for AVP Positions

All applications and candidate materials can be submitted electronically to the UMBC Jobs website.

UMBC Jobs Website

For more information on student work opportunities, visit our Campus Engagement page.