University of the Pacific

University of the Pacific is a nationally ranked comprehensive university and California’s first chartered institution of higher learning. Established in 1851, Pacific has nearly 6,300 students and 10 schools and colleges across three campuses in northern California. The majority of students and the Division 1 athletics program are based on the Stockton campus, often cited as one of the nation’s most beautiful college campuses. The Sacramento campus in California’s state capital is home to the McGeorge School of Law, the new School of Health Sciences and an array of graduate programs while the renowned Dugoni School of Dentistry is based on the downtown San Francisco campus. Pacific takes pride in providing the highly personalized and caring educational, social and residential environments of a small college combined with the choices and opportunities of a major comprehensive university.


Vice President for Student Life Candidate Search

Pacific seeks an energetic, visionary, innovative and collaborative leader for the position of Vice President for Student Life. Reporting directly to President Christopher Callahan and serving as one of seven VPs on the Cabinet, the VPSL will lead Pacific’s efforts to engage, retain and serve students at the highest levels in keeping with an institution focused on student success.

The VPSL will lead a large and complex team that includes all aspects of student life outside the classroom: Housing, dining, careers, health, counseling, safety, disabilities, recreation, entertainment, fitness, conduct, student clubs and organizations, fraternities, sororities, and more. The division currently includes seven senior direct reports and an overall team of more than 120 full-time staff. Additionally, and importantly, the VPSL will work closely with many other elements across the university to maximize student engagement, retention and success. Key university partners include the faculty, deans, Athletics, Enrollment Management, Facilities, Office of the Provost and Office of the President.


  • Ten years of progressive student affairs leadership experience required.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead with integrity, optimism and transparency.
  • Demonstrated success in creating and fostering positive, engaging and inclusive environments for students, leading to positive retention and graduation outcomes.
  • Demonstrated success in working in and leading highly collaborative environments, working across the institution.
  • A track record of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking.
  • A deep understanding of the latest trends, challenges and opportunities in higher education.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and build environments that emphasize diversity, equity and inclusion in all of its forms.
  • Ability to work positively and successfully with a wide range of stakeholders, including students, parents, faculty, staff, deans, Regents, alumni and community members.
  • Exceptional communication skills.
  • Performs with high energy and a sense of urgency.
  • Embodies and projects an indefatigable spirit of optimism.
  • Operates both strategically and tactically.
  • Experience with developing short- and long-term budgets.
  • Understands applicable federal laws and regulations such as Title IX, the Clery Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  • Ability to develop and implement assessment strategies.
  • Advanced degree required.



Members of the university community are encouraged to complete a nomination form for potential candidates (whether or not you think the candidates would be interested). Nominations will be sent to the search committee. For optimal consideration, please submit nominations by March 1, 2021.


For first consideration, submit your application prior to the deadline: March 1, 2021. Applicants will be required to upload a cover letter and current curriculum vitae, as well as provide contact information for three professional references for their online application.


Cyd Jenefsky, Search Committee Chair
Phone: 209.946.2450

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AA/EEO Statement
University of the Pacific is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer dedicated to workforce diversity. In compliance with applicable law and its own policy, Pacific is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff and does not discriminate in its hiring of faculty and staff, or in the provision of its employment benefits to its faculty and staff on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, genetic information, sex/gender, marital status, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, medical condition, pregnancy, gender identity, gender expression, or mental or physical disability.