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Associate Vice Provost of Advising and Career Services

Portland State University

Last Updated: 4/05/21

Job Description

Portland State University seeks an Associate Vice Provost of Advising and Career Services

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Location: Portland, Oregon

The Position:

Reporting to the Provost, the Associate Vice Provost of Advising and Career Services (AVP-ACS) provides leadership and support to university initiatives and policies that contribute to the academic success of students. The AVP-ACS advances strategies in the areas of academic and career advising, community college partnerships, and student support services that enhance degree completion and student success.

The higher education landscape is changing rapidly and disruptively. The AVP-ACS provides leadership and support for PSU initiatives that respond to these rapid changes, including deployment and use of data analytics, process reengineering, cross-institutional partnerships, and a deep focus on understanding and improving student experience. This position, therefore, requires strong interest in innovation in higher education, positive forward-looking attitude, high level of creativity and problem-solving ability, and the capacity to engage and support academic and career advisors, faculty and staff through change.

The AVP-ACS is responsible for consistent achievement of objectives as assigned by the Provost. The AVP-ACS, in collaboration with the advising and career leaders for each branch, will provide leadership to assist in an institutional transformation that will position PSU as a national leader in academic and career advising. The AVP-ACS will provide collaborative leadership and work with AVPs and Directors in other student service units to sustain campus-wide initiatives in support of improved and integrated student service practices.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Student Success

Successfully implement services, programs, and platforms to achieve objectives established by the Provost, focused on Student First initiatives and metrics. Assure that PSU has a long-range advising and career service strategy. Implement a work plan that assures continuous review and improvement in academic advising and career services. Ensure that the analytics platform is consistently used to support academic advising and partnerships across the University. Ensure that degree maps are updated and made available in a format that is useful to students. Work proactively with administrative leadership across the institution to improve persistence and graduation rates. Assist in the management of the portfolio of student success initiatives in order to ensure efficient and effective execution of the tasks. Conduct research and write grants to support various projects in the portfolio of student success initiatives as assigned by the Provost.

Organizational Alignment

Lead the refinement and use of common advising and career practices, including an advising handbook. Build a leadership community where best practices are shared across the campus. Deploy a professional development plan for academic and career advisors. Create an onboarding process for new professional advisors and faculty mentors joining the advising community. Ensure that regular performance evaluations are held for employees in the Division, including annual review of position descriptions and that sound human resource practices are in place.


Highlight and publicize advising and career services-related activities at PSU. Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with academic leadership and faculty. Represent the services, programs and point of view of the Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) to academic schools, colleges, departments, and relevant national venues. Keep the Provost informed on the condition and critical issues and issues having an impact on student success. Assure that communication within the Division provides timely, relevant information to employees and engages employees in providing feedback and input in decision making.

Community College Partnerships

Lead development and enhancement of community college partnerships with PSU. Work collaboratively with community college leadership to implement strategies for improving the experience of students transferring from the community college to PSU. Provide leadership, planning, and oversight for increasing strategic articulation agreements with community colleges. Work with the Director of the Transfer and Returning Student Resource Center to deploy best practices in developing articulation agreements across the schools/colleges and departments at PSU, including development of transfer articulation degree maps.

Other Functions/Duties

Keep current, and serve as a resource, on emerging and state-of-the-art technologies, research, and trends in student success to enhance PSU’s capacity. Serve on committees related to student success and stay abreast of developments in the field by attending and participating in conferences and symposia related to student success.

Cultural Competence

  • Create an environment that acknowledges, encourages, and celebrates differences, aligned with the ACS Anti-Racism Statement and values.
  • Function and communicate effectively and respectfully within the context of varying beliefs, behaviors, orientations, identities, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Seek opportunities to gain experience working and collaborating in diverse, multicultural, and inclusive settings with a willingness to change for continual improvement.
  • Adhere to all PSU policies including the policies on Prohibited Discrimination & Harassment and the Professional Standards of Conduct, which can be found at:



  • Master’s degree, preferably in higher education or related field.
  • Five (5) years or more experience in an advising leadership role.
  • Advanced knowledge of undergraduate advising, career development, and retention strategies.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide campus-wide leadership for student success and retention efforts.
  • Supervision of professional-level positions.
  • Demonstrated commitment to multicultural competency and initiatives to advance the success of underrepresented groups.
  • Successful completion of a criminal background check.


  • Terminal degree in a related disciplinary field.
  • Experience at an urban university.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in change management and engage stakeholders collaboratively in the process.
  • Understanding of community college programs and collaboration with off-campus partners.
  • Knowledge of ADA requirements.
  • Demonstrated excellent communication, presentation, and teaching skills.
  • Demonstrated excellent decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to professional development and life-long learning.
  • Interest in participating in external fund development in support of the University Career Center.
  • Bi-lingual (preferably Spanish) or experience working in a bilingual environment.
  • Knowledge of collective bargaining environments.

The Transformation of Academic and Career Advising:

Beginning in 2016 and supported by a $640,000 grant from the APLU and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the University implemented the Academic and Career Advising Redesign Project. The project was designed to increase PSU student retention and completion rates and enhance the overall student experience while also making advising more rewarding and effective for both professional and faculty advisors. Since 2018, PSU Undergraduate Academic Advising operates in a centralized framework and has identified seven advising pathways that provide a consistent 1:1 relationship between an advisor and a student. A Transfer and Returning Student Resource Center now serves as a front door and resource to support prospective and incoming students with a focus on community college outreach. The University Career Center supports students in all aspects of their career development including exploration, preparation and planning, job searching, and career changes and transitions; the Center also serves alumni. These three units combine to bring a holistic, student-centered approach to academic advising and student retention. The work is organized so it is a source of joy that promotes student success and advancement while creating community, promoting equity, and providing simpler systems and processes.

The overall budget is $5.3M with a total staff of 60 and 30 student workers. The AVP has 11 direct reports including nine directors, one associate director, and one executive support specialist.

About the Institution:

Portland State University (PSU) is Oregon’s largest urban university, located in Portland, Oregon. PSU enrolls over 26,000 students and offers programs for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. PSU is an internationally recognized university known for excellence in student learning, innovative research, and community engagement. PSU contributes to the economic vitality, environmental sustainability, and quality of life in the Portland region and beyond. Portland State’s 50-acre downtown campus is located in the heart of the city; a hub of culture, business, and technology, and just 90 minutes from mountains and the Oregon Coast.

Employees describe Portland State University as a vibrant, diverse, progressive place to work and an environment that welcomes process improvement and innovation. PSU is proud of the work done to be a welcoming, inclusive, safe, and nurturing environment for diverse faculty, staff, and students. University President Steven Percy shares, “Promoting equity and justice at PSU is the most important work of my presidency. It will allow PSU to live up to our mission and our aspirations. This work is complex and layered, requiring care, thought and time. I will continue to listen, learn and build my capacity to lead this work.” Read more about the university’s work on creating a more racially just and equitable place for all.

Portland State University is committed to providing access and excellent education to students from all backgrounds. PSU is a national College of Distinction, a mark of excellence earned for its pioneering University Studies program, a four-year pathway to undergraduate success. Additionally, the U.S. News & World Report ranks PSU as the No. 1 school in Oregon for social mobility due to the institution graduating the highest number of economically disadvantaged students and No. 5 nationwide for Service Learning.

Open for Fall, Open for All honors PSU’s commitment to equity and opportunity. Recognizing that students from low-income families and marginalized communities face even greater barriers due to the recent pandemic, PSU’s mission compels it to provide greater access and supports to students who completed high school with lower GPAs than they would have earned in pre-COVID times. PSU is proud to partner with students through its Summer Bridge program and to support their college journey with tuition support through Four Years Free and other scholarship programs. The Summer Bridge program consists of two courses that are offered at no charge to qualified applicants.

In support of its student success goals, PSU, led by Provost Susan Jeffords, has outlined a strategic framework for organizing and coordinating a campus-wide focus on student success, Students First. Four focus pillars (persistence, academic success, affordability and the student experience), supported by the strategic use of data, define metrics, set explicit institutional targets, and put powerful data tools in the hands of the people best positioned to act on that data.

See for additional information about the institution.

To Apply:

Confidential review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applications can be submitted immediately and will be reviewed as they come in. Those received by May 3, 2021 will be given first consideration.

To apply, go to: Please submit your CV and a letter of interest that demonstrates your interest, expertise, and skills concerning the responsibilities of the position.

For more information or to offer recommendations or nominations:

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Portland State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and seeks candidates who are committed to the highest standards of scholarship and professional activities and a campus climate that supports equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Company Details

Portland State University

Portland, Oregon, United States