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Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies

Position Deleted on 8/02/2013. This position is no longer an active posting on HigherEdJobs.
Normal, IL
  • Executive - Academic Vice Presidents and Provosts
  • Executive - Other Executive
  • Admin - Sponsored Programs, Grants, and Contracts
Application Due:
Open Until Filled
Full Time


Illinois State University was founded in 1857 as the first public university in Illinois. Today, it is a first-choice selective university offering more than 165 undergraduate fields of study in 6 colleges and 34 academic departments. As a comprehensive Carnegie Doctoral/Research Institution, the university offers 42 master's, 1 specialist and 9 doctoral programs. Illinois State has an enrollment of approximately 21,000 students and a full-time faculty of over 1,100.

Illinois State is distinguished by its strategic plan, Educating Illinois (, which focuses on the values of individualized attention, pursuit of learning and scholarship, integrity, diversity, and civic engagement in order to create an optimal learning and working environment for all Illinois State students and faculty/staff members.

Illinois State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and holds discipline-based accreditation from 34 specialized accrediting agencies.

The University has demonstrated a consistent pattern of ascendancy over the past decade in virtually all metrics from graduation rates, to public perception and market position, to grants and contracts, to overall financial strength and stability.

Illinois State University is located in the twin-cities of Bloomington-Normal, approximately 125 miles southwest of Chicago; 155 miles northeast of St. Louis; and 64 miles northeast of Springfield, the state capital. Bloomington-Normal is easily accessible, with access from Interstates 39, 55, and 74, as well as daily Amtrak service and flights through the Central Illinois Regional Airport.

A vibrant community of 125,000, Bloomington-Normal is home to the corporate headquarters of State Farm Insurance and COUNTRY Financial, the North American manufacturing center of Mitsubishi Motors, Illinois Wesleyan University, Lincoln College, and Heartland Community College. Bloomington-Normal is also a regional center for health care with two major hospitals: Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and OSF St. Joseph.

The presence of major national employers, healthcare professionals, locally owned businesses and restaurants, numerous media providers, and its central location in the state make Bloomington-Normal an exceptional place to call home. The community has distinguished itself for its outstanding school systems and educational attainment, parks and recreation, health care, job growth, economic opportunity, and low crime.

  • Forbes magazine, in a review of the best places for business, ranked Bloomington-Normal the 15th best place for business out of 168 small metros listed. Bloomington was also recently placed on CNNMoney's list of the 100 Best Places to Live.
  • Expansion Management Magazine rated Bloomington-Normal as one of two metro areas with a five-star quality of life, giving the community high rankings in such areas as standard of living, quality of schools, traffic, and commute.
  • In 2011, Bloomington-Normal was ranked the 17th geekiest city in the United States by the National Science Foundation based on percentage of workers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics occupations.
  • The Atlantic ranked Bloomington-Normal 15th on its list of best communities for recent college graduates.

Illinois State University features a culture where the interdependence between scholarship and teaching is carefully cultivated and highly valued. Illinois State University seeks to become a recognized leader in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge through outstanding research, scholarship, and creative expression.

Illinois State embraces, practices, and celebrates the teacher-scholar model. Striking this balance between teaching and scholarship is a core value of Educating Illinois 2008 - 2014: Priorities for Illinois' First Public University, namely, the "pursuit of learning and scholarship." One major goal of the plan is that "Illinois State University will demonstrate excellence in scholarship, teaching, and learning at the undergraduate and graduate levels." The plan also recognizes the synergy between teaching and research, noting that "academic excellence results in the acquisition, synthesis, and creation of new research knowledge that invigorates undergraduate and graduate education."

The success of the research endeavor at Illinois has many sources. Talented faculty and staff are pivotal to this success. In addition, 10 outstanding Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) recognized Centers advance the research enterprise at Illinois State. One such center is the Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology (CeMaST), which promotes excellence in the teaching and the learning of integrated science, technology, and mathematics education at Illinois State University. CeMaST adds to the body of research and knowledge on campus through the scholarly productivity of the Director, Associate Directors and Assistant Directors, and CeMaST Fellows, and collaborations with other ISU faculty members.

In the last decade Illinois State has experienced a steady growth in sponsored research. In the most recent year the university generated $25.6 million in sponsored research, representing 6.5 percent of all university revenues. Funding sources include Federal, State, and Private Foundations. Faculty and staff continue to successfully receive funding from the Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Illinois State actively fosters a community of scholars, placing a premium on collaboration among faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, local practitioners, and other members of the Bloomington-Normal community in a variety of scholarly and creative endeavors.

An evaluation of the sponsored programs operation at Illinois State was performed in late 2011 by a Peer Review Team from the National Council of University Research Administrators. The review assessed the broad areas of Institutional Infrastructure and Core Operations and presented a number of recommendations that are being prioritized and implemented. One major initiative underway is the creation of the Center for Research which will serve as a central service entity to help streamline research support and resource offerings.

Overall, ISU has many strengths; the inventory of its academic programs and the clarity of its Strategic Plan create the potential for continued growth in sponsored research.


Graduate education is invaluable to the success of research, scholarship, and creative expression at Illinois State University. Since first offering masters and doctoral degrees in 1943 and 1962 respectively, the number and variety of programs have increased. Now students can select from 42 master's programs, nine doctoral programs (Biological Sciences, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration and Foundations, English Studies, Mathematics Education, School Psychology, Special Education, Nursing and Doctor of Audiology), a Specialist in School Psychology, and nine graduate-level certificates.

The graduate programs at Illinois State continue to grow and evolve and have a strong professional orientation. Graduate enrollment continues to hold steady at about 2500 students. These high quality graduate programs prepare top quality practitioners and significantly contribute to enrich the undergraduate education experience at Illinois State.

The Graduate School contributes to the advancement of knowledge through research and teaching. The Graduate School encourages and recruits qualified undergraduates to pursue graduate study, seeks to foster in each graduate student a spirit of inquiry and a quality of scholarship or artistic excellence consistent with the highest traditions in graduate work, and prepares graduates who assume the professional and scholarly responsibilities of educated persons in a free society.

The Graduate Council formulates regulations and provides direction for the Graduate School with regard to graduate education at Illinois State University. The Council consists of the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies, the Director of Graduate Studies, members of four standing committees (Admissions, Curriculum, Membership, and Research) who are elected by full members of the graduate faculty, and two graduate students. The Council meets monthly during the academic year.


The Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies (AVP) will demonstrate leadership in a growing and changing environment where research has doubled in the last 10 years. Reporting directly to the Provost, the AVP is responsible for providing leadership to the research enterprise - pre-award, proposal submission and acceptance, research ethics and compliance, governmental relations, and the office of graduate studies.

The new AVP will play an integral leadership role in building on current processes and facilitating improved service to the campus, in an environment where the supporting infrastructure has been stretched due to growth in the last decade or so. Illinois State seeks a dynamic leader to help shape an organization capable of meeting the current and emerging needs of a growing research portfolio in a highly decentralized structure that offers a great deal of independence and autonomy in a collegial environment. The AVP must also be a good manager of human and financial resources to advance the research and graduate enterprises in a mission-consistent manner outlined in Educating Illinois.

The AVP will have a strong background in teaching and research with the ability to project the university in a positive way. It is expected that the AVP will be a visionary who stays abreast of trends in higher education while exhibiting a solid grasp of day-to-day operational details.

The AVP will be an advocate for graduate education and provide leadership across an environment that blends teaching and research. An astute financial and resource manager, the AVP will demonstrate a sound awareness of how resources can be strategically deployed and leveraged and will play a key role in identifying mission consistent opportunities for growth.


  • Provide leadership and direction for all unit Directors of Research, Graduate School and the Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology (CeMaST).
  • Plan and set overall policy direction for the Research Office (including Intellectual Property), the Graduate School, and CeMaST.
  • Serve as a member of the Provost's Advisory Council, Dean's Council, and Co-Chair of the University Research Council.
  • Work closely with College Deans, College Research Coordinators, and School Directors, Department Chairpersons and Faculty and maintain close involvement with academic and administrative matters affecting the entire University community.
  • Represent the university at state and national meetings.
  • Lead and expand the quality of graduate academic programs, creating a climate for obtaining external funding and refining the development of policies and procedures related to these areas.
  • Represent the university in Washington, DC, meeting with members of Congress and/or their staffers. Also work closely with ISU's consultants in developing federal initiatives.
  • Oversee the departmental budget and serve as fiscal agent for all units who report directly to him/her.
  • Serve on various university committees as appropriate.
Illinois State is seeking a creative problem-solver who is a good strategic manager of resources. While being a strong and decisive administrator, the AVP must be supportive of a shared governance model and comfortable working in service to the university community. In addition, the AVP will have an entrepreneurial mindset and understand the linkage of research funding with economic development.

Required qualifications include:

  • An earned doctorate or equivalent terminal degree;
  • A record of research and teaching commensurate with an appointment as a tenured full professor in one of the University's departments;
  • At least 3 years of administrative experience in higher education and/or research administration;
  • A demonstrated ability to work well with others and comfortable in a decentralized shared governance environment;
  • Knowledge of federal reporting requirements and policies that govern research accountability and guide the fiduciary requirements of grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts;
  • Successful experience in budget management and in planning; and
  • Well-developed abilities to manage, mentor and motivate others in a service-oriented environment; exceptional skills in managing people and gaining satisfaction through their successes and accomplishments.
Preferred qualifications include:
  • An engaging communications style with a track record of building relationships across a wide range of stakeholders and constituent groups displaying a high degree of comfort and credibility;
  • Solid understanding of research best practices and ability to create a well-functioning infrastructure in support of interdisciplinary research; and
  • Demonstrated ability to provide leadership, management oversight, and strategic direction with first-hand experience in research and an excellent grasp of the operational details typical of a research environment.
Nominations, inquiries, and expressions of interest (cover letter, CV, and five references) should be directed electronically to:

Kim M. Morrisson, Ph.D., Managing Director & Practice Leader-Education/Not-for-Profit
Diversified Search
(215) 656-3546

Euris E. Belle, Principal
Diversified Search
(404) 942-6307

Sue Betsch, Executive Assistant
(404) 942-6306

Diversified Search
One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 3300, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Fax: 215-568-8399

Illinois State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action university encouraging diversity.
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