Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Executive Dean, Student Life & Engagement

  • Title: Executive Dean, Student Life & Engagement
  • Grade: P
  • Type: Exempt

The Opportunity

The Executive Dean of Student Life & Engagement will lead the College’s “campus” lived experience, ensuring engagement opportunities in student leadership and governance, student activities, co-curricular programs and athletics. This leader is positioned to elevate systems and programs of student support and rights to complaint/grievance resolution, as well as systems of student accountability and discipline.


The Executive Dean of Student Life & Engagement reports to the Vice President of Student Affairs and serves as a key member of the academic and student affairs senior leaders team. The position provides strategic and operational oversight for the direction, development and implementation of programming for athletics, co-curricular learning, leadership development, psycho-social wellbeing, access to resources, civic and community engagement, and students rights and responsibilities. The role is accountable for student behavior intervention and support, including the student conduct and disciplinary process, Title IX investigations and non-discrimination/non-harassment investigations. The position oversees facilities related to programming. The position partners closely with other College leaders to ensure alignment with the system-wide infrastructure for student learning and development, governance and advocacy, basic needs support, belonging and wellbeing, and incident and emergency response.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversee and administer the following College functions: Panther Athletics, Student Life and Leadership (Student Engagement, Civic Leadership Development, Student Governance, and Student Support (childcare facilities, food pantries, legal clinic)), and Student Conduct & Community Support (conduct & discipline, Title IX/civil rights investigation, rights & appeals/grievance resolution, care and student support referrals).
  • Work closely with senior Academic and Student Affairs leaders, Community & Government Relations, and the Office of the President to establish and continuously improve institutional strategy and structure for student life and campus, community and civic engagement.
  • Ensure institutional adherence to critical federal, state, local and institutional compliance mandates related to student life, civil rights, student rights, student responsibilities/conduct, and campus/community safety; evaluate and identify potential legal, regulatory and health/safety threat risks to the College.
  • Create the conditions for the division to establish and maintain healthy relationships with internal College partners and external community partners to advance collaborative and innovative programming and resources for students.
  • Serve as College representative and advocate–externally and internally–related to co-curricular programming, student governance, student access to basic needs resources, and student community/civic involvement.

Essential Functions

Collaborative Leadership
  • Execute management activities that include strategic planning and decision-making, personnel management, budget and resource management, and assessment and continuous improvement of the division’s functional areas.
  • Serve as a key member of the senior Academic & Student Affairs leaders team, collaborating with senior leadership to set direction and establish priorities for the College’s future.
  • Create and maintain collaborative and productive relationships across Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and administrative/systems services, in order to effectively plan and manage systems and programming in division.
  • Supervise management, academic professionals, classified staff, technical/support, and/or student staff; evaluate and provide guidance and support regarding professional development plans and goals for assigned areas of responsibility in accordance with good management practices, district policies, and collective bargaining agreements.
  • Provide leadership for College-wide strategic initiative execution (e.g., various Strategic Plan priority projects).
Student Life & Engagement Stragety
  • Establish and maintain internal partnerships with colleagues across Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Community/Government Relations, the College Foundation, Administrative Services, and others in order to create and sustain effective and innovative programming for student learning, student leadership development, campus and community engagement, and basic needs resources support.
  • Partner closely with the department of Public Safety, the division of Student Belonging & Wellbeing, the division of People Strategy, Equity and Culture, the department of Accessible Education & Disability Resources, the division of Strategy, Policy and Integrated Planning, and others to ensure aligned policy/practice and adherence to federal, state and local compliance mandates related to civil rights, student rights and individual/campus safety.
  • Serve as College administrative point of contact for student civic engagement, community service, and community education/event opportunities. Serve as administrative liaison to the Government Relations office, Cabinet and the Board of Directors related to the student shared governance model.
  • Conduct ongoing needs assessment and gap analysis related to effectiveness and efficiency of student life and engagement systems and programming; direct continuous process and outcomes improvement activities.
  • Ensure institutional compliance and high ethical standards are maintained related to federal/state/College regulations, policies, and guidance in areas of student discipline and due process, first amendment/freedom of expression, student rights and grievance/appeals, student Title IX and non-discrimination/non-harassment, Northwest Athletic Conference regulations, and other related areas; partner closely with the division of People Strategy, Equity and Culture to ensure coordination and mutual compliance with employee Title IX processes.
  • Develop, oversee, analyze, and make budget decisions in alignment with College strategic plan, values and priorities. Forecast funds needed for staffing, equipment, materials, and supplies. Approve expenditures and implement budgetary adjustments as appropriate.
  • Assume institutional authority for grants, contracts and technology portfolio that directly supports student life and engagement systems and programming.
  • Analyze need for and oversee development and execution of policies, administrative procedures, and practices related to assigned areas; responsible for working with appropriate shared governance bodies.
  • Respond to inquiries from College departments, other educational institutions, the community, and/or external agencies.
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
  • Advance the College’s DEI effort in recruiting and retaining students characterized by a rich diversity of cultural, racial, economic, ideological, and social identities, and encourage a campus culture that values difference and supports inclusion.
  • Conduct regular evaluations of policies and processes to identify opportunities for continuous improvement with an application of a lens of equity and inclusivity.
  • Create and maintain an inclusive culture that facilitates attracting, equipping, motivating and leading a diverse team of student life and leadership professionals committed to excellent service to students, team members, and community stakeholders.
  • Support, implement and promote advancement of the district’s equity goals and assists in the hiring of a staff that reflects the diversity of the district. Participate in and support activities that enhance equity-minded recruiting, hiring, and employee retention practices.

Performs other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree and eight (8) years progressively responsible professional experience related to area of assignment. Four (4) years of higher education management/supervisory experience. A master’s degree can substitute for two (2) years of progressive experience.

Required Competencies

  • Equitable Student Success Focus: Make decisions that support a student-first culture.
  • Strategic Planning: Develop a vision for the future and create a culture in which long-range goals can be achieved.
  • Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion: Demonstrated growth in cultural competence; awareness of societal and structural inequities; and proven experience in effectively establishing relationships and positive communications with students and other constituents across multiple dimensions of diversity.
  • Change Catalyst: Ability to encourage others to seek opportunities for different and innovative approaches when addressing problems and opportunities.
  • Communication: Ability to communicate effectively with many types of individuals and the ability to write clearly and persuasively.
  • Decisive: Ability to make quick decisions while keeping policy and regulations at the forefront of all decisions.
  • Team Motivation: Ability to influence and mobilize a group of individuals to work toward a common goal and positively represent the mission of PCC.

Preferred Qualifications

  • A master’s degree is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to navigate complex organizational systems and dynamics and provide cross-functional and collaborative leadership to support program, policy and procedure development.
  • Knowledge of the principles, theories, and laws related to student and civil rights and grievance/appeals, student conduct/discipline, behavioral intervention, freedom of expression, and student governance in higher education.
  • Demonstrated success in planning, developing, and implementing comprehensive student life and engagement initiatives and services, with particular focus on underrepresented and historically marginalized communities and students.
  • Skill in evaluating research and data to identify potential solutions, resolve problems, and provide information.
  • Ability to apply independent judgment to interpretation and application of rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.

Working Environment

Work environment includes frequent disruptions and changes in priorities. Work is generally performed in an office environment with frequent interruptions and irregularities in the work schedule. Working hours may vary and occasional evening or weekend work is required. Frequent travel to other locations is required. No special coordination beyond that used for normal mobility and handling of everyday objects and materials is needed to perform the job satisfactorily.

Updated 3/9/2023