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Trinity Washington University, a comprehensive institution that offers a broad range of educational programs that prepare students across the lifespan for the intellectual, ethical and spiritual dimensions of contemporary work, civic and family life, seeks a Provost, also holding the title vice president for academic affairs. As chief academic officer, the next Provost will play a pivotal role in setting and achieving the academic vision for the University and help ensure the integration of key University operations in collaboration with other members of the senior leadership team. The Provost leads the Office of Academic Affairs, which supervises the planning, delivery, and assessment of all academic and co-curricular programs offered at Trinity.

Founded in 1897 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur as one of the first Catholic colleges for women in the United States, Trinity today maintains the historic women’s college while offering a robust menu of coeducational graduate and professional programs organized in five academic units. Infused with the commitment to action for social justice that remains a central force in the global mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame, Trinity welcomes students and staff of all faiths and backgrounds who can contribute to the Trinity community and are eager to use the power of their education to serve their families and communities.

The Provost is central to the academic mission and prosperity of the University. S/he will report to the President and supervise the Deans and other academic officers. The Provost is responsible for the University’s five schools, including the historic College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), School of Professional Studies (SPS), School of Business and Graduate Studies (BGS), School of Education (EDU) and School of Nursing and Health Professions (NHP).

The Provost is responsible for stewarding the quality and integrity of the University’s learning environment, leading the strategic development of academic programs, ensuring Trinity’s ability to fulfill its enrollment goals for retention and completion of students in all programs, fostering curricular innovation, expanding the use of academic technologies, recruiting and mentoring well-qualified faculty, ensuring a strong return on Trinity’s investment of resources in academic personnel and facilities including the new Trinity Academic Center, and fostering an environment where students will realize success in achieving goals for intellectual, moral, and spiritual development through active engagement with Trinity’s academic and co-curricular programs.

Trinity Washington University has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist with this important search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in confidence to the firm as indicated at the end of this document.

Trinity Washington University

Tucked into the Northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C., the 28-acre campus is a short distance from the U.S. Capitol. The University is comprised of five schools that offer associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees across a range of liberal arts, professional studies and healthcare disciplines. As of Fall 2013, the total enrollment of 2,506 is distributed across the College of Arts and Sciences (1,078), the School of Professional Studies (839), the School of Education (363), and the School of Nursing and Health Professions (221). A new collegiate unit, the School of Business and Graduate Studies, will assume the graduate programs in Business, Media and Communication, and International Security Studies currently offered through the School of Professional Studies. While Trinity Washington has been a university since 2004, the College of Arts and Sciences is still a liberal arts women’s college. The Schools of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, Business and Graduate Studies, and Professional Studies are coeducational.

As a reflection of the continued commitment to underserved populations, a majority of the University’s students are first generation collegians; 75% are African American and 15% are Hispanic/Latina. Trinity’s core mission values and characteristics emphasize:

• Commitment to the Education of Women in a particular way through the design and pedagogy of the historic undergraduate women’s college, and by advancing principles of equity, justice and honor in the education of women and men in all other programs;

• Foundation for Learning in the Liberal Arts through the curriculum design in all undergraduate degree programs and through emphasis on the knowledge, skills and values of liberal learning in all graduate and professional programs;

• Integration of Liberal Learning with Professional Preparation through applied and experiential learning opportunities in all programs;

• Grounding in the mission of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and the Catholic tradition, welcoming persons of all faiths, in order to achieve the larger purposes of learning in the human search for meaning and fulfillment.

Trinity Washington has seen its student population increase 100% in the past 10 years. More growth is expected but likely at not such an exponential rate. To that end, The University is set to break ground in May 2014 for a new $40 million academic center that will house science and nursing labs and instructional space including 21 new classrooms. The Provost will be

responsible for overseeing the effective transition to these state-of-the-art instructional facilities and to leverage this new environment to stimulate additional innovation in Trinity’s programs.

The University’s historic tree-lined campus is in the Northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C., an area that has seen rapid growth and dynamic change for the better in the past 10 years yet maintained its charm. It feels like a neighborhood. The University is accessible to the Metrorail system via shuttle and Washington’s Union Station is nearby.

The President

President Patricia McGuire earned her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Trinity in 1974 and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to becoming president of her alma mater in 1989, President McGuire was the Assistant Dean for Development and External Affairs for Georgetown University Law Center, where she was also an adjunct professor of law. She previously served as project director for Georgetown’s D.C. Street Law Project. She was also a legal affairs commentator for the award-winning CBS children’s newsmagazine 30 Minutes and the Fox Television program Panorama in Washington.

She is currently a member of the boards of directors of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Washington Metropolitan Consortium of Universities, the D.C. College Success Foundation, the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, United Educators, and the Ameritas Mutual Holding Company. She previously served on the boards of the American Council on Education, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the board and Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association. She has also served on a governance advisory task force for the American Institute of Architects, and as a member of the Independent Governance Advisory Panel for the American Red Cross. She is a member of the Women’s Advisory Board of the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital.


Trinity Washington University has a $35 million operating budget and $13 million in an endowment. Like most institutions of higher learning across the nation, the University has had to be nimble in adjusting its budget during recent periods of economic uncertainty. It is primarily tuition dependent so as enrollment contracts, the budget contracts as well. The University continues to operate within its financial means and has maintained a balanced budget while generating surplus funds during the last four years.


The Provost

As chief academic officer, the Provost will work with deans and faculty to advance the curriculum and oversee the academic programming of the five colleges. The Provost oversees the all academic units, the curricula and faculty, retention and persistence processes, academic assessment, academic personnel and academic budgets, all academic technologies and websites, the library, academic support services, disability support services, and career services. The new Provost will be an accomplished administrator with the demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with the faculty and administration to set academic priorities, ensure excellence in all endeavors, and embrace the University’s commitment to educating underserved populations. The Provost will shepherd a culture of trust, mutual respect and transparency among administration, faculty, staff, and students; ensure good standing with the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and the numerous other agencies that accredit University programs; and recruit, retain, and develop a distinguished faculty that supports the mission and academic strategy as well as promoting access and inclusion in the University community.

The deans of the five academic units report to the Provost, including the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), School of Professional Studies (SPS), School of Business and Graduate Programs (BGS), School of Nursing and Health Professions (NHP), and School of Education (EDU). Also reporting directly to the Provost are the Associate Provost for Assessment, Associate Provost for Faculty Personnel, the Assistant Provost for the Sciences, Assistant to the Provost, Director of Academic Administration and Academic Honesty, Director of Instructional Technologies, Director of the Library, Director of Academic Support Services, Coordinator of Faculty Services, and Administrative Assistant of Faculty Services.

Challenges and Opportunities

Embracing the mission. The learning experience at Trinity Washington not only imparts knowledge, it empowers students to be successful in the world. The Provost must understand how the University differs from other institutions that also serve a primarily first-generation and aspirational student population.

Executing strategic planning. As part of the self-study of the Middle States accreditation, the University is in the process of revising its strategic plan. That revision will go through 2020. While there is a planning framework in place, the new Provost will have an opportunity to further shape and define key priorities and will play a central role in its execution. The new Provost will be engaged in developing an operational plan outlining how the University will marshal resources, achieve priorities, and measure outcomes.

Facilitating new program development. The Provost will lead the development of new academic programs that mesh the University’s mission and strategic direction. The Provost should have an entrepreneurial spirit in crafting new programs that will grow and be successful in attracting students, faculty, and financial support.

Communicating goals and priorities. The Provost will ensure that the University’s priorities and goals are clearly communicated so that the administration, the faculty and all university stakeholders can work together to achieve the University’s mission at a time of growing competition in the higher education marketplace.

Serving an aspirational student population. The Provost must understand the student population: first generation, largely African American and Hispanic, many of whom are from low-income households, many of whom are underprepared for the rigors of college. Many students require supportive services to attain their full academic potential and be academically successful. The new Provost will continue efforts to improve student retention and persistence. The Provost will also work to assure that students graduating from Trinity, regardless of their degree program, are career ready.

Leveraging the new Academic Center. The University’s new Academic Center will present exciting opportunities to expand academic programming, particularly in the sciences as well as nursing and other health professions. There is room for growth in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields as well as the potential to garner new funding. The Provost will work closely with the deans of NHP and EDU, in particular, to develop new programs to take advantage of the new space, particularly in the allied health professions, counseling and early childhood education.

Promoting professional growth. The Provost will promote and support the professional development of faculty and staff, consistent with the University’s mission, priorities, and resources, and in particular, will develop and implement plans for continuous professional development programming on campus that will enable the faculty and academic staff to implement the programs and services necessary to achieve Trinity’s goals.

Being open and approachable. Trinity is a small, close-knit and welcoming community. The new Provost will be a visible member of a caring community who leads by example and is accessible to all while also demonstrating the firm leadership style necessary to drive Trinity’s academic and strategic goals to effective fulfillment.

Serving as an effective spokesperson. The Provost must be an articulate, passionate advocate and spokesperson for the University community.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate for Provost will be an experienced and accomplished academic leader with a high level of energy, enthusiasm, political savvy, drive, and an engaging personality necessary to achieve ambitious university-wide goals in accordance with its mission. The successful candidate will also bring many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications, skills, experiences, and personal qualities:

  •  An earned doctorate or other terminal degree;
  • Substantial and progressive academic leadership experience in higher education, preferably in an institution of similar size;
  • Experience addressing the challenges of access and inclusion, with special focus on addressing women’s success;
  • Respect for the University’s Catholic heritage and commitment to social justice;
  • Superior communication skills; the ability to articulate a compelling message to all audiences; clarity, crispness, and effectiveness in written and oral presentation; and good listening skills;
  • A clear understanding of and commitment to the values and goals of mission-driven, higher education;
  • A fair, collaborative, principled, and transparent style, working closely and effectively with the senior leadership and supporting input from faculty, students, administration, and staff;
  • Competence in financial matters with fiscal skills and acumen necessary to facilitate the allocation of resources effectively and efficiently among competing needs of the institution and its mission;
  •  Proven ability to serve as an executive and provide visionary strategic leadership, an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit willing to take calculated risks;
  • Excellent collaboration and consensus building abilities to bring together a diverse group of constituents;
  • Experience building and supporting cross-discipline and interdisciplinary programs on both the undergraduate and graduate level;
  • Experience spearheading the development of new academic programs grounded in mission and markets;
  • Demonstrated decisive management skills exemplified by a record of excellence in delegation, responsibility, and accountability;
  • Exceptional relationship-building skills, with the capacity to work effectively with diverse stakeholders, cultivating impactful partnerships and alliances;
  • A demonstrated record of success in promoting, initiating, and sustaining innovative projects;
  • Ease with data, in both an understanding of it and ability to explain its analysis to a variety of audiences;
  • Strong emotional intelligence;
  • Honesty, integrity, enthusiasm, resilience, and an exceptionally strong work ethic.

Other Attributes:

  • Razor-sharp intellect
  • Creative and politically savvy  
  • Channeled passion
  • Lively sense of humor
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Likable and approachable
  •  Enjoys leading and working with others
  • Diplomatic
  • Flexible

To Apply To learn more about Trinity Washington University, please visit: Confidential inquiries, nominations, referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be sent in confidence to:

Daniel Rodas, Vice President and Director Karla Saunders, Associate Isaacson, Miller 1300 19th Street, NW, Suite 700 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: 202-682-1504

Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Trinity Washington University is committed to providing equal employment opportunity in the workplace without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, and all other categories governed by the laws of the United States and the District of Columbia. Trinity does not engage in discrimination on the basis of any personal characteristics defined by law as prohibited classifications.

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Trinity Office of Human Resources, 125 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20017   Phone: 202-884-9121   Fax: 202-884-9123