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William Jessup University

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Rocklin, California



Location: Rocklin, California

Enrollment: 1,740

The Opportunity: William Jessup University seeks an innovative leader as its next Vice President of Academic Affairs. The VPAA will be the university’s Chief Academic Officer. This next season for the university is one of continued missional fulfillment, entrepreneurial expansion, and marketplace impact. The Vice President of Academic Affairs must be able to support and strengthen the leadership of deans, undergird top-notch faculty, be an avid supporter of co-curricular development and academic support operations, and be a “brand ambassador” across the university campuses and in the larger community. Building high-performance clarity and expectations and high trust while maximizing communication across university units and platforms is an essential leadership role for this position.


William Jessup University:

As an exceptional Christian college in Rocklin, California, William Jessup University’s mission is to “partner with the church to educate transformational leaders for the glory of God”.  As such, the University seeks to develop the whole person by developing skills in communication, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking, and by exposing students to a broad cross-section of knowledge in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

William Jessup University is a nationally ranked Christian university in the heart of Northern California, more specifically the greater Sacramento area. It maintains the highest academic standards and is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Additionally, Jessup is a member of the Association for Biblical Higher Education and Council for Christian Colleges & Universities and a charter member of the International Alliance for Christian Education.

The 125-acre property purchased in Rocklin included a striking, award-winning office and warehouse facility for the Herman Miller Corporation, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry. The renovation for campus use received the Best Rebuild/Renovation Award from the Sacramento Business Journal in March 2005 and has received multiple “Gold Nugget” awards from the American Institute of Architecture.

When William Jessup University started classes in Rocklin, it did so as the first accredited, private four-year university in the greater Sacramento area and the first evangelical Christian college between Fresno and Redding; it remains as the largest private non-profit residential school in the greater Sacramento region. Jessup also maintains class locations in San Jose (our location is freeway visible and adjacent to the famed “Santana Row”) and is launching an additional center in Elk Grove as well.

William Jessup University received accreditation in 2002 as San Jose Christian College. The name was changed to William Jessup University in 2003, and the campus was moved to Rocklin, California, in 2004. Since arriving in Rocklin in 2004, the 125 acre campus has become host to over 25 degree majors and over 50 programs. The university has tripled in size over the past nine years and its best days are just ahead.

University Goals:

William Jessup University desires that its graduates will exemplify transformational leadership in church and society through the integration of their faith, learning, and critical thought in the arenas of Christian literacy, communication and intellectual skills, professional competence, and global citizenship. 

WJU students will be prepared to:

  • Articulate the relevance of Jesus Christ, His teachings, and a biblical worldview to their personal and professional lives.

  • Communicate effectively across cultures.

  • Demonstrate critical, analytical, and creative thinking.

  • Exhibit competence in their chosen disciplines.

  • Engage in a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, character formation, and service to their local and global communities.


Points of Excellence:


Jessup’s esteemed professors hold doctorates from some of the world’s leading research universities, such as Cambridge, MIT, Cornell, Stanford, and Oxford. A 15-to-1 student-faculty ratio allows students to receive personal attention and mentoring.

Financial Aid

In fiscal year 2018, Jessup distributed more than $15 million in scholarships to students, and about 95% of Jessup students receive some form of aid.  Student affordability remains among the highest priority in the university’s current and capital campaigns. Jessup graduates have 30% less debt than the national average.  Current rankings include the following:

U.S. News & World Report Rankings: Regional Colleges West

  • #2 Regional Colleges West

  • #2 Best Undergraduate Teaching

  • #2 Best Colleges for Veterans

  • #2 Top Performers on Social Mobility

  • #5 Best Value Schools

The Chronicle of Higher Education:  3rd Fastest-Growing Baccalaureate Institution in the US for the years 2007-2017

  • Average student-athlete GPA: 3.5.

  • The average dollar amount of scholarships per student: $21,000.

  • 86% of students graduate with debt below the national average.

  • 92% of graduates say Jessup strengthened their ability to articulate the relevance of Jesus Christ and a biblical worldview.


About the Vice President of Academic Affairs:

The Vice President of Academic Affairs is the Chief Academic Officer of the university and is responsible for all academic and co-curricular programs and related academic support services. With authority delegated by the president and board policy, this officer implements necessary and appropriate policy leads in the development of new academic ventures and is considered to be the steward of the Christ-centered philosophy of education of the university. This officer assures that the university fulfills its missional promise to students and donors, ensures that all accreditation expectations are met, secures visionary administrative leaders, sees that faculty and staff leadership meet institutional goals, and assures adherence to the university's mission and vision.

The VPAA will lead all academic units of the university (i.e., schools, faculties, divisions), co-curricular units, and academic support units. It is expected that a variety of current and future teams will be coordinated by the VPAA’s office to further the mission, vision, and strategic plans of the university. Current student populations of the university (traditional, degree completion, graduate, online) will expand as will the modalities and locations (face to face, online, hybrid, main campus, and extension sites); capacities for the VPAA to lead, innovate, partner, and model effective leadership are key.


Expectations & Responsibilities:

University leadership as a member of the President’s Executive Team.  

The VPAA advocates for the mission and vision of the university and coordinates with other administrative assignments within the university leadership.

  • Publicly represents the university at a variety of events and engages with a variety of university constituencies.

  • Collaborates with the board of trustees and relevant sub-committees.

  • Works with the Chief Enrollment Officer to set strategic and innovative initiatives focused on accomplishing the Jessup mission and growing overall enrollment.

  • Works with the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer to steward resources and optimize operational effectiveness.

Academic Leadership across the curricular and co-curricular activities of the university.

The VPAA serves as the liaison between the faculty and the President to ensure the vitality and educational effectiveness of all present and future academic programs and curriculum. This role also oversees the development of faculty, student life, and academic support personnel to ensure the success of the university’s vision. 

  • Establishes strategic priorities and aligns organizational structure.

  • Works collaboratively with the deans to set goals, objectives, and measurable outcomes for academic affairs.

  • Oversees institutional research and collaborates with university personnel to ensure federal regulations compliance and ensures that all accreditation standards are met and sustained.

  • In concert with the academic council, fosters shared governance and ongoing faculty support initiatives.



Education & Experience

  • Has a terminal degree from an accredited institution (required).

  • Is in agreement and has a passion for the mission, vision, values, and community covenant of the university.

  • Has demonstrated leadership in Christ-centered settings.

  • Has demonstrated  success leading institutions or organizations  in the accomplishment of goals and outcomes.

  • Has a minimum of five years of higher education experience, with progressively increasing successful leadership responsibilities in those settings.

  • Has demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • Has a record of scholarly, professional, or artistic achievements.

Skills & Personal Characteristics:

  • Is a deeply devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

  • Has exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively in an environment of building and sustaining high performance and high trust teams.

  • Shows evidence of effective fiscal planning and management skills.

  • Possesses communication skills essential to represent the institution effectively to its various constituencies.

  • In the environment of the growing Christian university, is able to maintain and develop quality academic programs and be nimble and effective in responding to the marketplace.


What it's like to live in Rocklin, California: 

Located in South Placer County, Rocklin is characterized by rolling hill terrain with 360-degree panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range to the northeast and the Sutter-Butte mountain range in the West.

Rocklin is a preferred location to visit because of its convenient location, abundant recreational opportunities, and its commitment to public safety. 

Rocklin is located in proximity to many tourist locations and recreational amenities. It is within 20 minutes of Folsom Lake, 30 minutes from downtown and Old Sacramento, and less than two hours from Lake Tahoe, the Pacific Ocean, and San Francisco.

Think you're a great fit for this role? Check out an in depth view of the role here and become a candidate below.

A review of resume materials will begin in early March and continue until the position is filled. Priority will be given to materials submitted prior to April 30, 2020.


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