Calvin University’s next Provost will be responsible for leading a team of dedicated professionals in the planning, development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of academic programs and policies.


About Calvin University

“Calvin University equips students to think deeply, to act justly, and to live wholeheartedly as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.”

Founded by the Christian Reformed Church in North America and named for 16th-century reformer John Calvin, Calvin University has been wholeheartedly carrying out its mission since 1876. Rooted in the historic creeds and confessions of Reformed Christianity which guide the university’s understanding of scripture, Calvin is distinct in higher education regarding how we serve students in today’s world. Please explore our mission, calling, identity, priorities, and vision.

Calvin University is a Christ-centered community of more than 3,300 students from across the nation and around the world, 200+ Christ-centered faculty who are thought leaders in their field, and more than 300 dedicated professional staff. At Calvin, students study the liberal arts and select from a broad range of majors and professional programs. The university fosters scholarship that creates new knowledge, performs creative work, and sustains natural and cultural resources. A Calvin education, marked by scholarly engagement with enduring questions and emerging concerns, prepares students to answer God’s call to live and serve God as agents of renewal in a broken world.

Calvin’s Vision 2030 aspires to extend the university’s reach and deepen its roots by expanding its global influence, growing as a trusted partner for learning, and through deepening its commitment to the Reformed Christian faith. In 2020, the university created an associate provost position to focus on reaching new learners with programming that meets their needs. In 2020, the university also received an $11 million gift to help faculty deepen and strengthen their understanding of Reformed thinking, so that it influences their teaching and scholarship.

Calvin draws learners from all over the world to its beautiful 400-acre campus in West Michigan. The campus is ideally located to create a close-knit community feel while providing a myriad of opportunities to engage with the vibrant city of Grand Rapids. It also serves as the base for 40 faculty-led study abroad opportunities Calvin maintains around the world.

Calvin Profile

  • 3,307 students with a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1
  • Six-year graduation rate of 76%
  • Average ACT score of 27
  • 17% AHANA (African, Hispanic, Asian and Native American) students and 12% international citizenship
  • 56% from Michigan, 32% from out of state, and 12% from other countries
  • 28% from a CRCNA church background, 65% from other Christian churches
  • 54% female, 46% male
  • 99% of students receive some form of financial aid
  • More than 94% of students receive academic scholarships
  • Annual university budget of approximately $103 million
  • Endowment of $189 million
  • Beautiful 400-acre campus with architecturally unified buildings

The Opportunity

The Provost is a vital part of Calvin’s executive leadership team and is the Chief Academic Officer of the university, championing its mission, vision, core values, and guiding principles. With a leadership role second to the President, the Provost will be responsible for leading a team of dedicated professionals in the planning, development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of academic programs and policies. The Provost will work closely with the President and assume his duties and responsibilities when he is unable to do so. The Provost will serve as a primary spokesperson and advocate for the excellence and distinctiveness of Calvin’s educational experience, both within the university and to constituencies beyond the campus.

The Provost will work collaboratively with a highly engaged faculty that strongly values active involvement in the governance process. S/he will lead in carrying forward a strong tradition of Reformed Christian educational practices and scholarship within a rapidly changing local, national, and international educational landscape and a campus community of growing diversity. S/he will lead the university in finding innovative ways to sustain the vibrancy of liberal arts education within a comprehensive range of university programs and a wider context of shifting student and cultural priorities. S/he will play a key role in advancing vision and building for future faithfulness amid financial challenges and rapid cultural and technological change, and will concretely address issues of sustainability in ways that are both strategic and sensitive. S/he will work to strengthen mutually supportive relationships between various university divisions and be responsible for:

  • A robust liberal arts core curriculum, the Hekman Library, all academic departments and programs, and several centers and institutes focused on strategic areas of research and scholarship;

  • The ongoing implementation of new schools and structures that will support Calvin’s 2019 change to university status in order to fulfill the University’s 2025 Strategic Plan and support the University’s Vision 2030 priorities;

  • Student success both in and out of the classroom through academic advising, the center for student success (tutoring and coaching), the Access program, services for students with disabilities, and off-campus programs;

  • Community engagement, which involves identifying strategic opportunities, facilitating collaboration between Calvin and the community, challenging academic departments, and encouraging faculty to use their teaching and research in focused ways in order to serve a larger community;

  • Fundraising efforts through grants and foundation relations to help members of the Calvin community secure external funding from foundations, corporations, government agencies, and individuals;

  • Advancing the priorities of diversity, equity and inclusion in ways beyond compositional diversity alone.

Strengths and experiences needed for success in the role are:

  • A minimum of five years of academic leadership experience in a Provost, Associate Provost, Dean, Department Chair or other significant leadership role in higher education;

  • An earned doctoral degree and a distinguished record of scholarly contributions and teaching experience that allows full professor rank and tenure in an academic department;

  • A lived appreciation for the Reformed tradition of historic Christianity, and the ability to embrace a culture that highly values dedication to intentional Christian learning;

  • Bold visionary and leadership skills to maintain the Reformed Christian character and academic and scholarly rigor of the university, while exploring new and innovative programs and modes of delivery;

  • Commitment to liberal arts learning and the foundation it provides for Calvin’s many programs and degree offerings;

  • Strategic focus and hands-on experience engaging thoughtful change in the highly complex and challenging times the Christian higher-education marketplace is facing;

  • Rigorous intellectual capacity combined with generosity of spirit and unpretentious excellence in execution;

  • People-leadership skills that develop, motivate, engage, and optimize talent;

  • The ability to win the trust of a very committed faculty and to create effective connections between governing bodies, departments, and teams;

  • An appreciation for the role of outstanding co-curricular programs and support services in nurturing student success.

Expectations

As a key executive leader in a university affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church in North America, Calvin’s Provost is expected to affirm the creeds and confessions of Reformed Christianity, to have an active membership in a congregation of the CRCNA upon assumption of the Provost role, and to affirm and uphold the requirements of university faculty.

Next Steps

Pray
Please join the entire Calvin community in asking the Lord to guide the search process and bless those involved.

Refer / Nominate
Please refer this document to a person or persons whom you believe could be a possible candidate, or could help connect to a possible candidate. In addition, candidates can be nominated directly to the Search Committee.

Apply
Our goal is to identify the ideal fit for both the selected candidate and for the Calvin University community. There will be an obvious mutual benefit for both. Please submit your application online. Please also include your current CV, and your thoughtful responses to the application questions for submission (in a Word document format).

Apply

Thank you for your consideration of this important role and process. Again, please feel free to share this Opportunity Profile with any contacts, relationships or individuals you feel would be valuable to the search for the next Provost of Calvin University.

Application Questions for Submission:

  1. Describe how you can contribute to deepening and strengthening the University’s Reformed Christian commitments.

  2. Please describe the academic leadership experiences you have had that you feel have prepared you for the Provost role and your vision for it. Include experiences that have been successful, experiences that have not worked well, and what you have learned from them.

  3. Calvin is committed to maintaining Christian unity while cultivating diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. What challenges and opportunities do you foresee in doing this well?

If you would like to inquire about the position prior to formal application, please contact:

Amber Lepard-Nichols,
Manager of Employment Services
Calvin University
ajn8@calvin.edu
(616) 526-6145