1 Presidential Search Position Profile
2 The Chancellor of the National University System and the Board of Trustees of National University invite nominations and applications for the position of President of National University. An Exceptional Opportunity National seeks an accomplished leader who is also an effective and selfless team player; someone who will be the respected head of the flagship of the National University System while partnering with the Chancellor and system administrators in implementing a progressive and evolving strategy for growth. The new president will possess the experience, skills and drive required to help shape the future of this innovative and progressive institution, while exemplifying the character and ethics expected in a highly visible and trusted university and community leader.
3 The University Since 1971, National University has been dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse student population. Today, that dedication has resulted in National University becoming the second-largest private, nonprofit institution of higher education in California and 12th largest in the United States. National University is the flagship institution of the National University System, which includes National University, John F. Kennedy University, City University of Seattle, WestMed College, and the Division of Pre-College Programs, with National University Virtual High School and National University Academy. National University is committed to accessibility and features locations throughout San Diego County. Regional campuses are located in Costa Mesa, Sacramento, Redding, San Jose, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, Ontario, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Oxnard, Woodland Hills and Twentynine Palms, as well as Henderson, Nevada. National University s administrative and academic headquarters are located in La Jolla, California.
4 The university is regionally accredited by the Western Commission on Colleges and Universities. Academics National University offers 125 undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as 34 certificates and 22 credential programs. A leader in online education, National University offers more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degree programs and over 1,200 courses online. Online classes at National University are interactive with tools to support each student s individual learning style including: , links between the student, the professor and classmates, lectures, readings, presentations, evaluations, quizzes, and exams. These tools also combine to create a strong sense of community within the online framework. National University has five schools and one college, including: School of Business and Management School of Education School of Engineering and Computing School of Health and Human Services School of Professional Studies College of Letters and Sciences National University provides more master s degrees in education to Hispanic students than any other college or University in the United States. National also ranks in the Top 10 in granting master s degrees in education, psychology, and English language literature to minorities, and has for the last five years. In each of the past 13 years, National University has prepared more credentialed teachers than any other single institution of higher education in California.
5 National offers 65 undergraduate & 60 graduate programs.
6 National University is committed to accessibility and features locations throughout San Diego County. A total of 15,391 undergraduate and 13,816 graduate students currently attend National University. The college maintains its liberal arts educational values but has, from its inception, functioned as an innovative, outcome-oriented and entrepreneurial institution providing students with transformational educational opportunities preparing them to contribute in the real world. Faculty The university employs 306 full-time faculty members. National also engages 2,856 adjunct instructors, each with industry or academic expertise critical to the subject. Faculty members embrace a culture of excellence in teaching, as well as the need for innovation and change in higher education. National does not offer faculty tenure, allowing administrative flexibility and ensuring the highest standards of teaching excellence; nonetheless, faculty turnover is low and close student-faculty relationships are the norm. The student to full-time faculty ratio is 20:1
7 Online classes at National University are interactive with tools to support each student s individual learning style. Students & Student Life Students who attend the university are serious about their education. Most are adults the average student age is 32 who are seeking opportunities to improve their lives. They select National for the quality of classes and the interactive learning environment. With an average class size of 18, students experience both the convenience of online or nearby classes and personal interaction with faculty. Students overwhelmingly report they came to the right place. The college, businesses in the surrounding communities and strategic partners provide a wide range of research, internship and employment opportunities for students and graduates. The undergraduate male/female ratio is 44/56%. Approximately 45% of students receive some level of need-based or merit-based financial aid. Finances National University maintains a position of financial stability, with a large quasi-endowment. Prudent financial management is the rule, but unlike many peer institutions, National is able to fund new programs and make improvements without taxing the current operating budgets.
8 The next president must be prepared to champion National s commitment to adult learners. Opportunities and Challenges for the Next President Accept and Address Challenges in Higher Education Online education is evolving rapidly and the competition for students is becoming more intense. Growing market share will require National to move beyond a zero-sum game, drawing new students from outside the pool of expected candidates. The next president must be prepared to champion National s commitment to adult learners, its commitment to quality education and its commitment to access through affordable tuition. Form an Effective Partnership with the Chancellor National is unique in its flexibility and willingness to adapt to the changes facing higher education. The college has a culture of innovation and fewer barriers to change than most educational institutions. By all accounts Chancellor Michael Cunningham is a visionary. Drawing on his experience as a business leader and academic he has created an organization that is able to move quickly to embrace and exploit possibilities. To do so, the organization often operates counter to traditional academic decision-making. Productivity and performance are the most important measures.
9 Most students are tech savvy and want to control their schedules. For the past two years, Dr. Cunningham has served as both Chancellor of the NU System and President of NU. In this dual role he has set the tone for both the System and the University. In vacating the presidency to concentrate on moving the System forward, the Chancellor s vision is expected to continue to direct the path of the University. Just as important, National University shares its headquarters with the System Offices. The physical proximity makes interaction between NU and NUS commonplace, if not daily. The next president will have the opportunity to propose strategies to address challenges. He or she will be able to execute significant change. The difference is that the presidential function will flourish as an effective COO within the System, rather than as a lone wolf, with a distant, independent command. Oversee a Unique Academic Environment Only 10 percent of National s faculty is traditional, full-time. Ninety percent are adjunct. By necessity, many of the full-time faculty function as heads of programs, hiring and training adjuncts while teaching courses themselves. There is no main campus. NU students are spread among 28 centers or are online. It would not be odd for a student from Chicago to be taking an online class taught by and adjunct in North Carolina who is being supervised by a fulltime faculty member in San Diego. The average student age is 32, so the motivation is different than in traditional residential colleges. Most students are tech savvy and want to control their schedules. The next president will possess a true affinity for academe; an appreciation for non-profit higher education and the roles teaching and research play in achieving student learning. Working through the Provost, the next president must be prepared to coordinate a complex, multifaceted academic operation where change is the norm rather than the exception. Standing alone, the next president must be prepared to earn and maintain the respect of a talented and innovative faculty with high expectations for their leadership.
10 Execute Smart Growth in Enrollment, Programs and Facilities National University has the potential to become a truly national university. That said, the process of taking National national must be deliberate, strategic and targeted. The new President will have the capacity to develop and implement plans that transform the NUS vision into educational opportunities that maintain the NUS mission and values, guaranteeing students High Touch, High Tech and High Choice. Increase Fundraising To date the growth in National University System endowment has been driven by its ability to provide quality education at a low price while generating a margin. It is expected that trend will continue into the foreseeable future. Expansion of development activities emanates from the Chancellor s office, but an important role for the president of National is envisioned. The next president will demonstrate an affinity for identifying donors capable of making transformative gifts and closing gift commitments. The president will communicate a passionate vision for the university that inspires donors. Coordinating activities with the System offices, he or she will take ownership of fundraising goals, strategies and tactics. The next president will aggressively seek to build and strengthen relationships with all constituents, including students, alumni, faculty and administration, the community, local and statewide businesses and foundations.
11 Strengthen and Develop Partnerships Strategic partnerships with school districts, community colleges and units of local and regional government have always played an important role in National University s success. The next president will have the opportunity to not only strengthen these partnerships but also identify and develop new ones. Accomplishing this will require a new president who is as comfortable working outside the academy as within its confines. Steward the Mission and Reputation The President of National University serves as not only an institutional leader but also a community leader and spokesperson. He or she will be expected to promote the university s visibility and reputation by demonstrating strong leadership and personal integrity. The next President will actively seek opportunities to increase awareness of the university and will effectively convey the university s unique academic mission, strengths and values to all constituents. The next president must be an effective steward of the university, exemplifying strong workplace and personal ethics and moral character.
12 A total of 15,391 undergraduate and 13,816 graduate students currently attend National University.
13 Qualifications & Qualities of the Next President Leadership Demonstrated successful experience in leadership positions in higher education. Direct experience fostering a learning environment in which academic rigor leads to successful learning outcomes. A collaborative leadership style, demonstrated through the ability to provide leadership for a major university, while functioning as a team player within the University System and a partner with the Chancellor. The style and experience of a planner and a doer. Someone who takes pride in assembling a team, setting clear, measurable goals and achieving success. The ability to champion and lead smart growth of a large organization that is part of a larger organization. Experience building and motivating effective teams appreciating the nuances of leading both faculty and administrative operations. Capacity for strategic thinking and innovation. Ability to drive consensus but also be decisive when appropriate. Relationship Building The ability to work comfortably with a visionary Chancellor and an able team of System administrators to further the goals of NUS. The ability to build trust and respect across multiple constituencies (students, parents, alumni, faculty, administration, trustees, community and strategic partners). The ability to develop and nurture partnerships with external organizations. Fundraising A genuine interest in all aspects of fundraising. The ability to enthusiastically influence various donor constituencies. Enthusiasm to convey the National University vision to inspire transformative gifts. Business Acumen Experience operating a complex educational organization. Experience managing budgets and financials at a detailed level. Experience with marketing functions. Experience with enrollment management in a complex educational organization. Strategic planning experience at an academic institution. Communication Skills Effective and open verbal and written communications. The ability to listen carefully to a wide range of constituents. The ability to adjust style to communicate effectively to a wide range of constituents. Personal Characteristics The highest ethical and moral standards in both professional and personal life. Perseverance, work ethic and drive to build a legacy of success at National University. Intellect as evidenced by a terminal degree curiosity and open-mindedness. Eagerness and stamina to serve 24/7 as an institutional advocate and spokesperson. Humility and a sense of humor.
14 The Application Process The National University Presidential Search Committee will begin reviewing and evaluating applications as they are received and will continue to accept and review credentials until a new president is selected. To ensure fullest consideration, candidates are advised to submit their materials by October 28, Dr. Richard A. Wueste of AGB Search is assisting with this search. Nominators and prospective candidates may contact him at or at Materials must include: Letter of interest that responds to the Opportunities & Challenges for the Next President and the Qualifications & Qualities of the Next President sections of this profile. Complete CV or resume. Names and contact information (telephone and ) for five references, none of whom will be contacted until a later stage of the search or without the formal permission of the candidate All inquiries and applications will be received and evaluated in confidence. Applications should be submitted electronically in Word or PDF format to: Equal Employment Opportunity Statement National University System is committed to an equal employment opportunity workforce. We will recruit, hire, train, promote, and retain individuals in all job titles without regard to gender, race, age, religion, disabilities, military status, sexual orientation, national origin or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Such action shall include, but not be limited to the following: employment, upgrading, demotion, or transfer, recruitment or recruitment advertising; layoff or termination; wage or other forms of compensation; All employment decisions will further the principle of equal employment opportunity. All other personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfer, layoffs, return from layoff, Company-sponsored training, education, tuition reimbursement, and social and recreational programs will be administered without regard to gender, race, color, age, religion, disabilities, military status, sexual orientation, national origin or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.