Widener University

Assistant Dean of Civic Engagement, Widener University

Posted on March 16, 2015

Widener University is an innovative, metropolitan university that combines academic quality with career preparation along with a deep commitment to civic engagement. Widener consistently ranks in the top five in service among national universities in the annual Washington Monthly College Guide which ranks colleges and universities based on their contributions to the public interest. Widener was among the first universities in the nation to be categorized as a “community engagement” institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2006 and has again been recently named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll “With Distinction” in the General Community Service and Education Community Service categories. This is the ninth consecutive time the school has been recognized. Newsweek ranked Widener among the top service-minded colleges and universities in the nation.

The Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement position serves as a campus leader assuring continuation of national prominence in this area and enhancement of student learning aligned with the new 2014-2021 Widener University strategic plan in service and civic engagement.

Reporting to the Associate Provost and Dean of Students, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Civic Engagement is a senior member of the decision-making leadership team within Student Affairs. The Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement position will be responsible for the following:

  • Serve as the primary point person with all community partners, thoughtfully connecting them with Widener faculty and students; developing partnerships leading to enhanced service-learning courses, community-based research and capacity-building service opportunities.
  • Lead and supervise the Office of Civic Engagement staff including two part-time professionals and student employees in effectively cultivating and sustaining meaningful and reciprocal partnerships with community organizations, as well as measuring community impact and student learning outcomes.
  • Oversee the Presidential Service Corps/Bonner Leader program in which 60 students complete 300 annual hours of service and leadership development programs. Coordinate the scholarship interview and campus visit activities for all Presidential Service Corps/Bonner Leader applicants. Assist in the distribution of $300,000 in scholarship funds annually to scholarship recipients.
  • Serve as primary liaison with the Bonner Foundation.
  • Co-lead the Widener University Bonner High Impact Team, attending the annual conference and supporting efforts related to fostering community-based research and building a shared sentiment between Widener and the city of Chester.
  • Coordinate the selection, orientation and ongoing training of the Pride Service Site Leader Program for 14 students who run 13 community service programs providing high-level professional quality experiences for selected students and community partners.
  • Oversee the branding and marketing of the Office of Civic Engagement including website management, weekly e-newsletter, social media outlets and regular communication with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Lead ongoing evaluation of effectiveness of service sites while utilizing an active database of volunteer, service and civic engagement opportunities available to students, staff and faculty.
  • Support student and faculty political engagement and Project Pericles activities and facilitate large-scale university service projects such as Freshman Day of Service, International Alternative Spring Break trips, a large scale 5 day pre-orientation program, class presentations and volunteer and community partner training and appreciation activities.
  • Oversee and coordinate the selection of students, programming and activities for the Civic Engagement and Living
  • Learning residential community.
  • Provide support to service-learning faculty, support the Maguire Scholars and assist Institutional Advancement staff in fundraising for the university’s civic engagement programs.
  • Contribute to university growth and advancement through service on the university’s Board of Trustees Civic Engagement Committee, the Civic Engagement Goals and Objectives Strategic Planning Team, the Civic Engagement Council, the High Impact Practices Coordinating Group and the Faculty Service-Learning Advisory Committee.
  • Contribute to program evaluation, tracking and assessment utilizing assessment tools to measure students’ development as professional and civic leaders and attainment of learning objective goals.
  • Serve as a member of the Student Affairs leadership team, attend meetings, consult on and manage difficult student situations, respond to student emergencies and carry occasional on-call responsibilities.


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