Executive Director, College of Health Professions

WGU is the only accredited university in the U.S. offering online competency-based degree programs. The private non-profit university was founded and is supported by 19 governors, as well as more than 20 leading corporations and foundations, which include corporations and foundations such as Convergys, Dell Computer, Oracle, Qwest, Hospital Corporation of America, Farmers Insurance, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. WGU offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, information technology, teacher education and health professions, with students in all 50 states.


WGU uses technology to improve the quality and reduce the cost of higher education, while expanding access to underserved populations. The key is its use of technology to change the process – the fundamental way they do higher education – rather than as an add-on to an existing system.

WGU grants degrees based on competency. Instead of being based on required courses, programs are based on a student’s ability to demonstrate skills and knowledge through various assessments. This revolutionary approach particularly values the knowledge brought by students already working in their field.

WGU does not develop or teach its own courses, but acquires the rights to the best available learning resources that map to relevant competencies. Its faculty serves as full-time student mentors.

WGU is regionally and nationally accredited. It is the only university ever to have received accreditation from four regional accrediting commissions.

The ideal candidate currently operates as a dean or other academic officer for a virtual college offering degree programs in one or more of the health professions. Alternatively, s/he (1) is a dean or senior academic officer of the school of health professions for a campus-based institution, either for-profit or not-for-profit, with a strong online component, or (2) manages eLearning / training/ distance education for a corporation or other organization in the healthcare/health services sector. This might be any of the following: disease and health management companies; for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals; clinics, and HMOs (including the VA system); pharmaceutical and pharmacy companies; and other organizations delivering CEU and other courses online, including national associations such as the American Nursing Association.

It is critical that an applicant have a strong foundation in virtual education or training and/or the use of technology in instruction, and that he or she specializes in health care.This ideal candidate has a combination of track record of operating success and strong academic credentials. S/he has developed and delivered online curriculum for post-secondary education; has managed a significant education/training operation; ; has an appreciation for diverse disciplines, programs and student body; and has a clear vision of health-related education in a global economy.

It is important to note that candidates do NOT have to come out of an academic environment: the head of a corporate university, for example, would be strongly considered, so long as that corporation is in a health-related field.

Specifically, the new Executive Director will have the following profile-

  • Strong operations experience in online education/training programs, including a record of hiring faculty, expanding enrollment and introducing new program offerings
  • Significant teaching experience in a health-related field, in a distance education environment focused on adult learners
  • Previous professional or clinical experience in a health profession
  • A proven record of success in assessment of learning outcomes and student advisement
  • A strong customer-service orientation
  • Detail-orientation, coupled with the ability to build teams and delegate; this will be someone able to optimize the use of faculty and staff resources
  • Ability to develop/nurture partnerships with corporate and government partners
  • Earned Ph.D. or equivalent academic degree
  • Open to relocation to Salt Lake City

Based in Salt Lake City, the Executive Director, Health Care Professions, is responsible for the continuing review, improvement and development of Health Professions programs. The position reports to the Provost/Academic Vice President.

Western Governors University offers several Bachelor of Science degrees in the Health Profession field, in addition to an MBA in Health Professions and a Masters degree in Health Education and Nursing. The University plans to expand both Health Profession enrollments and degree options and will look to the Director for principal leadership in this endeavor.

This is a hands-on operating role; the Executive Director will make things happen. S/he will motivate people in accomplishing goals; will develop high quality degrees; will hire and train faculty; and will help students be successful, as measured by retention, academic progress, graduation rates, and, ultimately, success in the workplace.

The Executive Director will work with the Provost and other WGU academic personnel to manage the following essential functions:

  • Programs and degrees – the definition, development, coherence, and quality of WGU degrees, competencies and assessments in the College of Health Professions.
  • Learning resources and student progress – ensure the sufficiency and effectiveness of learning resources for students, as well as the adequacy of resources for advisor/mentors; define appropriate rates of student progress; measure and report progress, student satisfaction, and other indicators of WGU’s academic success.
  • Planning – the development and supervision of a comprehensive academic planning process for achieving both short and long term goals, ensuring broad participation in its development and ownership of its implementation.
  • Personnel – ensure the highest possible quality in academic staff, through sound recruitment, training, and continuing professional development activities, and the implementation of a sound performance review and reward system.
  • Budget – manage the College of Health Profession’s budget, ensuring fiscal responsibility in the academic programs of the institution.

Compensation will include salary and bonus in line with the individual’s experience.

Travel is unlikely to exceed -20 percent.

Resume should be sent as a Word document to Ardith Myers, BSG Team Ventures/Boston Search Group, amyers@bostonsearchgroup.com, and also posted on the BSG website, www.bostonsearchgroup.com.

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