JWU announces search for new provost

Johnson & Wales University (JWU), one of the nation’s best-known and most respected professionally focused universities, announces a nationwide search to recruit a new Provost.

Position Specification Focus 2022 JWU Mission Providence Campus

Position Specification

The University

Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University (JWU) is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 12,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, Rhode Island; North Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado and Charlotte, North Carolina.

An innovative educational leader, the university offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in arts and sciences, business, hospitality, nutrition and health and wellness. It also offers undergraduate programs in culinary arts, dietetics, food innovation and engineering and design. JWU’s unique model provides students with the personalized attention, academic expertise, and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The time students spend at JWU is transformative, as demonstrated by career outcomes, expected earnings and economic mobility rankings. The university’s impact is global, with alumni in 127 countries pursuing careers worldwide.

JWU has offered experiential learning for more than 100 years through an optimal blend of intellectual development, industry-focused education, résumé-building work experiences, community and leadership opportunities and an uncommon depth of career services.

JWU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), the nation’s oldest regional accrediting association.

The Role

Reporting to the chancellor, the provost is the chief academic officer, providing inspirational leadership and strategic direction for academic affairs. The provost works closely with faculty to foster JWU’s educational and creative endeavors, building on the university’s strong foundation and legacy of offering top-notch educational and experiential learning opportunities. The provost partners with the chancellor and guides the deans in elevating JWU as a higher educational leader in the 21 st century innovation and knowledge economy. The provost plays a major role in governance and curricular development and is involved in building the academic budget, allocating and managing resources and developing universitywide policies.

Positions reporting to the provost include two associate provosts, various deans and directors, and the deans or vice presidents of the colleges:

  • John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Food Innovation & Technology
  • College of Engineering & Design
  • College of Health & Wellness
  • College of Hospitality Management
  • College of Online Education


The provost is expected to focus on the following opportunities:

  • Advise the chancellor and campus presidents on academic matters and work collaboratively with administrators, faculty and staff to achieve university and campus objectives
  • Lead the development and implementation of academic plans in collaboration with deans, faculty and other academic personnel
  • Oversee universitywide academic strategic planning, curriculum development and evaluation in conjunction with deans and university officers
  • Foster a student-centered, service-oriented academic culture
  • Support the creation of new academic programs and services in alignment with JWU’s mission and strategic plan
  • Promote excellence in the quality of teaching and learning
  • Foster an environment of continuous innovation and collegial relationships
  • Collaborate with the finance team and deans to develop annual academic budgets and monitor expenditures and revenues to stay within approved budgets
  • Serve as a liaison with regulatory and accrediting agencies, including the Rhode Island Department of Education, NECHE and relevant programmatic accreditors
  • Chair or otherwise participate in universitywide committees including the Provost's Council
  • Act as ambassador for community, advancement, admissions and employer-based initiatives
  • Collaborate with the advancement team to seek external funding support for academic programs
  • Oversee the recruitment and retention of an excellent and diverse faculty
  • Encourage and support faculty, all of whom are expected to make positive contributions to their discipline in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service
  • Oversee and monitor the fulfillment of student retention and graduation goals and take appropriate action to meet or exceed those goals
  • Collaborate with relevant offices to provide effective programs and services for students who need assistance
  • Prepare and monitor the academic budget

Candidate Profile

Strong candidates for the provost position hold an earned doctorate and demonstrate strong academic credentials, an appreciation for teaching and research, an entrepreneurial spirit and managerial acumen. In addition, they are expected to demonstrate the following:

  • Record of exemplary academic and scholarly accomplishment
  • Eligibility for appointment as a full professor in one of JWU’s colleges
  • Recognition as a highly effective administrator and a proven record of successfully leading diverse teams and strategic initiatives in a complex environment
  • Record of leading change and exploring new educational models to strengthen JWU’s positioning
  • Record of financial acumen and the ability to effectively present the needs and opportunities of complex organizations
  • Broad background suitable for leadership at a university that provides a transformational educational opportunity for its students
  • Record of commitment to exceptional standards for undergraduate and graduate instruction
  • Demonstrated commitment to principles of inclusion and diversity
  • Strong communication skills including approachability and a high level of visibility
  • Commitment to a collaborative approach that encourages and supports excellence
  • Clear sense of vision based on strongly held principles
  • Appreciation of interdisciplinary scholarship and innovative research
  • Ability to attract and retain a diverse and talented faculty, student body and staff
  • Flexibility in managing change
  • Appreciation of JWU’s rich traditions of experiential learning
  • Support of excellence in teaching, research, outreach activities, and leadership development at all academic and administrative levels
  • Fiscal acumen to understand, secure, allocate and plan the many financial issues that face a complex, multi-campus university


Send nominations, inquiries and expressions of interest to JWUProvost@russellreynolds.com.

Johnson & Wales University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other basis prohibited by law.

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Focus 2022

Since the early 1990s, Johnson & Wales University has evolved and prospered under a succession of strategic planning efforts led by the Chancellor, branch campus presidents and other senior university management. The most successful of those, FOCUS 2011, identified experiential learning, student selectivity and affordability as pillars for future growth and initiated a period of unprecedented transformation at JWU.

Today, a vision of JWU has been articulated in a new strategic initiative, FOCUS 2022, that calls for preeminence in the study of food, interdisciplinary course offerings, experiential learning, exceptional faculty and a global and diverse student body.

The current institutional vision argues for significant advancements in the academic arena, including the creation of academic programming where Johnson & Wales will leverage its global reputation in culinary education and establish itself as a leader in the study of food and its relationship to the world we live in through a new College of Food Innovation and Technology. It also forecasts an exceptional and diverse faculty highly engaged in the most effective teaching and learning methods. The university anticipates the development of an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to allow students to explore and navigate careers in a variety of industries and professions, and a significant growth in graduate-level program offerings and online education enrollments.

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JWU Mission

Provide an exceptional education that inspires professional success and lifelong personal and intellectual growth.

In support of our mission and recognizing the importance of preserving our unique student-centered culture, we are guided by the following principles:

  • Undertake continuous improvement and planning for a sustainable future.
  • Foster an evidence-based teaching and learning environment.
  • Support faculty scholarship to advance our status as a teaching and learning institution.
  • Maximize student potential by enriching our academic programs with experiential and work-integrated learning.
  • Value our faculty and staff.
  • Embrace diversity for a richly inclusive community.
  • Practice ethical citizenship in all aspects of university life.
  • Act as a good steward of our resources to support the needs of our students, faculty and staff.Johnson & Wales University’s unique model provide students with the personalized attention, academic expertise and industry connections that inspire professional success and personal growth. The time students spend at JWU is nothing short of transformative, as demonstrated by career outcomes, expected earnings and economic mobility rankings.

JWU is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

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Providence Campus

The Providence Campus is the university’s original campus, with a diverse student body of 6,703 students. It is spread across more than 170 acres and 2,350,000 square feet of 60 buildings, including residence halls, classrooms, labs, dining halls, libraries, offices, open spaces, and internship, recreation and physical plant facilities. The Providence Campus encompasses two smaller campuses: Downcity Campus and Harborside Campus.

Located in the heart of Providence, the Downcity Campus is home to the College of Business, the College of Hospitality Management, the John Hazen White College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering & Design, and the College of Health & Wellness. Anchored by Gaebe Commons, a popular hub of student activity, the Downcity Campus is surrounded by a variety of shops, restaurants, cafés, music venues and a picturesque riverfront.

A short distance south, the Harborside Campus sits on 105 scenic acres along Narragansett Bay, and houses the College of Culinary Arts, the Culinary Arts Museum, and Wildcat Center (home of the NCAA Division III Wildcats). Residential facilities are located throughout Providence and Cranston. JWU provides free shuttle bus service between the campuses and residence halls.

Providence offers big-city sophistication on a welcoming scale, and is often voted one of the country’s best places to live. The major business, financial and retail districts of the city are all within walking distance of the Downcity Campus, which is convenient for students looking for part-time jobs. Restaurants for every taste and budget, many owned or operated by JWU alumni, can be found throughout the city.

Providence’s unique geographic location — only an hour’s drive from both Boston and Cape Cod, and three-hours’ drive from New York City — makes it an inviting place to live. Interstate bus and train stations are within easy reach of the Downcity Campus, and the state airport in Warwick is only about 10 miles to the south.

Take a virtual tour of our Providence Campus »

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