Employment Opportunity: Dean of Retention and Persistence

Northwest Nazarene University

Northwest Nazarene University (NNU), a comprehensive Christian university, offers over 60 areas of study, 19 master’s degrees in seven different disciplines and one doctoral degree. In addition to its 90-acre campus located in Nampa, Idaho, the University also offers 26 online degree programs as well as courses at a regional campus in Idaho Falls. Founded in 1913, the university now serves over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and more than 11,000 continuing education and concurrent credit students. NNU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities, and has been rated by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top master’s level universities in the West and a “Best Value” for delivering a high quality education at a remarkably affordable price. The university’s location in the Boise valley provides a wealth of regional opportunities: easy access to local ski resorts, mountain hiking, and river rafting; and a wide array of cultural opportunities from the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra to the National Oldtime Fiddlers Festival. NNU has a long and deep association with the Church of the Nazarene, and all University faculty commit themselves to living out their faith in a community shaped by serious scholarship and vital Christian piety.

Description of Position

The Dean of Retention and Persistence at Northwest Nazarene University will serve as the lead representative coordinating NNU’s campus wide retention effort.  Because of the broad university-wide orientation of this position, this Dean will work closely with both the Vice President for Student Life (VPSL) and the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA).  For purposes of a clear reporting structure, the Dean’s direct supervisor will be the VPAA.
Along with developing close working relationships with the VPSL and the VPAA, the Dean of Retention and Persistence will also frequently partner with the Associate Vice President for Student Engagement, and the Director of Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA), among other key stakeholders to develop a retention and student centered service culture for the institution.  As NNU’s primary “point person” for retention, the Dean will:

  • work with all student success efforts across campus;
  • lead in helping the institution identify and establish retention goals;
  • determine specific population priority needs to support success for a diverse range of NNU students;
  • identify key student persistence benchmarks, and in partnership with NNU’s institutional research efforts, collect, analyze, and disseminate critical data to inform a university retention plan that will promote all students’ persistence to graduation;
  • serve as the critical facilitator to integrate multiple points of intersection across the student experience;
  • promote and deepen student engagement by removing visible and invisible barriers to their learning and success in and outside of the classroom.
 This is a year-round, full-time (1.0 FTE), exempt position.
Essential Functions
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Provide oversight and strategic leadership for all programs and services for NNU’s retention and persistence to graduation.
  • Lead cross-functional teams on campus, including Student Engagement and CASA.
  • Develop strategies and initiatives to dramatically and consistently increase the use of academic support services by students, faculty and staff.
  • Chair the Campus Retention Commission.
  • Partner with Institutional Research to develop a comprehensive research agenda/metrics to effectively track student success; identifying appropriate data management systems and processes to analyze existing and new data as needed.
  • Manage the continued development, implementation, and campus-wide training of the Early Alert system.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with faculty advisors to develop best practices models in student advising.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with CASA on tutoring services.
  • Partner with Student Life in the development of the First and Second Year Experience
  • Serve as the campus knowledge leader for best practices to increase the retention and persistence of diverse and underrepresented student populations.
  • Develop and deliver campus reports on student success and retention.
  • Contribute to research, organization and reporting efforts for accreditation, institutional audits, etc.
  • Partner with Marketing and Communications to ensure the development and publication of print and digital resources to support student retention.
Northwest Nazarene University is sponsored by the Church of the Nazarene and seeks to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the body of Christ in its faculty, staff, administration and students. All those interested are encouraged to apply and will be evaluated equitably.

Minimum Qualifications

A successful candidate will have:

  • Master’s Degree, terminal degree is preferred.
  • Seven to Ten (7 to 10) years of experience in higher education preferably with direct knowledge of student advising, academic support, retention services, and/or student life.
  • Demonstrated ability to work strategically, collaboratively and seamlessly across diverse campus stakeholders.
  • Experience in effective program development.
  • Deep knowledge about best practices in student retention and success.
  • Ability to build trusting relationships with faculty, staff, and students.
  • Demonstrated ability to think creatively about student success and the complexities of student retention.
  • Excellent analytical and synthesis skills with an ability to develop and/or provide a sophisticated interpretation of research.
  • Knowledge of student learning/student development theories and models.
  • Experience with policy development and implementation.
  • The University requires that all candidates be Christian (preferably in the Wesleyan traditions), and must be in agreement with the mission and lifestyle values of NNU.


The salary will be determined by the educational background and experience of each applicant and will be discussed with individual candidates as they are invited to interview for this position. Full-time personnel will be offered access to a benefits package including health, vision and dental insurance for employee and family, life and long-term disability insurance, flexible spending plan, tuition benefits for employee and dependents, opportunities for professional development, and a retirement program.

Application Process

To be considered for this position, a complete application must be received, including all of the following:

  • Letter of interest
  • NNU application
  • Resume
  • Responses to the NNU Christian Mission
  • Two reference letters from professional associates
  • Letter of reference from current pastor
  • Transcripts (unofficial acceptable for the hiring process; official may be required upon hire)
Send, fax or email completed application packet to:
Human Resources
Northwest Nazarene University
623 S. University Boulevard
Nampa, ID  83686
Phone: (208) 467-8036
Fax: (208) 467-8587
Review of applications to begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

Employment at Northwest Nazarene University is contingent upon the results of an independent background check.

Posted Jun 28, 2019

Northwest Nazarene University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As an educational institution operating under the auspices of the Church of the Nazarene, Northwest Nazarene University is permitted and reserves the right to prefer employees on the basis of religion (Title VII, Sections 702-703, United States Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended).