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Executive Director for Counseling, Health and Wellness

Work type: Permanent Full Time
Location: Bellingham, WA
Categories: Enrollment & Student Services

Position Title Executive Director for Counseling, Health and Wellness
About the University

As the third largest university in the State of Washington, Western enrolls approximately 16,000 students, 95 percent of whom are undergraduates in more than 160 academic programs at the Bellingham campus and eight satellite locations around the Puget Sound area.  The Western community is committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement, and encourages applications from candidates with diverse identities and experiences who share this commitment.  

Established in 1893, Western is one of the top public, master's degree-granting universities in the nation.  Western is the highest-ranking public, master's granting university in the Pacific Northwest and No. 2 in the West, according to the U.S. News & World Report college rankings.  Kiplinger's ranks Western among the top 100 public colleges and universities in the nation that offer the best quality and affordability.  U.S. News & World Report has named Western one of the most cost-efficient in the country among highly-ranked universities for several years in a row, and the Chronicle of Higher Education has recognized Western as a "Great Place to Work".  Western is particularly proud of its position as a leader in multidisciplinary environmental education and sustainable campus operations.

Western provides an active student-centered learning environment with a liberal arts and sciences foundation and a full array of co-curricular, internship, research, creative, and service learning opportunities.  There is a widely shared vision that Western will be a higher education leader in a culturally responsive 21st-century learning environment, applying its critical strengths to societal issues as well as creating a welcoming community for a diversity of people, ideas, and programs.  To that end, Western has embraced a style that is collgeial, transparent, and timely in its engagement and communication with on- and off-campus stakeholders.

Committed to both the academic and personal growth of students, Western faculty and staff empower students to be engaged and active agents of positive change in the world.  Western has received many accolades that highlight this dedication to students and to positive social change.  In addition to those listed above, Western has been recognized as having one of the most sustainable, "green" campuses in the nation.  Western students and alumni are regular recipients of prestigious awards and opportunities.  In 2017, Western ranked second in the nation among medium-sized universities sending graduates to the Peace Corps, and tied for third in the nation among public, masters-granting institutions for the number of graduates awarded Fulbright Fellowships.  Further, Western ranks among the top 10 institutions nationally for the number of undergraduates who go on to earn doctorates; has been given the Community Engagement classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; and has been designated a "Military Friendly School" for seven consecutive years by G.I. Jobs magazine.  This last recognition places Western in the top 20 percent nationwide of higher education institutions in its commitment, effort, and success in creating a sustainable and meaningful benefit to the military community.

Offering more than 160 majors, Western Washington University is composed of seven colleges and the Graduate School:

  • College of Business and Economics
  • College of Fine and Performing Arts
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Huxley College of the Environment
  • Woodring College of Education

The University's 2018-2025 Strategic Plan articulates four basic values of the Western community:

  • Commitment to student success, critical thought, creativity, and sustainability
  • Commitment to equity and justice, and respect for the rights and dignity of others
  • Pursuit of excellence, in an environment characterized by principles of shared governance, academic freedom and effective engagement
  • Integrity, responsibility and accountability in all our work

The main campus of Western Washington University is located on 212 picturesque acres in Bellingham, Washington, a city of 88,500 people.  Bellingham is located in the far northwest corner of the U.S. with access to major metropolitan areas, with Seattle, Washington 90 miles to its south, and Vancouver, British Columbia 50 miles to its north.  Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and overlooking Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands, Bellingham is nationally recognized for its high quality of life, outdoor adventure, and environmental stewardship.  The area offers hidden gems either within the Bellingham city limits, or a close day trip.  Many Western employees live in Bellingham or its surrounding areas with a small commute.  To learn more about Bellingham, visit either or 

About the Department

The mission of the Division of Enrollment and Student Services (ESS) is to engage prospective and current students in their pursuit of academic and personal excellence through outreach, support services, and co-curricular learning opportunities.  Overall services in the Division support and shape the enrollment and persistence of students.  ESS includes 18 program areas with more than 300 permanent employees.

The executive director supervises the directors of, and provides strategic direction for, the following services:

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center supplies clinical and outreach services for all Western students.  The Center's mission is to facilitate student success and psychological well-being through culturally sensitive clinical service,s outreach, and consultation.  In addition to serving the student body, the Center contributes to the development of the mental health professions by serving as a training site for graduate students in psychology and counseling.

Prevention and Wellness Services

The mission of Prevention and Wellness Services is to help Western students recognize how their health impacts their personal and academic success, become actively involved in their own wellness, and contribute to creating a safe and healthy campus community for all.  This is achieved through programs and services that are positive, inclusive, and empowering, with a focus on mental health promotion and outreach, alcohol and drug education and support, sexual assault support, body empowerment, sexual health education and outreach, and sexual violence prevention and education.

Student Health Center

Western's Student Health Center is a primary care medical clinic, providing a variety of services that include preventative health care and management of health concerns, illness and injuries.  The Staff includes a team of board-certified family physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and support staff.  When necessary, the clinic's staff works in partnership with, or makes referrals to, specialists in the local community.

All three of these areas are supported by a Counseling, Health and Wellness student fee, which provides students access to these services.

About the Position

The Executive Director (ED) provides strategic, financial and budgetary leadership and management of Counseling, Health and Wellness (CHW) services at Western.  As a leader in the Division of Enrollment and Student Services, the ED leads a talented, integrated, multi-disciplinary team of mental health and healthcare professionals and support staff who oversee, and administer the delivery of innovative and high-quality campus-based community health services to approximately 16,000 students in Bellingham,  Services include student-oriented outpatient primary medical care and behavioral health services, counseling services, health education and health promotion programs, campus public health programs, educational outreach and student health insurance programs.

The ED oversees program quality management, risk management, HIPPA and ACA compliance, accreditation, resource management, and professional development.  The ED leads all CHW staff, serves on University committees, and collaborates with University and community personnel in addressing student mental health and health care policies and public health issues.

The Executive Director has exceptional administrative and management skill and visionary leadership style, a comprehensive understanding of university campus health care, a commitment to supporting our students' academic and personal success, and a deep understanding of the role health care plays in the retention of a diverse student community.  The ED will understand the full spectrum of university mental health and health care.

Duties and Responsibilities of the ED:

  • Leadership
    • Lead the CHW area, including supervising the directors of the Student Health Clinic, Counseling Services, and Prevention and Wellness Services
    • Create, implement, administer, evaluate, and revise strategic plans, goals, and objectives for CHW which assist the Division of Enrollment and Student Services and the University in achieving its goals
    • Formulate, implement, and interpret policies for CHW and its departments
    • Create and sustain an inclusive climate within Counseling, Health, and Wellness that actively promotes the participation of students, faculty, and staff from all cultures and backgrounds
    • Ensure that all health services are provided in a manner that is culturally sensitive and responsive
  • Finance and Compliance
    • Oversee all area-level CHW budget resources for the area; establish appropriate budget processes for the individual areas
    • Lead Student Health Fee review process; make recommendations to the Vice President as to appropriate increases in the fee
    • Determine critical needs for the maintenance and growth of services; negotiate and manage any contractual agreements related to services
    • Oversee compliance, efficiency, and effectiveness in all records, billing, and insurance functions
    • Ensure appropriate accreditations and compliance activities are completed by departments, and that all relevant certification and licensure requirements are met
    • Conduct necessary operations and outcomes research and make appropriate recommendations for improvement of Health Center procedures and operations
    • Draft health-related policies and procedures for approval and ratification by the University
    • Oversee the development of documents, manuals, and handbooks relating to Health Center policies and procedures
    • Work closely with Attorney General's Office and other internal and external stakeholders to ensure compliance with federal, state, and University regulations, policies, and procedures
  • Other Responsibilities
    • Represent Enrollment and Student Services on University-wide committees, at community events, and at professional conferences
    • Act as an advisor to the University on health-related issues
    • Maintain knowledge of relevant local, regional, national, and international health issues, which may affect the university
Required Qualifications
  • Earned master's degree or doctoral degree in Health Administration, Public or Community Health, Business or Public Administration, Psychology or related field; or Medical or DNP degree
  • Relevant experience in a campus health or counseling center or comparable ambulatory health care facilities
  • Supervisory experience, some of which must be in a mental health or health care environment
  • Demonstrated experience leading a team in a high-pressure environment, including the use of conflict resolution techniques team-building, and coaching
  • Thorough understanding of accounting and budgetary procedures and personnel management in the health care environment
  • Demonstrated excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to outstanding healthcare in higher education and record of innovation in healthcare delivery
  • Understanding of disability issues and laws as they related to accommodations in a higher education setting
  • Demonstrated leadership in promoting equity and diversity
  • Demonstrated experience with the developmental needs of university/college students
Preferred Qualifications
  • Knowledge of integrated care and openness to working within an integrated model
  • Knowledge of health promotion practices in a University setting
  • Two years of professional experience leading a college student health service or counseling center
  • Five or more years of progressively responsible supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated knowledge of applicable Washington State and federal laws and ethical guidelines pertinent to health care delivery and health promotion in a University setting
  • Fluency in Spanish or another language other than English
  • Demonstrated commitment to inclusive excellence in all aspects of student health care, and in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of staff
  • Experience with assessment, program review, quality assurance, and accreditation issues pertinent to health and counseling centers
Salary Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience; includes an excellent benefits package
Application Instructions

This search is assisted by Academic Search, Inc.  Applications should consist of:

  • a detailed cover letter addressing the expectations of the position;
  • a current curriculum vitae (CV); and
  • a list of five professional references with contact information and a note explaining the working relationship of each to the applicant

References will not be contacted without the explicit permission of the candidate.  All documents should be in pdf format.

Nominations and applications should be sent electronically to  Nominators and prospective candidates may arrange a confidential discussion about this opportunity with Dr. Mahauganee Shaw, consultant at or Dr. Wanda Bigham, senior consultant, at 

Closing Date Notes Position is open until filled; only applications received by November 18, 2018 can be assured full consideration.

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“The Clery Act”). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western’s campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the office of the Vice President for enrollment and Student Services. The report can be found at

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 496183
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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