Vice Provost for Sustainability and Climate Action
The University of Michigan (U-M) is well-positioned to take on the global challenges that surround our planet related to sustainability and climate action. Administrators, faculty, staff, and students are already steeped in education, research, and community engagement on sustainability and climate action at the University.
U-M seeks a collaborative, experienced, and innovative leader to serve in the inaugural role of the Vice Provost for Sustainability and Climate Action (VPSCA). The VPSCA will build upon the University’s successes and work to create new opportunities for further collaboration, partnership, and engagement inside and outside the University. Additionally, the VPSCA will foster a culture whereby sustainability and climate action are embedded within the educational and research missions across all units to drive significant progress and impact.
Reporting directly to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, the VPSCA will be responsible for guiding, coordinating, and advancing U-M’s leadership in the spheres of education and research related to sustainability and climate action, and for partnering with other responsible leaders to advance campus sustainability culture and living lab opportunities.
Aligned with its public mission, U-M is a leader in its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. U-M strives to embed and integrate these values to ensure a pluralistic entity that is free from discrimination and welcomes and supports underserved and underrepresented communities. The VPSCA will build on these commitments by infusing them throughout the sustainability and climate action education and research priorities.
The VPSCA will engage the campus on academic and research activities, as well as public and community engagement initiatives, to enhance and facilitate cross-campus collaboration in the areas of sustainability and climate action. This role will serve an important convening and coordinating function to ensure that U-M is recognized as a global leader in cutting-edge sustainability and climate action education and research.
The University of Michigan has a long and distinguished history. It was founded in 1817, 20 years before the territory became a state and 45 years before the Morrill Act of 1862 established the modern, public land-grant university system. It was one of the first public universities in the nation, and throughout its over 200-year history, it has maintained the highest levels of education, scholarship, and research.
The University of Michigan was ranked in the top 35 of the 1,500 higher education institutions across 104 locations in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings 2024 edition. Among national universities, U.S. News and World Report regularly ranks the University of Michigan as a top 25 institution. The University has also held the title as the third ranked public university every year since 2019 and is the second U.S. public university with the highest National Science Foundation (NSF) research volume.
The University of Michigan has a total budget of $13.4 billion in FY24. The faculty headcount at U-M’s three campuses is 7,457, with the Ann Arbor campus alone having a total of 6,752 faculty full-time equivalents (FTEs). Instructional appointments comprise 3,617 FTEs, and another 3,134 FTEs are individuals with clinical, research, and other titles who are primarily involved in health care, research, and related scholarly activities. The University of Michigan enrolls approximately 52,065 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. It regularly ranks as first or second in the country in research expenditures among public universities, with total research expenditures at over $1.8 billion in FY23. Having earned distinction in almost every academic area, the University of Michigan is an exceptional, comprehensive research environment.
Initial screening of applicants will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The University of Michigan will be assisted by Jackie Zavitz, Abby Rudman, and Sara Szynal of Heidrick & Struggles, Inc.
Nominations and applications should be directed to: Michigan_VPSustainability@heidrick.com
The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office (ECRT) at 734-763-0235 and firstname.lastname@example.org, and as follows:
Sex/Gender Identity/Gender Expression/Sexual Orientation, including sexual misconduct: ECRT Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Director and Title IX Coordinator
Disability: ECRT Disability Director and ADA Coordinator
Race/Color/National Origin/Age/Marital Status/Religion/Height/Weight/Veteran Status: ECRT Civil Rights Director
Land Acknowledgement: The University of Michigan occupies the ancestral, traditional, and current lands of the Anishinaabe or People of the Three Fires, namely the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodewadmi Nations. These nations were forced to cede their lands in 1817 through the coercive Treaty at the Foot of the Rapids. The Treaty earmarked half of the lands for ‘a college at Detroit,’ where Indigenous students would be able to receive an education. Despite this commitment, U-M did not enroll an Indigenous student until 130 years later. Additionally, it is the sale of this land that established U-M’s endowment and helped create and sustain U-M as a premier research university.
As U-M continues to occupy this land, we recognize that this acknowledgment does not substitute for the creation of an authentic and sustained relationship with the Indigenous communities and their lands that we occupy. Further, this acknowledgment will not erase the harm and violence that have been done to Indigenous people through the actions and inactions of the institution. However, through a land acknowledgment, U-M is taking an important small step towards the creation of an equitable, sustainable, and self-determined future. In offering this land acknowledgment, we recognize and affirm Indigenous people and communities who live in Michigan now and those who were forcibly removed from their homelands. We also affirm Indigenous histories and experiences, and the historic and ongoing struggles for Indigenous sovereignty.