Chief Student Affairs Officer and Associate Dean of Student Life

Student Life Position at Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University
Beijing, China

Position Summary

Serving as the senior student affairs officer, the Associate Dean of Students plays a vital role in supporting Scholars throughout their time at the residential Schwarzman College on the Tsinghua University campus. The CSAO/ADSL is based in and resides at Schwarzman College in Beijing and works closely with colleagues in both Beijing and New York City.

About The Organization

Designed to inspire the next generation of global leaders, the Schwarzman Scholars program is the most significant of its kind since the Rhodes Trust was founded in 1902. With nearly $600 million raised so far, it is also the single largest philanthropic effort ever undertaken in China by largely international donors.

The 100-200 scholars chosen annually for this highly selective program work towards a one-year Master’s Degree in Global Affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing — one of China’s most prestigious universities. As individuals who want to have a positive impact on the world, Schwarzman Scholars are selected based on their academic credentials, extracurricular interests, and leadership potential.

Major Responsibilities

Reporting directly to the Executive Director of Schwarzman Scholars, Dr. Lara Tiedens, based in New York City, and Dean of Schwarzman College, Dr. Xue Lan, based in Beijing, the Chief Student Affairs Officer and Associate Dean is the senior student affairs officer for Schwarzman Scholars and Schwarzman College and holds the title of Associate Dean of Student Life at Tsinghua University. As a member of the senior leadership team and the senior-most foundation employee in China, the CSAO/ADSL is responsible for executing the day-to-day residential experience of Scholars while working closely with Tsinghua University administrators and in alignment with Chinese customs and expectations.

The CSAO/ADSL will build on the successes of the founding Associate Dean and will be responsible for all planning and staffing issues related to the design and execution of student life activities. Working with the student life staff based in Beijing, the CSAO/ADSL will coordinate the alignment of all Scholar programs and initiatives to provide Scholars with a rich and fulfilling experience in the program. The CSAO/ADSL’s team is charged with overseeing residential life; creating and delivering co-curricular programming; supporting wellness through programming and health and wellness services; managing internships, mentorships, and career services; providing onboarding and orientation, visa support, and study tours; and supervising the College’s resident assistants.

The CSAO/ADSL currently supervises 16 staff and has oversight of operational budgets of $3.7 million (exclusive of personnel costs). The CSAO/ADSL resides in a well-appointed and fully furnished apartment at Schwarzman College.


Opportunities and Challenges

The CSAO/ADSL works collaboratively with Scholars, faculty, staff, Alumni, and College and program leaders in both Beijing and New York City, in addition to connecting with global leaders across industries on behalf of Schwarzman Scholars. They will guide an outstanding team and form relationships with the broader Tsinghua University community to continue creating and leveraging partnerships that enhance the Scholar experience. Priorities for the CSAO/ADSL will include the following:

  • Manage a robust and evolving student life program for a diverse cohort of Scholars.
    • Welcoming its seventh cohort of Scholars in Fall 2022, Schwarzman Scholars is seeking an entrepreneurial leader who can build upon the current policies and systems in place while continuing to develop a program that in many ways is still a start-up culture. This work includes navigating complex social and political relationships in a dynamic and ever-changing global environment, while maintaining a Scholarcentered approach, alongside anticipating and responding to the various needs that arise amongst a
      highly motivated and academically focused cohort of international Scholars. The student life program must serve this diverse community while also aligning with the cultural expectations present on a Chinese campus.
  • Further develop a strong Scholar-centered culture, providing programming, resources, and support for a diverse cohort of postgraduates.
    • Schwarzman Scholars receive a customized co-curricular experience. To deliver this experience for each 200-student cohort, the Associate Dean needs to employ on the ground interpersonal skills coupled with systematic and strategic thinking and operational leadership. The CSAO/ADSL will be hands-on and play an integral part in the development of programming that supports the health and wellbeing of an ambitious and talented group of Scholars, in addition to elevating unparalleled academic and career connections that span an international population interested in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
  • Lead and develop a strong, service-oriented staff.
    • The CSAO/ADSL will need to uplift and support the Student Life staff. Building on the Schwarzman Scholars culture of growth and innovation, the CSAO/ADSL will prioritize staff professional development and retention alongside empowering staff members to create new and expanded programming and systems where opportunities arise. The CSAO/ADSL will also plan for staff recruitment, as necessary, to address the evolving needs of Scholars in this unique environment.

Skills, Experience, and Qualifications

The Schwarzman Scholars program leadership is seeking an experienced, flexible, and creative administrator with substantial accomplishments in their career to join the organization as the next Chief Student Affairs Officer and Associate Dean of Student Life. It would be helpful, though not essential, for a candidate to have had exposure to China or have worked closely with Chinese organizations. Fluency in Mandarin is not required.

The preferred candidate will bring many of following professional qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Significant experience in student affairs within an institution of higher education;
  • Strong community-building and superior interpersonal skills;
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and diplomatic leadership style;
  • An adeptness at producing and implementing student affairs policies and processes;
  • Outstanding and effective communication skills that place value on honest, transparent, and direct communication with all constituencies, including the Scholars, program and College leadership, colleagues, and the broader Tsinghua University community;
  • The ability to navigate complex relationships with faculty and staff at Tsinghua University;
  • A deep passion for international education, student development, and creating residential environments that support academic excellence;
  • An active interest in China’s place in the world; and,
  • An appreciation for the mission of Schwarzman Scholars.

To Apply

Please send all nominations and applications to:

Shelly Weiss Storbeck, Global Education Practice Lead and Managing Director
DeMethra LaSha Bradley, Managing Associate
Lisa Solinsky, Senior Associate
SchwarzmanADS@storbecksearch.com