Job Description:

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Student Health and Wellness at Iowa State University, the Director of Student Wellness will serve as the leader in health promotion and prevention that supports the priorities and goals of holistic health, well-being, and safety for Iowa State and the Division of Student Affairs. The Director will join a unit encompassing four departments; Student Wellness, Recreation Services, Student Counseling Services, and Thielen Student Health Center. The collective unit team is charged with creating a community of care for Iowa State University (ISU) students focused on the eight dimensions of well-being. The Director will ensure and champion a “no wrong door” approach for students.

The Director will ensure that Iowa State is on the cutting edge of effective health and wellness education, personal safety initiatives, and prevention and intervention strategies for college student populations. This position will collaborate with other departments to implement new programs, and to help expand existing programs at Iowa State, targeting a wide range of critical wellness areas.. The Director will work closely with the employee well-being program (ISU Well-being) and the University Well-being Leadership Alliance (UWLA) to build effective partnerships across campus to mobilize all areas of the community to engage in wellness efforts. They will collaborate with campus, local, regional and national networks to identify emerging trends and adapt best practices to deliver effective programs. In addition to building and leading partnership efforts, the Director will also hire, lead and direct a team of health promotion, prevention, higher education, and student wellness professionals.

The successful candidate must be able to work collaboratively in an energetic, diverse work environment and be skilled at effective interactions with college-age populations, parents, faculty, and college administrators. They must be able to build effective partnerships across campus to mobilize all areas of the community to engage in wellness efforts. They must also have excellent technology and computer skills.

This position serves at the pleasure of university administration and is exempt from certain P&S policies.

Leadership & Supervision

  • Hires, leads, directs, trains and evaluates a team of health promotion, prevention, higher education, and student wellness professionals. Continually assesses and determines staffing needs.
  • Directs the efforts of Student Wellness staff to develop, evaluate, implement, and assess evidence-based prevention strategies.
  • Holds responsibility for formulating, executing, continually monitoring, and revising comprehensive wellness policies, procedures, operational and business plans, and budgets to ensure effective alignment of resources with the functional and strategic goals of Student Wellness and divisional and institutional priorities.
  • Serves as a champion for department, unit, and division priorities. This includes providing foundational leadership for substance use, sexual violence prevention (Green Dot), food, nutrition, and body image, suicide prevention and mental health promotion, and evolving health and wellness trends.
  • Collaborates with campus, local, regional and national networks to identify emerging trends, to adapt best practices and to deliver effective programs in the wellness, health promotion, and violence prevention fields adapted to the particular needs of the Iowa State student community.
  • Establishes departmental priorities and implements campus-wide programs and services informed by the best available scientific evidence and/or empirical research.
  • Oversees assessment efforts for the department, in collaboration with other Student Wellness staff.  Uses appropriate assessment techniques to measure the outcomes and effectiveness of specific initiatives. Uses assessment outcomes to inform program and policy development and training of staff, students and faculty.
  • Adheres to acceptable accounting practices and manages allotted project budgets.
  • Serves on divisional and institutional committees and working groups.
  • Works with University Foundation staff to identify outside funding for innovative wellness programs and oversees preparation of related proposals for grants and contracts awards.


  • Builds and encourages collaboration among campus colleagues to adopt and implement effective wellness initiatives and interventions.
  • Provides leadership for identified on-campus student health and wellness projects.
  • Collaborates and consults with Iowa State faculty on related research and academic initiatives.
  • Collaborates with nationally recognized experts on prevention and intervention and related subjects to bring cutting-edge and evidence based strategies to Iowa State.

Project Management and Assessment

  • Develops learning and program outcomes and measurement tools.
  • Provides necessary infrastructure to track progress of a variety of short-and long-term projects, and employs project management tools across departments to meet deadlines. Applies concepts of process improvement and change management.
  • Manages expectations of stakeholders, secures critical resources, resolves conflicts, or presents them to senior leadership for resolution. Identifies risks that could delay or impair progress on initiatives.
  • Works with assessment staff in Student Affairs and Institutional Research to ensure that rigorous and appropriate project evaluation and assessment procedures are in place for all projects in Student Wellness.


  • Serves as a primary point of contact for all inquiries related to Iowa State’s wellness, and violence prevention efforts.
  • Works closely with Student Health and Wellness marketing and communication staff, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of University Relations to develop and execute a communication plan for Student Wellness. 
  • Communicates progress, health and wellness trends, and pertinent data via reports and presentations to internal and external audiences.



Required Minimum Quals:

Bachelor's degree and 8 years of related experience; OR a Master's degree and 6 years of related experience; OR a Ph.D. or other professional degree and 3 years of related experience unless otherwise specified under supplemental required education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

- Doctorate degree in public health, health promotion, health policy, Higher Education, or a closely related field.
- Progressively responsible, related experience.
- Full-time supervisory experience of professional staff.
- Experience with current and emerging college-age health issues, environmental/prevention strategies, and evidence-based practices that have a high likelihood of achieving measurable improvements in health status and behaviors, and/or indices of academic and educational success.
- Experience implementing campus prevention initiatives, such as high-risk drinking, personal violence, and/or mental health.
- Experience doing research in community or public health, health education, and/or health promotion, including community needs assessments, survey design, environmental scans, and other qualitative and quantitative methods.
- Experience in health communications, social marketing, and social media.
- Active participation in professional organizations.

How to Apply


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Company Profile

Iowa State University strives to be the most student-centered public research university in the nation. It is a place where adventurous minds are encouraged to accomplish amazing things. As a major international university ranked in the top 50 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report and a member of the Association of American Universities, Iowa State offers a student experience rich in social and academic diversity. Over 36,650 students choose from 100 majors, study with world-class scholars, and hone their leadership skills in more than 800 student organizations. Students from all 50 states and more than 120 countries converge on one of the nation’s top 25 most beautiful campuses. Big 12 sports and a tradition of cultural and popular performances make campus life fun and memorable. Iowa State is a land-grant university, has set enrollment records the past nine years, and is the largest university in the state of Iowa. Iowa State is located in Ames, a community of 60,000 ranked as the second-best college town (under 250,000 population) and among the top 10 best places to live in America.

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