Director of Student Life & Operations at the Wendell Berry Farming Program
The Director of Student Life and Operations manages student life, recruitment and admission, and program operations for the Wendell Berry Farming Program (WBFP) in Henry County, Kentucky. The Director reports to the Dean of the WBFP in Kentucky and works closely with personnel in Sterling’s Student Life, Admission, and Business Offices in Vermont.
This position entails a broad range of responsibilities, including but not limited to:
Design and support student life services for the Kentucky campus that reflect the values articulated in the College’s mission and vision statements. Oversight of residential life, student engagement, and health and wellness services. Advocate for individual students’ success in college. Take a leadership role in disciplinary actions related to residential and student life issues. Serve as liaison to Vermont campus to ensure students are able to access cross-campus services. Provide leadership in emergency situations and participate in on-call rotation.
Recruitment and Admission
Coordinate with the Office of Admission and Financial Aid to recruit highly-qualified students and to facilitate the application, admission, and financial aid processes. Network with Kentucky based college, farms, and organizations to identify and establish reciprocal relationships for prospective WBFP students. Oversight of the new student onboarding paperwork, housing logistics, and ongoing student communications.
Provide administrative leadership for WBFP finances, facilities, and office operations–including managing budgets, bookkeeping, placing materials orders, coordinating facilities maintenance, and record-keeping.
- Bachelor’s degree
- Valid driver’s license and insurance
- Commitment to Sterling College’s educational mission and ecological stewardship
- Ability to plan and manage projects efficiently
- Strong leadership and decision-making skills for working with students
- Ability to respond to a wide range of requests by students, faculty, and staff
- Skillful budgeting, bookkeeping, and financial reporting
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
- Live in close proximity to WBFP operations in Henry County, Kentucky
- Weekend and night activities occasionally required
- Occasional travel required
- At least 3 years working in college admission or student life
- Familiarity with living and working in a rural community
- Graduate degree or equivalent work experience
- Familiarity with Google Suite, MS Office, and various business software
- Farming experience and/or commitment to fostering viable farming communities
The position will remain open until an appointment has been made, but application review will begin immediately. Candidates should send the following materials electronically: cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three references. References will not be contacted without candidate permission. Application materials should be addressed and emailed as a single PDF file to: Dr. Leah Bayens, Dean of the Wendell Berry Farming Program, email@example.com.
ABOUT THE WENDELL BERRY FARMING PROGRAM OF STERLING COLLEGE
In collaboration with The Berry Center and based in Henry County, Kentucky, the WBFP delivers tuition-free junior and senior year coursework for Sterling College’s sustainable agriculture degree to students from Kentucky and elsewhere. The first cohort of 12 students began in August 2019. Led by Sterling faculty and staff, the students also work with farmers, foresters, and rural advocates, including The Berry Center staff.
The Staff Accountant reports to the Dean of Finance and Operations. Working together with the Dean of Finance and Operations, the Staff Accountant is responsible for day-to-day accounting activities including student billing, maintaining accounts receivable and accounts payable, posting journal entries, processing payroll and other responsibilities of the business office.
Primary responsibilities may include:
- Maintaining vendor relationships, reviewing and recording invoices and processing accounts payable paperwork for a biweekly check run;
- Working closely with the financial aid office to prepare and process accurate and timely student bills;
- Recording and managing accounts receivable and ensuring that financial aid and student payments are collected and accurately applied in accordance with stated terms;
- Preparing journal entries for transfers between departments;
- Maintaining employee credit card transactions and payments;
- Maintaining purchase order records;
- Reconciling bank accounts and petty cash account;
- Processing of payroll and health and retirement benefits;
- Managing office/classroom supplies and making purchases to ensure adequate stock on hand;
- Using accounting software or Excel spreadsheets to create customized reports as directed by the Controller;
- Assisting with maintaining the fixed asset schedule and recording depreciation;
- Assisting with gathering documents for the annual audit;
- Performing other accounting or administrative tasks as directed by the Controller.
Required qualifications include:
- Strong personal interest in and commitment to Sterling College’s mission to advance ecological thinking and action;
- An undergraduate degree in accounting or business or comparable work experience;
- Solid experience working with financial data, unquestionable integrity and extreme attention to detail;
- Ability to manage multiple tasks and to work quickly and accurately in a fast-paced work environment;
- Proficient with Microsoft Excel;
- Strong customer service and communication skills and a positive “can-do” attitude;
- Experience with Blackbaud software or similar accounting system.
- Other duties and responsibilities as assigned and as necessary to support the evolving needs of the College.
The position will remain open until an appointment has been made, but application review will begin immediately. Candidates should send the following materials electronically: cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three references. References will not be contacted without candidate permission. Application materials should be addressed and emailed as a single PDF file to: Maxine Kelly, Dean of Finance & Operations, firstname.lastname@example.org
The College & President
Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College advances ecological thinking and action through affordable experiential learning, preparing knowledgeable, skilled and responsible leaders to face the ecological crises caused by unlimited growth and consumption that threatens the future of the planet. Enrollment is limited to 125 students. Sterling is home to the School of the New American Farmstead and the Wendell Berry Farming Program, is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and is one of only nine colleges and universities recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a “Work College.”
The College has received national attention for becoming one of the first institutions in the U.S. to divest from fossil fuels. Sterling has been recognized for its sustainability initiatives by Sierra Magazine and has earned a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for five consecutive years.
Matthew Derr was appointed the 11th President of Sterling College in 2012 and has recently committed to lead the College through 2023. In December 2010, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education awarded Derr with the organization’s Chief Executive Leadership Award and the Great Lakes Colleges Association recognized his efforts on behalf of liberal education with a visiting fellowship. Under his leadership, Sterling has experienced a period of rapid growth in student enrollment and philanthropic support, with the largest successful fundraising campaign in institutional history. Sterling expanded its emphasis on field studies in 2016 with support from the Endeavor Foundation and also launched the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems. Prior to Sterling, President Derr served as an alumni leader and Interim President of his alma mater, Antioch College, where he is credited with successfully leading the effort to revive the institution. Derr was born in Flint, Michigan. His grandparents and parents were autoworkers. He attended public schools before earning a Bachelor of Arts in History from Antioch and MSW in Community and Organizing and Social Systems from the University of Michigan. He has also studied at the George Heyman Center for Philanthropy at New York University. President Derr is one of a handful of openly gay college presidents in the United States. He lives on campus with his partner Julian Sharp who serves as the Director of Community Outreach.
Sterling College is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, religion, national origin or sex in violation of Title VII. Sterling College prohibits discrimination against employees, applicants for employment and students on the basis of age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or veteran’s status.