Department: Religious/Spiritual Life & Contemplative Practices Duration of Position: Academic year / Part time Work Schedule: Employee Type: Administrator Posting Date: 07/08/2021 Union Representation: Not Applicable Posting Number: AS101P Pay Rate:
About Vassar College Located in the scenic Mid-Hudson Valley, Vassar College is a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Vassar is deeply committed to fostering a community that reflects the values of a liberal arts education and to promoting an environment of equality, diversity and inclusiveness. Vassar seeks to create a pluralistic community for all staff, faculty and students. Vassar College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer, and applications from women, individuals with disabilities and members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged.Vassar College is a smoke-free, tobacco-free campus.Note: Vassar College has a universal vaccination policy requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for all employees except for those exempt for medical or religious reasons.
Position Summary and Responsibilities The Advisor for Muslim Student Life is a newly expanded part-time position, one of three core staff in the Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices (RSLCP) Office who all participate in the larger Dean of the College area. This position offers an exciting opportunity for a Muslim religious life professional to help the college develop a vibrant program and vision for Muslim life at an institution known for its courage to challenge norms, its commitment to educational access, and its aspiration to set forth students who work to transform the world. In the first years of this position, Muslim student engagement has grown considerably: where before five or so students observed Ramadan, this past spring about twenty-five students did. The Advisor for Muslim Life provides religious, spiritual, and pastoral leadership of the Muslim student community at the College, and collaborates within the program of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices and its ten student-led communities. The Advisor balances offering pastoral support for students navigating their Muslim identities in a secular context with programming for the general campus community to better support and understand Muslim religious practices, holiday observances, and diverse forms of cultural life more broadly. The office works closely with its Dean of the College colleagues in the Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Center, International Student Services, LGBTQ Center, Women's Center, etc.--a partnership structure that places Muslim life in the midst of the intersectional work the college supports across our cosmopolitan differences. We seek an Advisor able to constructively support our Vassar Muslim Student Association in navigating its dual affiliation with both the ALANA Center, the college's resource center for students of color, and the RSLCP Office. In recent years, we have started bringing a human-centered design approach to the work of chaplaincy; we seek a team member who can help us develop this approach to expand the range and type of students we engage. The Muslim Life Advisor reports to the Associate Dean for Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices. Core Responsibilities:
Advise and mentor Muslim student communities, providing leadership development, guidance, education, and support with programming and community involvement, including fostering community for daily prayers, weekly Jumu'ah prayer, and the full cycle of Muslim holidays.
Foster a pluralistic ethos for Muslim life, pastorally attuned to the ways Muslim students are navigating complex cross-pressures across race, gender, religion, culture, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. on a contemporary liberal arts campus. Welcome and mediate differing views on Muslim learning, observance, and politics, in order to develop a vibrant cultural, educational, and religious program. Work collaboratively with campus constituencies in identifying and implementing appropriate support for Muslim life.
Understand and contribute to the core work of the RSLCP office, which includes: participating in the office's campus-wide initiatives, including RSLCP's annual program activities; promoting an inter-religious ethos and fluency; developing student leadership; encouraging risk-taking relationships within and across our different spiritual communities; exploring partnerships and collaborations on campus and in our neighboring communities; planning and facilitating religious services and seasonal observances, including RSLCP sponsored inter-religious gatherings for the campus; working in close cooperation with the other RSLCP staff and advisors; and providing supportive counsel for students, faculty, and staff.
Support and initiate new educational programming, where our goals include responding to and supporting student-led initiatives and priorities and deepening our campus' collective understanding of our spiritual, religious, and cultural diversity.
The Advisor of Muslim Student Life is an academic year position, working 25 hours each week for 42 weeks/year and is benefits eligible. The Advisor's office will be in Pratt House, the new hub for the RSLCP Office, a former campus residence being converted into a space for gathering, respite, and contemplative practices. Renovations for Pratt House are being completed this summer-and include a prayer and meditation space, wudu station, and kitchen. The Advisor will also be responsible for the oversight of a dedicated Muslim prayer space in a separate building on campus.
Application review will begin during the week of August 23, 2021.
Bachelor of Arts degree required, Masters degree or in the process of completing a Masters degree preferred.
Practicum experience in Muslim chaplaincy, with experience in Muslim campus life or other Muslim communal settings preferred.
Highly motivated and innovative leader, with an understanding of and experience in mentoring and inspiring Muslim young adults.
Broad knowledge of and engagement with Muslim histories, cultures, traditions, spirituality, and practices.
Ability to facilitate prayer and study circles as well as to mentor students to lead such gatherings. Must be committed to pluralism within Islam, and be able to mentor students from different Islamic traditions and forms of practice.
Ability to think critically and creatively about the place of Muslim religious and cultural life in an inter-religious campus setting, as well as about the place of religious life in secular culture.
Excellent organizational skills, as well as oral, written, and interpersonal communication are expected, as is the ability to display imagination, ingenuity and humor in solving problems, and mentoring students.
Ability to work with a diverse student population and demonstrated commitment to foster inclusive communities are expected, as well as the ability to work productively, joyfully, and collegially as part of a team.
Special Instructions to Applicants To complete your on-line application, you will be required to attach your resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3 professional references. All attachments must be in PDF format. Review of applications will begin August 23, 2021. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources, 845-437-5820.
For full consideration applicants should apply by: 08/23/2021
Founded in 1861, Vassar College is a highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college. Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Vassar is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.