Director, Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars

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University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a highly selective, public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, and is the most applied-to university in the nation. Founded in 1919, UCLA is the second oldest of the 10 campuses of the University of California (UC) system and is considered one of the flagship institutions of the UC system. With more than 3,800 courses offered through 109 academic departments, UCLA offers more than 125 undergraduate majors and more than 80 minors, as well as nearly 150 graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. UCLA enrolls over 30,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate and professional students from the United States and around the world. The student body is culturally and economically diverse, and international students comprise 25% of the graduate and 12% of the undergraduate population.

UCLA is one of the world’s great research universities, 10th in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 global rankings and number 14 in London’s Times Higher Education ranking (2016-2017). Thirteen Nobel laureates are affiliated with the university as faculty, researchers, or alumni. Among the current faculty members, 50 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 26 to the National Academy of Engineering, 40 to the National Academy of Medicine, and 143 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Interdisciplinary teaching and research is a particular strength, with initiatives in the arts, stem cells and other biosciences, nanoscience, international studies, and the environment.

UCLA student-athletes compete as the Bruins. As a member of the Pacific-12 Conference, UCLA Athletics is the most decorated program in the nation, including 113 NCAA team championships. UCLA student-athletes have won 261 Olympic medals—133 gold, 66 silver, and 62 bronze. The Bruins have had at least one competitor in every Olympics since 1920 with one exception (1924), and UCLA has won a gold medal in every Olympics since 1932 with the exception of the 1980 boycott.

Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars

UCLA’s Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars (DCISS or the center) is a department within Student Affairs that offers personalized counseling, advice, and support to UCLA’s over 12,000 talented international students, scholars, faculty, staff, and their families, as well as programming for the multicultural campus community. DCISS strives to be a caring and comprehensive one-stop shop for the campus’ international population, providing direct services and programming, answering general questions, and providing referrals to programs and services available to the campus community. Its programs help the campus’ international population understand and adjust to the UCLA campus and the greater Los Angeles community, and provide the UCLA community with a fuller appreciation of the world and a keener awareness of our emerging global neighborhood. UCLA and the center are unique in the nation for the scope of their commitment to programs, events, and activities that contribute to building a world of greater tolerance, understanding, and peace.

The center is organized into three areas: programming and referrals; student and scholar (F & J) visa services and counseling; and employment based visa (H, O, E, PR) services. The programming unit responds to the interests of the campus’ international community and facilitates enhanced cultural awareness, cross-cultural friendships, and heightened international understanding. It provides a comprehensive orientation for entering international students to ease their entry into the university and the community in the weeks before classes start. Along with many other programs for the campus, English conversation and Global Sibling programs are offered throughout the academic year. The student and scholar unit ensures SEVIS compliance and provides assistance to non-immigrant students and scholars in interpreting immigration regulations, understanding employment options, and making cultural and personal adjustments to the campus and in the community. Legislation with respect to safeguarding U.S. national security interests has elevated DCISS’s responsibility to comprehensively interact with international students and scholars in order to ensure their compliance with pertinent policies and regulations. SEVIS compliance is an institution–wide matter, involving multiple outside units, including UCLA Extension, School of Medicine, Law School, International Education Office, and others. The employment based visa unit strategizes with campus administrators during recruitments involving foreign nationals, coordinates the visa application process, and assists with permanent residency petitions. Services are also provided for departments that employ non-citizen faculty or staff. This unit works closely with campus counsel and outside counsel, as appropriate.


Los Angeles, California

Vision and Mission

UCLA Mission Statement: UCLA’s primary purpose as a public research university is the creation, dissemination, preservation, and application of knowledge for the betterment of the global society.

DCISS Mission Statement: The Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars enhances the UCLA experience for international students and scholars and promotes global connection through services to the university community. Staff members are international educators who uphold the highest professional standards and meet the needs of students and scholars with cultural sensitivity and awareness. They advise, counsel, advocate, ensure regulatory compliance, and create learning and community involvement opportunities through programs and events.

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Reporting Relationship

Reporting to University Registrar and Executive Director for Student Affairs Research & International Services Frank Wada, the director of DCISS is responsible for the professional development, evaluation, and discipline of the six lead employees in each of the department’s three focus areas, and may delegate authority among these individuals as appropriate. These six individuals include the assistant director, research and special projects; the information technology coordinator; the assistant director, student and scholar services; the administrative coordinator; two immigration counselors; and the assistant director, programs. They, in turn, supervise the remaining staff members and volunteers, comprising a total professional staff of approximately 25 individuals, for whom performance is reviewed annually. The director interacts with systemwide and local university officials at every level, from the systemwide Office of the President to clerical staff, including vice provosts, deans, and other campus leaders regarding campus initiatives responsive to the needs of international students, scholars, and special programs. Additionally, the director is responsible for establishing and maintaining appropriate relationships with government officials in a variety of agencies and a wide variety of community participants including volunteers from every walk of life.

Position Concept

UCLA seeks an experienced, results-oriented director to shape the future course of the Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars. Operating within the framework of regulations set forth by federal, state, and university authorities, the director has overall responsibility for the quality and development of programs, procedures, and reporting formats that directly support international students, scholars, faculty, and staff. The director, as a strategic local, national, and global leader within the international student and scholar community, is responsible for long- and short-term operational, fiscal, and organizational planning; providing leadership and administration of all departmental programs and services; and developing and managing the department’s goals and objectives. The director is responsible for the development of departmental performance expectations, and is accountable for the department’s compliance with university accounting, auditing, and personnel principles, policies, and procedures.

The director provides strategic, operational, administrative, technological, and financial leadership to the center, including managing an annual budget of approximately $2.9 million.

Specific Duties

Under the direction of the university registrar and executive director, the director is responsible for leadership and administration of all departmental programs and services. Specific duties include:

  1. Provide leadership for long- and short-term strategic, fiscal, and organizational planning, in order to ensure high quality programs and services that are responsive to the needs of the international community at UCLA by:
    • Offering an efficient, personalized counseling system to provide international students the information, advice, and general support needed for academic success (e.g., visa, financial, academic, social, and personal issues);
    • ­Advising academic departments and counseling international faculty on immigration regulations, and identifying appropriate visa classifications for recruited scholars;
    • Providing seminars and workshops on visa and immigration matters; ­
    • Providing programs that bring domestic and international students into close contact for their mutual education, personal and civic development, and to expand understanding of diverse cultural issues and world events; ­
    • Developing campus-wide intercultural programs, encouraging international students to express themselves, share their cultures, and contribute to the international education of all students, both on an individual level and through student organizations, and providing opportunities to domestic students to know and work with international students.
  1. Develop and manage DCISS’s annual budget; analyze short- and long-term fiscal plans, and make independent and sound decisions relative to the operation of the department and its budget.
  1. Conduct annual evaluations of the center’s programs and services to ensure their impact relative to stated goals and objectives; develop action plans for change in areas where planned goals are not being met.
  1. Develop departmental goals, objectives, and performance expectations; be accountable for the department’s compliance with university accounting, auditing, and personnel principles, policies, and procedures.
  1. Conduct staff meetings and create appropriate protocols, policies, procedures, and instruments for the effective internal management of the center.
  1. Ensure compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to immigration law, Department of Homeland Security policies and regulations, and US. Department of State protocols and procedures. The director serves as the campus’ primary liaison with Department of State and Homeland Security. This individual prepares annual reports for government agencies and notifies the agencies of any problem or controversy that could bring the UCLA program into notoriety or disrepute.
  1. Formulate and implement university policy and procedures for visa status for international students and scholars, and ensure conformance of UCLA practices with the Immigration and Nationality Act; Code of Federal Regulation 8, 20 and 22: Operating Instructions of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Foreign Affairs Manual and Examinations Handbook of the Department of State, including Consular Offices.
  1. Work closely with the vice provost of International Institute, vice provost/dean for the Graduate Division, vice provost/dean of Undergraduate Education, and other senior campus leaders to ensure existing and newly developed special programs are in compliance with the federal visa regulations when international students and scholars are involved.
  1. Oversee the School of Medicine Exchange Visitor Program to ensure institutional compliance with Department of State regulations and assist UCLA Extension with their exchange visitors.
  1. Serve as the campus’ primary contact to correspond and interact with the administrators of exchange scholar programs in the U.S. and abroad (e.g. IIE, CIES, AMIDEAST, LASPAU, etc.). Prepare annual reports.
  1. To ensure department goals and objectives are met, the director attends university meetings, UC-wide International Office directors’ meetings, serves on task forces and committees, participates in special projects, and serves as liaison with other UCLA departments and student organizations.
  1. In response to the changing demographic character of the UCLA community and recent increase with the number of international students, the director of DCISS plays a leadership role in designing and implementing programs that will advance the goals of a diverse and pluralistic community, and guide campus units to best respond to the needs of this growing population on campus. This requires expertise in the area of managing diversity. The director is called upon to build a positive community in which students, faculty, and staff come to value different backgrounds and interact positively as a part of an enriching educational experience.
  1. Participate in the educational mission of the university by participating in professional organizations including NAFSA (The Association of International Educators) and NASPA (the association for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education); and, conducting academic research and assessments related to issues affecting the campus’ international community, presenting findings at conferences, and publishing as appropriate.

Candidate Qualifications

The successful candidate will be an energetic, forward thinking, solutions-focused leader with a strong work ethic. This individual will also have the following characteristics, traits, and competencies:

  • Must be able to relate to as well as communicate and work effectively with one of the most complex and diverse communities of any at UCLA, comprising ethnically and socially varied populations. This community includes 12,000 international students, scholars, faculty, and staff from approximately 120 countries; faculty members, both U.S. and international; university officials at every level; government officials in a variety of agencies; and a wide variety of community participants and volunteers from disparate backgrounds.
  • A visionary and proven leader with the foresight and courage to break new ground. The director will be a tenacious person who looks for answers and alternative approaches to solving problems and meeting needs. This individual will have a strong customer service orientation and will thrive finding creative solutions to unconventional questions, making the most of the center’s resources.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) and ability to provide oversight and leadership over multiple units both within DCISS and with other academic units to ensure institutional compliance, consultation, and training, meeting all reporting deadlines.
  • Knowledge of student development theory, methods of putting theory into practice, and techniques to evaluate the correspondence between theory and practice. Detailed knowledge of and skill in intercultural counseling and university student advisement applicable to international students and scholars.
  • Substantial professional experience in higher education, including familiarity with standards, principles, and policies appropriate to a student affairs department in a higher education institution; a demonstrated ability to lead a department within the student affairs organization in a complex university.
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills and experience required, coupled with the ability to effectively direct and supervise the activities of an experienced professional staff.
  • Deep and current knowledge of immigration law, Department of Homeland Security policies and regulations, and U.S. Department of State protocols and procedures; and a comprehensive understanding of the visa and immigration services required to support a large, public research institution.
  • Ability to exercise tact in dealing with sensitive, nuanced, and confidential issues and situations.
  • Must possess a strong passion for working with students, as well as a keen understanding of and interest in their unique issues and wellbeing.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret policies, procedures, and regulations and analyze information to determine compliance. Skill in implementing immigration strategies for non-immigrant visa categories on campus. The position requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of international cultures, politics, religions, mores, and practices.
  • Analytical, verbal and writing skills necessary for understanding, explaining and ensuring compliance with complex government and university laws, regulations and procedures. Skill in explaining technical procedures to administrators who may lack the same technical background.
  • Demonstrated skill to write concise and logical analytical reports for all audience levels to explain trends and relevance of policies and programs.
  • Proven record of skillful financial management, including the ability to prepare and manage a budget, make realistic and equitable fiscal decisions, and prepare cogent annual budget reports is required. Experience managing various fund sources is preferred.
  • Fluency in one or more foreign languages would be a plus.


The successful candidate will hold an advanced degree in education or related field from an accredited institution, or an equivalent combination of education and relevant experience in the university setting preferred.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants must apply for this position using the UCLA Career Opportunities website. Go to the UCLA HR site and the position is listed under Requisition 25443.

Applications received by April 3, 2017 will be given priority in the review process.

UCLA is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer


Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc. is assisting UCLA with this search. Confidential inquiries may be directed to:

Krista Haley, Associate
Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc.
11693 San Vicente Blvd., Suite #104
Los Angeles, California 90049
Office: (800) 396-0595 ext. 7

Shelli Herman, President
Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc.
11693 San Vicente Blvd., Suite #104
Los Angeles, California 90049
Office: (800) 396-0595 ext. 5