Search for the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences 2019-20

Position Description

Washington University in St. Louis invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences.

Washington University seeks an eminent, energetic, strategic, ambitious, and collaborative leader to serve as the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. The Dean is responsible for all aspects of Arts & Sciences research activities, academic programs, fundraising, finances, outreach, and other operations. The Dean is charged with the responsibility of maintaining the highest standards of research, scholarship, and teaching and of fostering meaningful intersections between curricular and co-curricular activities on campus. As a senior member of the Washington University leadership team, the Dean works closely with faculty, the Chancellor, and the Provost to manage the Arts & Sciences programs and resources in furtherance of the University’s academic and institutional goals.

Arts & Sciences has approximately 420 tenure-track faculty, 140 teaching-track faculty, 4,500 undergraduate students, 2,000 full-time graduate students, and 900 part-time evening students. The School covers a wide range of disciplines in its 24 departments in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences; and houses 12 interdepartmental programs and 8 research centers. The annual operating budget of Arts & Sciences is $300 million. In FY 2018, the total research expenditures of Arts & Sciences were $43 million.

Over the past two decades, Washington University has significantly enhanced the undergraduate student experience, and broadened and deepened its ties to the local community while rising from regional to national prominence as a highly selective, elite educational institution. The next dean will join the leadership team of Washington University at a time of considerable achievement as well as opportunity. On 3 October 2019, Andrew Martin spoke at his inauguration as the new Chancellor of the University of his plans to build upon the Momentum present at the University. He highlighted as priorities the need to enhance the research and scholarly enterprise of the faculty, to build upon the foundation of excellent teaching by carefully assessing and improving the University’s curriculum and pedagogy, to broaden access to education for students regardless of their background or previous opportunities, and to strengthen the community of St. Louis. He concluded his speech with the vision that “20 years from now, we can confidently say that Washington University is:

  • A place that continues to be world-renowned for cutting-edge research, transformative and values-oriented education, and compassionate patient care;
  • A place that has opened its doors widely and freely to anyone with talent who wishes to receive a WashU education;
  • A place that has been a leader in the continued growth and prosperity of the St. Louis region;
  • And a place that has helped lead—and perhaps even transformed—higher education to meet the demands of our society.”

The next dean will have the extraordinary opportunity to lead the effort to formulate a plan for the future of Arts & Sciences at Washington University. The dean will be expected to engage with the faculty, staff, students, trustees, and alumni on strategic efforts to strengthen the faculty; to enhance the quality of undergraduate education and strengthen the graduate programs; to navigate the opportunities and challenges presented by emerging instructional technologies; to confront the challenge of decreasing college affordability; and to forge better collaborations with other divisions of the university.

The successful candidate will present a distinguished record of achievement in research, education, and administration. The candidate will demonstrate impeccable academic judgment and an uncompromising commitment to academic excellence, a commitment to diversity in all its forms, excellent interpersonal skills, a curiosity about all forms of intellectual inquiry within Arts & Sciences as well as a deep commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration. The dean must be an articulate and transparent communicator, a strategic allocator and manager of resources, and an effective fundraiser.

University Leadership

Andrew D. Martin was appointed Washington University’s 15th chancellor by the university’s Board of Trustees on July 14, 2018. From 2014-2018, Martin served as dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan. Previously, he served in various positions at Washington University in St. Louis, including as the Charles Nagel Chair of Constitutional Law and Political Science at the School of Law, vice dean of the School of Law, founding director of the Center for Empirical Research in the Law, and chair of the Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences. Throughout his career, Martin has received research funding from many organizations, including the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. Martin earned his Ph.D. in political science from Washington University in 1998 and his A.B from the College of William & Mary in mathematics and government in 1994.

Chancellor Martin has initiated a search for the next Provost of Washington University. Working with a search committee, he expects to identify the next permanent incumbent of the role by the end of the 2019 calendar year. The announced Provost-select will participate in the Dean search process and decision.

The Position

The Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences reports to the Provost and will be expected to fulfill the following leadership opportunities:

  • Strengthen the faculty and enhance research and scholarship within Arts & Sciences: Washington University has numerous nationally ranked departments that compete with other institutions for faculty. The Dean will need to ensure that Arts & Sciences remains attractive to current and to prospective faculty and will need to invest strategically to enhance the quality of departments in each of the divisions: humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Fundamental to the investment strategy is to raise the research profile of the Arts & Sciences faculty.
  • Provide leadership for critical academic decisions: The Dean will be asked to provide leadership for and build consensus around how to address a variety of critical academic issues, including the selective excellence within departments, the nature and extent of interdisciplinary programs, the configuration of departments and curricular offerings, and enrollment across academic areas.
  • Provide leadership for undergraduate education: Washington University has invested for over two decades in improving the co-curricular and life experience of undergraduates. The Dean needs to sustain and augment existing efforts to ensure student satisfaction with Arts & Sciences’ academic quality and experience.
  • Foster excellence in graduate education: The Dean must work with the faculty to invest in and build graduate and doctoral programs of national and international distinction whose research shapes and improves the world.
  • Manage resources to ensure a strong financial future: The fulfillment of the mission of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences over the long term can only be accomplished if revenues are increased and expenditures are made strategically. The Dean must continue to manage resources wisely, maintaining sound budgetary controls and principled resource allocation. • Increase resources through fundraising: The Dean will have to dedicate significant time and attention to raising funds from donors, both large and small. The Dean will need to increase the depth of the donor pool and ensure that the School is positioned to maintain those relationships in the years to come.
  • Build collaboration across divisions: There continue to be important opportunities for collaboration across the divisions within the School and across schools within the University including the School of Medicine; the Dean should foster curiosity and dialogue throughout the campus community, strengthen existing collaborations, seek out new opportunities and facilitate their exploration and establishment, effectively leveraging and deepening the excellence in the University’s other Schools.
  • Serve as one of the University’s senior leaders, advocating effectively for Arts & Science in institutional settings: Deans at Washington University have exceptional autonomy within their schools. Certain resources and decisions, however, are institutional, such as setting tuition and allocating capital facilities investment. The Dean needs to be an effective advocate in University-wide settings.
  • Foster diversity, equity, and inclusion: Diversity is key to academic excellence and institutional strength. The Dean will need to foster and sustain efforts to enhance the diversity, equity, and inclusion among faculty, staff, and students.

Ideal candidates will have the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • Academic stature: Distinguished academic accomplishments, commensurate with appointment at the rank of professor, and appropriate to the leadership of a School with a tradition of excellence in research, teaching, and service;
  • Academic leadership: Proven ability in fostering and the strong commitment to the continued excellence of research and educational programs, and respect for the dedication of an outstanding faculty;
  • Management experience: Experience with the management of complex organizational structures, and especially the ability to work effectively in a decentralized environment;
  • Financial acumen: Experience in financial management of budgets involving personnel, facilities, and programmatic resources;
  • Effective communication: Accessibility and the ability to communicate effectively with faculty, senior administrators, trustees, staff, students, alumni, donors, and other constituents;
  • Fundraising skill: Prior experience in development is preferred but not required. The dean serves as the lead fundraiser for Arts & Sciences and must be willing to engage others often and as appropriate, on behalf of the School.

The University

Washington University in St. Louis is a global leader in research and education with approximately 14,000 full-time students divided evenly between undergraduate and graduate/professional programs. The university has 4,000 full- and part-time faculty members and almost three-quarters of a billion dollars in annual research expenditures. Founded in 1853, the University is an independent, Research 1 institution. The University’s undergraduate program is currently ranked 19th overall by U.S. News and World Report and sixteenth in admissions selectivity, and the School of Medicine is number 4 nationally in NIH funding. Washington University attracts students and faculty from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The University is organized into seven academic units: the McKelvey School of Engineering, the School of Medicine, the Olin Business School, the Brown School of Social Work, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the School of Law, and Arts & Sciences. The University has just completed a capital campaign that surpassed $3.3 billion and is in the early stages of planning strategy for the next ten years. The University’s endowment stands currently at $8.1 billion. Total sponsored research in FY2018 was $711.8 million, including $522.7 million in federal contracts and grants.

The City

Greater St. Louis is the 19th-largest metropolitan area in the United States with a population of approximately 3 million. Thanks in large part to Washington University, other regional universities, and key Fortune 500 corporations, St. Louis is a national hub for important research and business development, especially in the fields of medicine, biotechnology, and science. The University is an active partner in growing St. Louis as an innovation and start-up hub, recently helping to create the new Cortex Innovation Community. The university’s Danforth Campus is located 7 miles west of downtown St. Louis and is surrounded by a number of vibrant neighborhoods, such as University City’s Delmar Loop and the Central West End, named one of the American Planning Association’s best neighborhoods in the country. Consistently ranked among the nation's best places to live and raise a family, the St. Louis region offers affordable neighborhoods and high-quality schools, in addition to all the amenities of a major city. The city provides numerous opportunities to enjoy professional sports, attend cultural events, and participate in a wide range of recreational activities, including the world-renowned St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Bordering the university campus is Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in the U.S., and home to many of the region’s major cultural institutions including the St. Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Science Center, and the St. Louis Zoo, all of which are free to the public.

The Search

Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Although the search will remain open until the position is filled, review of candidate materials will begin immediately. Candidates should provide, in confidence, a curriculum vitae, and a letter of application that highlights administrative acumen and leadership experience, and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of the candidates.

Materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to the university’s consultant, Dr. Jonathan Fortescue of Park Square Executive Search, at Documents that must be mailed may be sent to Jonathan Fortescue, Ph.D., Managing Partner, or Kyle Meingast, Principal, Park Square Executive Search, LLC, 225 Franklin Street, 17th Floor, Boston, MA 02110. Phone: 617-401-2991.

Washington University in St. Louis is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Washington University welcomes difference on our campus in the form of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, geography, socioeconomic status, age, politics, religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and veteran status. All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply.

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Please feel free to contact the search firm with any questions, to submit nominations or applications, or to provide any other feedback about the search.

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