Dean of the College of Humanities & Sciences

Position Overview

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The University of Montana (UM) invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the College of Humanities & Sciences (H&S) from interested individuals with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. This is an important opportunity for a passionate leader to revitalize UM’s largest college.

The successful candidate will embrace the opportunity to re-envision the powerful role of liberal arts education for generating broad-thinking and resourceful citizens facing the emerging demands of the 21st century. The successful candidate will embrace the complexity and range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge creation and teaching within the college. This individual will bring a vision and passion for countering national perceptions that question the value of a liberal arts education. They will have the ability to translate the value of a liberal arts education to diverse audiences and to foster curricular innovations that deliver significant outcomes. To that end, we seek a dean who will inspire the College to embrace a shared vision for H&S's future and elevate H&S’s visibility. The successful candidate will forge connections with other colleges and campus units and will build meaningful connections with external stakeholders including alumni, donors, employers, community members, and other academic and industry leaders.

Reporting directly to the Provost and Executive Vice President, the dean is expected to collaborate with other academic deans and University units. The dean provides intellectual leadership to the College and works closely with the other Academic Officers and Provost in providing strategic long-term direction for Academic Affairs.

About the College of Humanities & Sciences

The College of Humanities and Sciences (H&S) is the “Heart and Soul” of UM. H&S is the intellectual core of the University of Montana, providing the majority of general education courses as well as elective courses and minors for all UM undergraduates. H&S comprises 3,048 students (2,562 graduate; 486 graduate) and 366 faculty and staff. As the University’s intellectual core, H&S fulfills the central purpose for which the University was chartered in 1893: to provide a liberal arts education and integrated knowledge of the humanities and the sciences to undergraduates, and to offer deep specialization opportunities at the graduate level.

H&S delivers excellence and access to UM students by offering high quality educational experiences to engage UM students in general education and specialized majors in 23 departments and programs spanning the humanities, natural and physical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences, delivering courses that help students build foundational knowledge and skills, breadth across disciplines and habits of inquiry and problem solving that inform their studies, careers, and personal lives in positive ways and promote lifelong learning.

H&S students, faculty, and programs have garnered national and international recognition for academic excellence. In addition to NSF graduate research and post-doctoral fellowships, students earn prestigious national and international scholarships such as Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, Goldwater, Udall, Boren, and others. H&S awards more than $300,000 per year in undergraduate student scholarships. H&S faculty have research expenditures of more than $25 million each year, including international collaborations.

Dean’s office personnel currently include two Associate Deans as well as an Executive Assistant to the dean and a Grant Support Specialist. In addition, the College employs Directors of Student Success, Development, Fiscal and Personnel Services, Career Services, IT, and Marketing/Communications who are connected to the University’s centralized functions. H&S has Faculty, Staff, External Advisory Boards, and a Student Ambassador organization.

The H&S dean’s office is housed within the recently renovated Dennis and Gretchen Eck Hall, with modern classrooms, enhanced instructional technology, state-of-the-art infrastructure, a professional Advising Center, the Heart and Soul Café, study lounges, and a 120-seat auditorium remodeled to encourage active learning. Facilities include the Payne Family Native American Center (the first building in Montana designed to symbolically represent the twelve tribes of Montana, with a LEED platinum certification), the University of Montana Herbarium, the Blue Mountain Observatory, the PEAS Farm, the Philip L. Wright Zoological Museum, the UM Paleontology Center, the ECOR Plant and Insect Laboratories, the Fort Missoula Field Research Station, and the UM Planetarium.

About UM

UM is a flagship public doctoral research institution that sits in the aboriginal territories of the Salish and Kalispel people. A research-intensive institution that grants associate to doctoral degrees, UM is committed to accessible and inclusive education as the foundation of social and economic prosperity. A viable democracy relies on citizens who are broadly educated and specifically skilled, and is enriched by diversity in thought, background, appearance and beliefs. Ranked sixth nationwide for research growth, UM’s research expenditures nearly doubled between 2014 and 2019 and are expected to reach $125 million this fiscal year. This emphasis provides undergraduate students with the singular opportunity to participate in active research with top researchers and scholars.

UM's long tradition of teaching excellence and experiential learning evidences our commitment to student success. The University ranks fifth among public universities in producing Rhodes Scholars, currently has the highest graduate student enrollment in its history, and, in the fall of 2021, welcomed the largest incoming freshman class in several years. Summer enrollment and out-of-state applications have grown by 40% in recent years. UM’s student retention rate rose from 68.5% in 2018 to 75.4% in 2021.

Required Qualifications

  • Demonstrated vision for and commitment to the liberal arts and the ability to translate the value of a UM education in a manner that engages various internal and external audiences
  • A strong understanding of the University’s mission and demonstrated expertise in the areas of teaching, research/scholarship, service/outreach, as well as internationalization
  • Demonstrated commitment to student success, recruitment, retention, and program completion
  • Demonstrated commitment to UM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals
  • Shows promise as a leader and manager of complex organizations
  • The ability to foster collaboration and teamwork across the College
  • Experience managing multi-faceted budget/s in limited resource environments
  • The ability to make strategic decisions related to financial and other resources and explain the rationale for them
  • Outstanding oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Shows promise in cultivating donor and alumni relationships, fundraising, and creative approaches to securing resources to support the College
  • A terminal degree and the ability to earn tenure at the rank of Full Professor in one of the disciplines represented in or closely associated with H&S

Preferred Qualifications

  • Senior academic administrative experience at a research university at the level of department chair or higher
  • Experience assessing opportunity and risk, and imagining creative solutions to wicked problems
  • Shows promise as an ambassador for the liberal arts at a public flagship institution in Montana and beyond

For further information about the position and its requirements, please review the position profile above.

Nominations and Applications

For full consideration, applications should be received by February 4, 2022. The search committee will continue its work until an appointment is made. 

Interested candidates must submit:

  1. A letter of interest that addresses the qualifications above and include your vision for translating the value of the liberal arts to various audiences as Dean of H&S;
  2. A current CV or résumé, and
  3. The names, professional relationships, and contact information of five professional references. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant.

Application materials (Word or PDF) and nominations should be sent electronically to: UMTDeanCHS@agbsearch.com

Please direct nominations and inquiries to:

Dr. Concetta Stewart, Principal, concetta.stewart@agbsearch.com / (908) 341-2178

Ms. Joy Yablonsky, Executive Search Consultant, joy.yablonsky@agbsearch.com / (215) 934-1386

Mr. Andrew Bowen, Executive Search Associateandrew.bowen@agbsearch.com / (802) 345-1279 

Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required.