Dean and Professor of the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice

Washington, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Nov 12, 2020
Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The Position

The University of Washington Tacoma (UW Tacoma) invites applications and nominations for the position of Inaugural Dean of the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice (SSWCJ). Reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the School. The Dean will work closely with faculty, staff, students, and community members as they collectively seek academic excellence, student success, and community impact.


As the administrative and academic leader of the school, the Inaugural Dean will be expected to build a balanced organizational structure, which will programmatically support, identify and foster synergism and respect among the Criminal Justice and Social Work programs. The Dean will bring accountability through the alignment of stated values and goals, the implementation of policy and best practices, assessment of outcomes, and address issues related to climate within the school. The Dean will prioritize the strategic goals related to the recruitment, retention, and development of diverse faculty, staff and students to strengthen the overall contribution to the community and disciplines.  Finally, the new leader will capitalize on faculty energy, expertise and commitment to grow and advance the school by identifying and establishing internal and external community relationships that are critical to the growth of scholarships, internships and resources. 

The Dean’s responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

Strategic Planning and Assessment

The Dean manages systematic strategic planning and assessment efforts for the School. This includes establishing a vision for the School, ensuring alignment with the campus academic and strategic plans, and regularly reviewing progress toward strategic goals. This work occurs in partnership with School stakeholders and campus administration.

Leading Academic Excellence

In collaboration with the faculty, the Dean supports regular evaluation of the School’s academic offerings and related faculty, staff, physical, and technological resources. This includes conducting degree program reviews and School reviews for the purpose of institutional assessment as directed by the UW Graduate School. Further, the Dean fosters scholarly excellence by supporting ongoing faculty development in research and teaching in consultation with Academic Affairs. The Dean also leads compliance with accreditation standards and the accreditation review process in collaboration with the UW Seattle School of Social Work.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Dean is responsible for cultivating a climate of equity that champions inclusive excellence and cultural humility. This includes serving as a champion for diversity in all aspects of the School’s work, including staff, faculty,  and student recruitment and retention. The dean participates and provides leadership in fostering reflective and anti-oppressive and anti-racist pedagogy in all degree programs. This work occurs in consultation with the Center for Equity and Inclusion.


The Dean must ensure the enrollment, retention, achievement of learning outcomes, and graduation of students across all the programs in the School in partnership with faculty and staff. This work occurs in consultation with Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at UW Tacoma, and the UW Graduate School.

Community Relations and Fundraising

The Dean is responsible for outreach to the community, forming partnerships, and fundraising for the School. The Dean represents the School within the UW and externally to local, academic, and global communities, and is responsible for information sharing and advocacy on behalf of the School. This work occurs in consultation with the Office of Advancement and the Office of Community Partnerships.

Fiscal Management

The Dean is responsible for tracking the School’s finances within the operating budget, acting as a responsible steward of self-generated revenue and philanthropic funding. This includes consulting with the elected faculty council on the use of financial resources to achieve strategic objectives. This work occurs in consultation with the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Human Resource Management

The Dean oversees the School faculty and staff, including hiring and promotion processes, work and teaching assignments, mentoring and professional development, performance evaluation, employee relations, and corrective actions as needs arise. In performing this role, the Dean works to create a positive work environment and a welcoming learning space within the School. The Dean is expected to champion ongoing leadership development among faculty to support effective internal functioning and shared governance. The Dean also promotes professional and leadership development among staff and works to amplify staff voice in the School. This work occurs in consultation with Academic Human Resources.


This is a tremendous opportunity for an innovative leader who is committed to a cross- and inter-disciplinary vision to eliminate boundaries and advocate for growth. The UWT School of Social Work and Criminal Justice is a young school, and is the only program in the region to offer these disciplines in service of social justice and of partnerships with local communities. The Inaugural Dean will have the opportunity to creatively co-imagine the continued advancement and growth of the School, and to develop initiatives that leverage this unique blend of interdisciplinary expertise. These initiatives will position the SSWCJ to expand community partnerships as we engage in the work of envisioning restorative and socially just approaches to criminal justice and social work. 


  • A Ph.D. or other earned doctorate in a field appropriate for the School
  • Eligibility for rank at the level of professor with tenure
  • Academic and administrative leadership experience in a university setting
  • Demonstrated success in fostering an equitable and inclusive environment that attracts and retains diverse individuals
  • A record of supporting continual improvement in faculty teaching and research
  • A demonstrated commitment to shared governance
  • A thorough understanding of budgets and financial management in higher education
  • Communication and collaboration skills that support partnerships inside and outside the university

Preferred Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Prior work experience in a multi-campus setting
  • Administrative experience at the chair level/equivalent or above
  • Promotion and tenure review experience
  • Demonstrated successful experience in academic administration, including substantial administrative work in a university setting
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively with all constituencies; and clear success in developing external funding and fundraising from private and public sources.
  • Experience in personnel management, and strategic planning

How to Apply

Greenwood/Asher & Associates, Inc. is assisting University of Washington Tacoma in this search. Applications and nominations are now being accepted. Initial screening of applications will begin immediately and will continue until an appointment is made. 

Inquiries, nominations and application materials should be directed to:

Betty Asher, Partner


Marion Frenche, Practice Leader, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Senior Executive Search Consultant





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