Dean Potter College of Arts and Letters
Dean Potter College of Arts and Letters
About Western Kentucky University:
Western Kentucky University (WKU) seeks an accomplished and visionary academic leader to serve as Dean of the Potter College of Arts and Letters (PCAL). WKU is the premier student-centered, applied research university in Kentucky. The university's population of approximately 17,500 students includes 32% first-generation university, 18% underrepresented minority, and 1% international students. Designated a national university by US News, WKU is student-centered and focuses on research that expands knowledge; improves learning; and serves the state, region, and nation. At the heart of our mission, WKU seeks to provide holistic education and employment experiences that prepare students, faculty, and staff to become effective scholars, contributors, and leaders in our diverse and evolving communities.
WKU is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with regional campuses in Glasgow, Owensboro, Somerset, and Elizabethtown. Bowling Green was recently named as one of the nation's top 100 places to live in terms of both cost of living and quality of life. Bowling Green boasts great schools and is an ethnically and racially diverse city of approximately 67,000. Bowling Green's location offers a year-round moderate climate and convenient access to the cities of Nashville, Tennessee and Louisville, Kentucky.
The mission of PCAL is to empower students to create the future by exploring the past and shaping the present. PCAL achieves this mission by providing students with a range of knowledge through a diverse and rigorous curriculum and a variety of hands-on experiences including research, internships, and service-learning opportunities. Students develop adaptable and transferable skills that prepare them to further their education, serve their communities, and find meaningful work in the careers of today and the future. In the process, PCAL students gain perspectives that help them become informed citizens and live fulfilled lives.
PCAL is home to the visual and performing arts, the humanities, and several social science disciplines. The College offers 35 majors, 36 minors, 11 undergraduate certificates and 5 graduate degree programs through 11 academic units. These units include the Departments of Art & Design, Communication, English, Folk Studies and Anthropology, History, Modern Languages, Music, Political Science, Sociology & Criminology, Theatre and Dance as well as the School of Media. In addition to its academic programs, PCAL has a unique role in supporting and staffing the WKU Colonnade Program - the general education program of the university. PCAL is also responsible for several programs and organizations that are central to campus life including the Cultural Enhancement Series, the Big Red Marching Band, and ImageWest, a student-run advertising and public relations agency.
PCAL strengths and points of pride include:
- Award winning faculty facilitating an array of scholarly activity including books, scholarly articles, musical, theatrical, and artistic productions;
- An engaged, supportive, and award-winning alumni base fervently serving as mentors, internship hosts, and exemplars of excellence;
- Possesses a student body, faculty, and staff representing diverse backgrounds and exercising inclusive practices
- Extensive student engagement including the National Champion Forensics Program, Mock Trial, WKU ASALH, along with a comprehensive galleria and performance schedule for all visual and performing arts programs;
- International reach evidenced by our ranking as the highest-placing, non-Arab university in the Qatar Debates, our renowned Chinese Flagship Program, along with other international grant and partnership opportunities;
- Poised for interdisciplinary collaborations amongst the arts, humanities, & social sciences to combat the national and global challenges of today.
The Dean is the chief academic and administrative officer of the College and reports directly to the Provost. A successful candidate will join the institution at a critical time, receiving a unique opportunity to build on the strengths of PCAL while simultaneously guiding the college through the implementation of a responsibility-centered management budget.
The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, strategic, collaborative, and inspirational individual who will navigate PCAL through the ever-changing landscape of higher education. Stakeholders recognize the challenges faced by the arts, social sciences, and humanities in higher education, and will look to the Dean for strategies on how to bolster our strong faculty network and energize the entrepreneurial interests of students and alumni. The Dean will be responsible for discovering innovative ways to cultivate and nurture market-responsive academic programs that yield highly-competitive graduates. The Dean must always be mindful of PCAL's student-focused mission and as such be able to attract and retain world-class faculty and dedicated staff committed to students' success in the classroom and beyond. The Dean is responsible for the robust recruiting of undergraduate and graduate students inclusive of yield and retention strategies. The Dean will also serve to advocate for faculty, staff, and students. Additionally, the Dean must ensure that PCAL secures the resources to achieve the mission of WKU and PCAL. Part and parcel is a keen ability to forge strong relationships with the community and facilitate grant and foundation funding.
Job Duties and Responsibilities:
- Provide leadership and vision for PCAL, serving to support the mission of PCAL in a collaborative, collegial manner setting the tone for the College;
- Ensure that PCAL thrives under a performance-based budgeting model, leveraging opportunities to work with College leadership, partnering with other WKU deans to establish opportunities for growth in the student body, and actively engaging with WKU leadership on strategic budgeting;
- Establish robust recruiting practices of undergraduate and graduate students inclusive of yield and retention strategies in partnership with colleges and university partners;
- Work in partnership with faculty and college leadership to maintain and extend PCAL's strong learning environment for students stressing academic quality, student engagement, student inquiry, internship opportunities and that celebrates faculty innovative teaching;
- Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of college operations and community activity;
- Develop strategies that increase philanthropic and grant support for faculty and faculty/student engagement and inquiry;
- Facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration across academic units and colleges;
- Build strong relationships with alumni and the regional communities that motivate financial and other support that benefits students and faculty;
- Represent PCAL professionally and transparently to its stakeholders, communicating exceptionally well;
- Be politically adept, inspiring and influencing action benefiting PCAL and the region
- Forge partnerships with other organizations to attain mutual goals supporting the missions of WKU and PCAL;
- Develop and lead innovative capital campaign and other fund-raising efforts to secure needed resources for infrastructure improvements, cutting edge programs and scholarship; and
- Complete other duties as assigned by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Skills Considered Essential for Success:
- Demonstrated ability to:
- lead successful change initiatives;
- recruit and retain quality faculty, staff, and students;
- fairly and consistently lead a complex organization with substantive results;
- understand and successfully implement RCM budget models
- solve complex curricular, fiscal, personnel, and political challenges;
- collaborate with faculty across departments and with leaders and staff across the university, and ability to build relationships;
- communicate effectively, honestly and inspirationally;
- lead successful change initiatives;
- secure external resources, both grants and philanthropic donations;
- inspire internal and external stakeholders and prospective stakeholders to contribute to the university's and college's mission and goals and to attain excellence;
- develop an appropriate, compelling vision and conduct strategic planning to bring it to fruition;
- Demonstrated commitment to:
- academic excellence and student success;
- faculty skill and experiential development in teaching, research, and service;
- continuous improvements across all aspects of the Dean's scope;
- diversity, equity, and inclusion in matters pertaining to students, faculty and staff;
- thorough understanding and appreciation of the broad range of academic disciplines in PCAL;
- personal accountability, selflessness, as well as positive and constructive persona.
- An earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree from an accredited institution in a discipline represented within the college.
- A record of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service commensurate with appointment at the rank of full professor in PCAL.
- An extensive record of administrative experience as department chair, or equivalent, with experience in strategic planning, budget development and execution, policy setting, as well as hiring, evaluating and direct supervision of faculty and staff
Kentucky state law requires all public institutions of postsecondary education to conduct pre-employment criminal background checks to determine suitability for employment.
Western Kentucky University (WKU) is committed to a policy and practice of providing equal employment and educational opportunities to all individuals. In accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Revised 1992, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, no form of discrimination or harassment will be tolerated at WKU on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, age, uniformed services, veteran status, genetic information, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, or physical or mental disability in admission to career and technical education programs and/or activities, or employment practices.
Persons with disabilities, who need reasonable accommodations to participate in the application and/or selection process, should notify the office of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action/University ADA Services (EEO). To request an accommodation, report/express a complaint, or ask questions regarding WKU''s Discrimination and Harassment Policy (#0.2040), please contact Mr. Joshua Hayes, EEO Director/Title IX Investigator/University ADA Coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (270) 745-5121.
The University is also required to investigate complaints of sex and gender-based harassment, also a form of discrimination, and has designated the Title IX Coordinator as the individual responsible for coordinating the investigation and response to such complaints. The Title IX Coordinator for the University is Ms. Deborah Wilkins, who can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at (270) 745-5396. Additional information regarding Title IX is accessible via WKU''s https://www.wku.edu/titleix/ website.
Information concerning educational programs offered by WKU are provided at: http://www.wku.edu/atwku/academics.php
The following items must be submitted through the electronic talent management system by January 31, 2021, although expressions of interest may be considered until the position is filled:
- Letter of Intent
- Curriculum Vita
Names and contact information of three reference providers will be collected during the application process. Reference letters will be requested by the Search Committee through an online process at a later date.
You will receive email confirmation once you have successfully completed the application process.
Interested persons are welcome to schedule a 15-minute informal conversation with the Search Chair: Dr. Corinne M. Murphy, Dean, CEBS. The conversation is not a required step in the search but is offered consistent with the concerted effort by search firms to increase the depth and breadth of candidate pools.
Applications will be considered in confidence, but the name and curriculum vitae of finalists will be released prior to on-campus meetings with key constituency groups as part of the final interview process.