Dean, School of Social Work

North Carolina, United States
Salary Not specified
Jan 26, 2021
Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) invites nominations and applications for the appointment of Dean of the School of Social Work. This position provides a unique opportunity for an accomplished leader to build upon the School’s strengths and shape and influence the future of social work education across the globe. The University seeks a Dean with a strong commitment to, and understanding of, the importance of social work education to the University and community, with high standards and experience in research, teaching, and service. The Dean serves as the chief spokesperson and advocate for the School both within and outside of the University and ensures that the School serves as a vital resource and component to the institution and the state.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University Established in 1789, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first public university in the nation. Students enrolled starting in 1795, making UNC the only public university to award degrees in the 18th century. Graduate programs were offered starting in 1876, followed by the creation of professional schools throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, UNC enrolls over 18,000 undergraduate and over 11,000 professional and graduate students. The University offers 77 bachelor’s degree programs, 111 master’s degree program, 65 doctoral degree programs, and 7 professional degree programs. UNC is a member of the Association of American Universities and has annual research expenditures of over $1 billion.


Strategic Plan

UNC’s priorities for the future are outlined in its strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for the Public Good. Through eight strategic initiatives, the plan aims to turn the University’s vision and goals into readily understood, significant, implementable, measurable, strategic initiatives and opportunities. Detailed information can be found here: Carolina Next


The School of Social Work

Founded in 1920, the School of Social Work at UNC has developed into one of the top social work programs in the country, currently ranked among the top three social work schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The School has 28 tenure-track faculty members, ten of whom are chaired or distinguished professors, as well as more than 50 clinical and research faculty.


In FY 2019, faculty members in the School brought in over $12m in external funding to support their research. The school enrolls approximately 290 MSW students and 25 doctoral students. The MSW program is available to full-time and part-time students, with delivery in both Chapel Hill and Winston-Salem. MSW students choose from one of two concentrations, either Direct Practice (DP) or Community, Management, and Policy Practice (CMPP).


The DP concentration is for students wishing to pursue careers in private practice, or within a clinical setting such as a hospital, school, public agency, or non-profit organization. The CMPP concentration is for students wishing to pursue leadership careers in community organizing, human services administration, policy development, or advocacy. Graduates of the Ph.D. program have succeeded as faculty members, leaders in policymaking institutions, and in other impactful careers.


The School of Social Work offers four dual-degree programs coordinated jointly with UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, School of Law, School of Government, and Duke University’s Divinity School. These programs allow students to earn an MSW degree and a second master’s degree in four years.


Strategic Plan

In 2019, UNC School of Social Work adopted the strategic plan “Building on 100 Years of Excellence,” in support of the School’s mission of advancing equity, transforming systems, and improving lives. Detailed information about the strategic plan, as well as the mission and vision of the School of Social Work, can be found here: UNC Social Work Strategic Plan


Centers and Institutes

UNC School of Social Work is the academic home for multiple UNC centers and institutes that conduct research and deliver services in specific areas of focus.


Global Social Development Innovations (GSDI) Launched in 2017, Global Social Development Innovations works with local stakeholders to create innovative interventions, build knowledge, produce evidence, and shape policy toward the well-being of marginalized populations globally. GSDI directs its efforts toward economic security, workforce development, financial inclusion, social protection, health, and education. Its projects are located in India, Kenya, Uganda, and other countries.


Jordan Institute for Families (JIF) Founded in 1996 by Michael Jordan and his family, JIF addresses a broad span of issues, from infant mortality to developmental disabilities to human trafficking. Jordan Institute for Families works to strengthen families of all descriptions by applying interdisciplinary knowledge to the design and operation of social and health programs in North Carolina and across the United States. JIF also leads the School’s commitment to social justice and racial equity with programming that includes the Social Justice Lecture Series.


The Dean

Position Summary: Reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, the Dean of the School of Social Work is the School's chief academic officer and will provide academic, budgetary, and administrative leadership for the School. As Dean, the successful candidate will be committed to continuous enhancement of teaching, research, engagement, and development of the School and the translation of these efforts to solve the community challenges of the state, region, nation, and the world. The Dean will be involved in developing strategies for increasing interdisciplinary research, building external partnerships, and promoting outreach efforts that engage the University in responding to North Carolina, national, and international issues. As an institutional leader, the Dean will represent the School in the Provost’s Leadership Cabinet and will help to guide the senior leadership in managing the University, the Dean should provide visionary and innovative direction for the School while providing leadership for the faculty, staff, and students.


Specific Responsibilities Include:

  • In conjunction with the faculty, developing a clear vision for the School and providing leadership needed to ensure the continuing success and impact of the school;
  • Leading fundraising initiatives and promoting donor and alumni development to meet current and future School priorities;
  • Promoting a robust culture of research within the School and building partnerships and collaborations across the university;
  • Leading the School to engage with, and meet the needs of, the diverse communities the School serves through teaching, engagement/service, and research;
  • Promoting a culturally aware, safe, and welcoming environment with a strong commitment to equity and inclusion;
  • Grasping and navigating the educational, political, and cultural dynamics and complexities of leading a school of social work at a flagship, state-supported institution in today’s current environment;
  • Effectively working with faculty and staff to ensure continued academic excellence in an environment of shared governance; and
  • Exhibiting decision-making rooted in transparency, collaboration, and empowerment.


Qualifications: The School of Social Work is seeking a dynamic leader who brings passion and an understanding of the convergent activities that fuel the School’s success and impact. Candidates should have a distinguished record of scholarly achievement and professional credentials consistent with appointment at the rank of full professor. Preference will be given to those candidates with a Ph.D. Candidates should have significant experience and demonstrable skills in leading and managing progressive change in a large, complex environment that exist within a leading flagship university. Specifically, candidates must demonstrate evidence of the following qualifications:

  • Significant experience and achievement in leadership and administration;
  • Demonstrated success in securing external funding to support research;
  • An ability to develop a shared vision through open communication and transparency;
  • Effective communication and public relation skills, including an ability to clearly articulate the School’s vision, goals, and accomplishments to its many constituencies;
  • Evidence of commitment to and engagement in activities, initiatives, and projects that foster equity, diversity, and inclusion and challenge racists systems and societies, including recruiting, retaining, and supporting diverse faculty, staff, and students;
  • Proven track record working with community partners;
  • An ability to raise financial resources and build the financial infrastructure of the School; and
  • Demonstrated experience in financial management


The search will remain open until filled, however, for optimal consideration, application materials should be received by February 28, 2021, at which time the search committee will begin reviewing applications. Candidates should submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter describing their interest in, and qualifications for, the position addressing each qualification listed above. We especially welcome applications from leaders who understand and model the importance of inclusive excellence in higher education.


Applications, nominations, and inquiries of interest may be sent in confidence to the University’s executive recruitment consultant:

Martin M. Baker, Managing Partner


10 Cadillac Drive, Suite 190

Brentwood, TN 37027


Equal Opportunity Employer: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.