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Dean, School of Physical Sciences

University of California San Diego
California, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Dec 20, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Search for the Dean, School of Physical Sciences
University of California, San Diego
La Jolla, California

The University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) seeks an accomplished, inspirational, and effective leader to serve as the next Dean of the School of Physical Sciences (SPS). Founded in the university's earliest days, the School represents a crucial cornerstone of the history and future success of UC San Diego. As the campus concludes an extraordinary multi-billion-dollar fundraising campaign, UC San Diego and the Physical Sciences community are poised to further elevate its prominence through globally preeminent research, educational innovation, and scientific discoveries to advance society. This is an opportunity for a visionary scholar-administrator to build an exciting future for the School by strengthening its intellectual distinction, forging interdisciplinary partnerships in areas such as engineering, the life and health sciences, mathematical sciences, data sciences, earth, atmospheric and marine sciences, materials science, and renewable energy, whilst ensuring successful and sustainable growth across the School.

Since its founding in 1960, UC San Diego has become one of the top 20 research universities in the world — a rapid ascent that is a testament to the excellence and entrepreneurial nature of UC San Diego's faculty, staff, and students. Under the leadership of Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, UC San Diego recently closed its remarkable 10-year campaign through which more than $3 billion was raised, making UC San Diego the youngest university in the nation to reach a multi-billion-dollar milestone in a single campaign. As a result of this significant fundraising effort and guided by UC San Diego's strategic plan, the campus is transforming itself culturally, physically, and intellectually through a sustained focus on five priority areas that include student experience and success, diversity and access, interdisciplinary research, community enrichment, and the development of a supportive infrastructure. As UC San Diego continues to grow, the campus aims to serve the greater community as a premiere inclusive destination for arts, culture, healthcare, and lifelong education, providing students of all ages with opportunities for academic and professional success.

Currently, UC San Diego comprises seven undergraduate colleges, and twelve academic and graduate and professional schools, with a combined enrollment of over 42,000 students. The university is also an academic and research powerhouse, generating $1.64 billion in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2022. With over 37,000 full- and part-time academic and staff employees, UC San Diego is the largest employer in San Diego County, bringing with it a significant economic footprint on the region. In addition, a range of prominent pharmaceutical and biotech companies and industry collaborators can be found at the doorstep of the UC San Diego campus, providing ample opportunities to fulfill the university's aspirations in research, teaching, service, and student success. More details about the University of California can be found in Appendix I.

The Physical Sciences faculty in Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mathematics, and Physics are some of the world's most renowned and have included six Nobel Laureates, two Fields Medalists, four National Medal of Science recipients, two Presidential Medal of Freedom awardees, 35 Members of the National Academy of Sciences, and 29 Members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Reporting to Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth H. Simmons, a theoretical high-energy physicist and a Distinguished Professor in the Physics department, the Dean will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the School, aligning schoolwide and departmental visions to elevate their distinct national profiles. Surrounded by an abundance of talented researchers and scholars, the Dean will creatively leverage the entire UC San Diego community — from the Schools of Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Medicine and Social Sciences, Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute, Jacobs School of Engineering, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to the Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Sciences and beyond — for collaboration and innovation that will help determine the next chapter of success for the School.

To be successful, the Dean will address a number of opportunities and challenges, listed below:

  • Build and foster a culture of trust, transparency, collaboration, and respect
  • Drive and execute a strategic vision centered on inclusive excellence that will enhance both the School's strength in the core disciplines and its interdisciplinary distinction, as well as promoting its national prominence
  • Cultivate an innovative environment for both research and education that supports and assists the scholarly development of faculty, particularly junior faculty
  • Strategically recruit, engage, and retain a diverse community of talented students, faculty, and staff
  • Advance the School's commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion to ensure success for all constituents
  • Forge ties with key campus and external partners to strengthen growth opportunities

    UC San Diego has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Inquiries, nominations, referrals, and CVs with cover letters and diversity statements should be sent via the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required. Applicants must also apply and provide the required materials via the UC website at: by March 6, 2023 for maximum consideration; the closing date is March 31, 2023.

    David Bellshaw, Joe Kralick, Silvia Cheng, Julia Hochner
    Isaacson, Miller
    1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300
    San Francisco, CA 94111

    The University of California San Diego is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Diversity is a defining feature of the University of California, which embraces it as a source of strength. Differences — of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, socioeconomic status, abilities, experience and more — enhance the university's ability to achieve its core missions of public service, teaching and research. UC welcomes faculty, staff and students from all backgrounds and wants everyone at UC to feel respected and valued.


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