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Dean of the Ruth Whitaker Holmes School of Behavioral and Health Sciences

Hood College seeks a mission-driven, innovative leader to serve as the inaugural Dean of the Ruth Whitaker Holmes School of Behavioral and Health Sciences .

The School

A focus of the College’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan and the institution’s highly successful $75M campaign ( Forging the Future ), the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences was established in 2022 and named after Hood alumnus Ruth Whitaker Holmes who earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1955, her master’s degree in nutrition at the University of Massachusetts in 1971 and a doctorate in higher education from Boston College in 1979. She received her licensure and internship in dietetics from Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1956 and served as professor and coordinator of the Food and Nutrition Division at Framingham State College. Holmes served on the Hood College Board of Trustees for 12 years and earned an honorary degree during Hood’s Centennial commencement in 1993. Holmes was a pioneer as a female STEM student at Hood College and led a distinguished career in the health sciences and academia. Her generous support enabled the college to establish the School and fully endow this important leadership position.

The School consists of undergraduate programs in nursing , sociology and social work , psychology , art therapy , and public health , as well as graduate programs in counseling , nutrition , and thanatology . The School also recently earned approval for new graduate programs culminating in a Master of Science in Health Informatics, Nursing, and Doctor of Nursing Practice. These new programs are scheduled to launch in fall 2023.

Consistent with the Hood College mission , the programs collectively housed in the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences are focused on preparing graduates to support and advocate for the needs of diverse communities by providing a holistic study of health and behavior as a continuum of physical, mental, and social well-being. The School provides an interdisciplinary learning environment consistent with the college’s liberal arts foundation and applied through research and practice environments.

The School centers around a newly renovated 20,000sf space, where classrooms, offices, conference rooms, and state-of-the-art nursing simulation laboratories are located. This facility also houses the Neighborhood Counseling Training Center, which provides field experience for graduate students in the College’s CACREP-accredited counseling program and serves both undergraduate students and community members. The Center is funded by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This facility is part of a lease agreement with Frederick Health and reflects the College’s long-lasting and formative partnership with the region’s largest healthcare system.

Several programs in the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences sustain (*or will soon be eligible to pursue) national accreditation, including:
  • Counseling – Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Nursing – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Nutrition – Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • *Public Health – Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH)
  • Social Work – Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
A central feature of all the School’s programs is a commitment to high-impact applied learning experiences. Through clinicals, field work, internships, and research, the School’s graduates emerge career-ready and are professionally shaped by the learning experiences gained in and out of the classroom environment. This extensive experiential learning framework is grounded in the College’s robust partnerships with the regional healthcare industry in Maryland. This includes healthcare providers such as Frederick Health and Meritus Health, as well as partners in biomedical research and manufacturing, such as Leidos Biomedical, and Kite Pharma. It also includes partnerships with regional social and community service organizations including the Frederick County Health Department and the Frederick County Department of Social Services.

School of Behavioral and Health Science programs are among the highest enrolled programs at the College, both for current and incoming students. Sixteen percent of degree-seeking undergraduates and eighteen percent of graduate students at Hood College are enrolled in one of the School’s programs, serving more than 190 majors pursuing bachelor’s degrees and about 130 students (total) enrolled annually in the School’s graduate programs.

The Position

Establishing the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences was a priority of the College’s ongoing Forging the Future campaign , as well as the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan ( For a Greater Hood ). Serving a large and highly interdisciplinary group of constituents, the dean will advance the vision for the Holmes School of Behavioral and Health Sciences, oversee the current programs in the School, guide the development of new academic programs, leverage partnerships to grow the school’s reputation and resources, and direct new initiatives in response to the College’s strategic priorities, as well as regional marketplace needs.

This is a 12-month, non tenure-track leadership position that serves a total of 32 full-time faculty and staff, all of whom are student-focused and deeply engaged in the academic life of the campus. The Dean will report to the Provost and will also work in partnership with the larger campus community and external constituencies.

For this position, we seek a dynamic, service-oriented, forward-thinking and highly engaged leader with an interdisciplinary and holistic view of human health influences to further strengthen and support the exceptional programs and faculty that comprise the School. They must embrace, equally, the significance of physical, psychological and social impacts on human health, and reflect a deep understanding of the ways in which racial and social disparities impact access to necessary health services.

Overall, strategic priorities for the Dean will include:
  • Provide visionary leadership that will inspire the College’s stakeholders, including prospective students and regional partners.
  • Work collaboratively to develop and implement a strategic plan for the School that aligns with the College mission and goals and draws upon the School’s many strengths.
  • Advance the profile and visibility of the School through its curriculum and academic programs (both existing and new) that meet emerging needs in the behavioral and health science sector.
  • Work with program leaders in the School to maintain external accreditation requirements.
  • Initiate research and educational collaborations with the appropriate companies, governmental agencies, and other academic institutions in the area, in collaboration with Institutional Advancement and the Director of Corporate and Government Relations.
  • Increase resources for the School by securing external funding, working in close partnership with the Office of Institutional Advancement.
Additional responsibilities will include:
  • Deepen and further our partnerships in the local and regional community to recruit students to Hood’s programs, create internship and co-operative arrangements, and ensure job placement upon graduation.
  • Engage in undergraduate and/or graduate-level teaching in their field of expertise, exhibiting superior pedagogical strategies.
  • Ensure the quality of the School’s academic programs through a student-centered, outcomes-based assessment practices focused on continuous improvement.
  • Grow undergraduate and graduate enrollment and maintain relevancy of all offerings within the School.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with faculty and staff in each academic area of the School, with particular attention paid to chairs, program directors, and academic support staff.
  • Identify and engage individual regional partners who can support student initiatives within, and provide resources for, the School.
  • Work in partnership with faculty and external constituents to grow clinical, field work and internship sites for the School’s programs.
  • Serve as an effective voice and advocate for the School, regionally, nationally and globally.
  • Support faculty teaching and research needs in all the School’s programs through strategic allocation of financial and facilities resources, as well as grant opportunities.
  • Collaborate with other department and program leaders and the Provost to develop unique and relevant interdisciplinary programs.
  • Be committed to shared governance.
  • Champion the fiscal needs of the School and demonstrate sound administrative judgment in prioritizing and allocating resources.
  • Support faculty recruitment, onboarding and mentoring efforts within the school (both adjunct and full-time tenure-track).
  • Actively participate in on-campus events for recruitment, and constituent and community building.

Required qualifications:
  • A doctoral degree in an academic field represented within the School;
  • A minimum of 5 year's experience and record of successful and significant faculty leadership serving as a department chair, program director, center director, etc. including experience in personnel management;
  • Teaching experience in a higher education setting as part of a successful tenured role or equivalent;
  • Financial savvy and experience in the development, management, and enhancement of budgets and other fiscal resources;
  • Exemplary communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to engage in data-informed decision making that is open and transparent in a system of strong shared governance;
  • Demonstrated success in supporting and advancing an environment of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
The ideal candidate for the Dean of the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences will also possess:
  • A commitment to the mission and values of Hood College, and passion for health education in a liberal arts setting;
  • A commitment to working across disciplinary boundaries in support of health and wellness initiatives;
  • Enthusiasm for externally focused activities, and proven success with fundraising (including grant management) and engagement with alumni and community stakeholders;
  • A record of entrepreneurial, creative, and strategic planning in an educational setting that demonstrates collaboration with diverse constituencies, and responsiveness to market demands and/or outcomes data;
  • A deep understanding of the current and evolving trends in health education that should drive the School’s curriculum, pedagogy, and applied learning experiences;
  • The ability to balance advocacy for the School and its programs with the needs of the larger College community;
  • High standards of honesty, integrity, trust, and ethical behavior; and,
  • Awareness of accreditation processes.
Application Process

Application materials must include:

1) a cover letter of interest, which responds directly to the position qualifications and responsibilities listed,

2) updated curriculum vitae, and

3) the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of three references (indicate your professional relationship with each). References will not be contacted until a later stage in the search process; the candidate will be notified prior to reference contact.

Please include your personal email and cell phone number. All candidate names will remain confidential, except for those individuals invited to campus interviews.

Application and nomination materials should be submitted electronically by October 30, 2023.

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