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Penn State Brandywine
Pennsylvania, United States
Salary Not Specified
Start date
Oct 10, 2023


Penn State Brandywine invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Academic Officer (CAO) to begin on or about July 1, 2024. The CAO is a 48-week academic administrative appointment.

The CAO is the senior campus academic officer, responsible for providing leadership for academic and faculty affairs in an environment of shared governance and collaboration. The CAO reports directly to the Chancellor and acts on behalf of the Chancellor in their absence, or as designated.

As a key member of the campus administrative team, the CAO collaborates with the directors of Student Affairs, Enrollment Management, Instructional Technology, Strategic Communications, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Development and Alumni Relations, Finance and Business, Housing and Food Services, University Police and Public Safety, and engages with advisory boards and external partners. The CAO also collaborates with colleagues in the Office of the Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses and Executive Chancellor, colleagues from campus locations across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and an online World Campus to ensure that Penn State operates as one university, geographically distributed.


Specific responsibilities of the CAO include:

  • Faculty leadership - Lead faculty recruitment, mentoring, development, and evaluation; be an advocate for faculty; support teaching excellence and innovation; enhance resources to foster belonging and professional fulfillment; lead efforts in grant writing and funding solicitations to support research and academic programs; and lead faculty in outreach and service to the community.
  • Academic staff leadership - Lead professional staff and academic support units, such as the Registrar, Advising, Career Success, Instructional Design, Academic Student Success Centers, and Disability Resources; lead staff recruitment, mentoring, development, evaluation, and progress; enhance resources to foster belonging and professional fulfillment; and foster innovation in academic support units and professional staff.
  • Student engagement and success - Lead and support academic and career success for students, from first year through graduation, into careers and professional and graduate schools; lead and support student engagement and active learning practices (first-year experience, global programs, undergraduate research, service learning, internships, mentoring, honors); partner with campus leadership on initiatives to increase student recruitment, retention, and persistence to graduation; and support continuous improvement of the overall student academic experience.
  • Academic program and curricular leadership - Lead academic program and curricular planning, administration, and assessment; support investment in established programs, and focus on new program development.
  • Budget planning, administration, and development - Partner with campus leadership responsible for technology, facilities, space planning, equipment, and other resources to ensure excellence in teaching and learning, research and creative activity, service and outreach; administer all budgets for academic programs, faculty development, and student academic support service; and lead process and practice improvements to make administrative processes more effective.


A PhD, or relevant terminal degree, and a track record of a minimum of five years of success in higher education as a faculty with responsibilities in teaching, research and scholarship, service; and academic leadership experience and knowledge. Candidates must meet the academic qualifications for a tenured, senior-rank faculty appointment at Penn State.

The most qualified applicants possess extensive knowledge and a diverse skillset that includes the following skills, experiences, and professional attributes:

  • Ability to lead and serve in a comprehensive land-grant, public university with multiple campus locations
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and support faculty and staff recruitment, development, evaluation, progress, belonging, and fulfillment
  • Ability to support and participate in an environment of shared governance
  • Demonstrated ability to partner with campus leadership to promote student engagement and success
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and support curricular planning, implementation, and assessment, including interdisciplinary education and research
  • Ability to partner with campus leadership responsible for technology, facilities, space planning, equipment, fundraising and grant development; ability to administer all budgets and resources within academic affairs
  • Demonstrated understanding, experience, and commitment to lead and support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Excellent communicator and collaborator
  • Visionary and strategic thinker
  • Excellent judgment, ability to act and respond effectively and efficiently
  • High-energy, high presence, high work ethic
  • Data- and solutions-oriented mindset
  • Knowledge of the current and emerging trends in higher education
  • Ability to serve as the Chancellor's designee, with internal and external stakeholders


As Pennsylvania's sole land-grant institution and largest public university, Penn State is ranked as a top US public university and global institution - for academic standing, specialty programs, and research that impacts the world. With an $8.5 billion total operating budget, $1 billion in annual research expenditures, and nearly 35,000 faculty and staff, Penn State enrolls 90,000 students in one University across 24 campuses and an online World Campus. Penn State Brandywine is a beautiful campus, located on 112 acres in Media, PA, 20 miles west of Philadelphia's center city. Penn State Brandywine's principal strengths are its small campus environment; highly diverse student population; exceptional teaching, research, and outreach; undergraduate education among the arts, sciences, and professional fields; student engagement, leadership, and success; established and emerging partnerships with business and industry, community and civic partners, and k-12 and higher education; and entrepreneurial ecosystem and economic growth.


Applicants should submit a letter of application describing interest in the position and qualifications for the position, curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses of four professional references. All applications must be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word or PDF document. Apply online at Review of applications will begin October 18, 2023, and continue until an appointment is made.

Penn State is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion and belonging that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, and leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity. We value inclusion and belonging as core strengths and essential elements of our public service mission.

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