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Dean, College of Health Sciences

The University of Texas Permian Basin
Odessa, Texas (US)
Not Specified
Date posted
Feb 22, 2024

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Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

The University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB) is seeking a visionary and strategic leader with a proven commitment to academic excellence and shared decision making. The Dean is responsible for fostering excellence in teaching, research, and service. Expected start will be Summer 2024.

Reporting to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and serving as the College’s Chief Academic Officer, the Dean will play a central role in enhancing academic excellence and aligning priorities with the strategic plans for Academic Affairs and the University. The Dean serves as a member of the Provost’s senior leadership team and will work directly with the Provost, other University leaders, faculty, and staff in formulating the College’s academic goals and policies. The Dean is responsible for: the articulation of the College’s vision in alignment with University mission on academic distinction; the development and administration of academic programs; scholarship, research, and service initiatives among faculty; college policies relating to instruction, curriculum, student success, research, and other high-impact practices; and faculty and academic staff appointments and performance assessments.

The Dean supervises the activities within the College’s academic units (School of Nursing, Department of Social Work, Department of Human Performance, Department of Psychology, Department of Biology and Department of Community and Family Health). Additionally, the College houses a number of research centers and other units that support the academic mission of the University, including the Center for Interprofessional and Experiential Learning and the Midland Health Simulation and Learning Resource Center.

Working collaboratively with all stakeholders in the campus community, the Dean supports excellence and creativity in teaching, research and service while fostering activities that improve the retention, achievement, and timely graduation of students. Additionally, the Dean works with external sponsors, funding agencies, industry and community leaders to develop research and educational partnerships that contribute to the economic vitality of the region.

The Permian Basin is one of the fastest-growing, culturally vibrant, economically invigorated regions of the country – full of industry, culture, and wide-open spaces. Spanning an area of 75,000 square miles, the low-lying geological formation of the Permian Basin is a stunning stretch of land with unique beauty that’s home to the big, beautiful Texas skies. It’s also home to the world’s largest petroleum field.

Accounting for more than 30% of the domestic oil production and recently named the largest oil reserve on the planet, the Permian Basin region of West Texas is poised to boost local and global economies for decades to come. The International Energy Agency expects global oil demand to grow until around 2040, which experts predict will support the creation of around 45,000 jobs across the Permian Basin through 2030. Wind and solar developments are also diversifying the Permian Basin, putting it on the map as a critical energy provider for the future. West Texas is seeing an explosion in economic activity as other industries such as finance, construction, healthcare, digital technology, transportation, real estate, and public sector jobs grow alongside it. In addition, UTPB is working with many community partners, the three large comprehensive hospitals, the soon-to-be constructed Behavioral Health Center, a national model for improving community health, and a collaboration with Texas Tech Medical School to build a pipeline of future medical professionals.

The Permian Basin also is home to a vibrant healthcare community. With the regional growth comes a high demand and need for additional healthcare, including expanding current healthcare partnerships, plans to build a behavioral health facility, and enormous collaborative and financial support from organizations such as the Permian Strategic Partnership, and other local foundations. PSP and other partners have funded over $24 million for our healthcare programs. The University is in the strategic planning process now to map out a comprehensive health sciences plan for the next decade, which will include potential new programs and a new Health Sciences complex as part of an exciting community development at our Midland campus. This development is expected to include regional expansion of hospital and academic medical campus facilities, a regional trauma center, and new behavioral health facilities. UTPB will be one of the primary providers of health care workers for this exciting community health care expansion. As the only major university in the Permian Basin, UTPB is positioned to be its academic center, providing leadership and skilled professionals across all of the region’s prominent and growing industries.

Healthcare careers are in high demand in the Permian Basin as well as throughout the nation. The College of Health Sciences offers a variety of degrees in disciplines that contribute to interprofessional health teams. By focusing on providing high-quality, safe, and patient-centered care, students develop valuable skills, knowledge, and passion for improving overall health and quality-of-life of those in their care.

The College is home to the School of Nursing, Department of Community and Family Health, Department of Human Performance (Athletic Training and Exercise Science), Department of Social

Work, and the Center for Interprofessional and Experiential Learning, including the Midland Health Simulation and Learning Resource Center. Nursing and Social Work degree programs are fully accredited, and accreditation is being sought for the Master of Science in Athletic Training and the new Masters of Social Work. In addition, we plan to add Psychology and Biology to strengthen the pre-health programs including behavioral and mental health sciences.

Through a growing partnership with Midland Health, the simulation lab is now known as the Midland Health Simulation and Learning Resource Center. Midland Health's generous support has ensured that technology and training will be available for students learning new skills, as well as practicing nurses and professionals who continue their lifelong learning as new technology develops. The Midland Health Simulation Center has a 7-bay design, including a fully equipped Emergency Department room, multiple control rooms, standardized patient lounge, reception, and coordinator office. There is a large debriefing room, an electronic medical record room, and a fully equipped Family and Community Health simulation suite. The Center holds state-of-the-art equipment including low- to high-fidelity mannequins, an Anatomage table for 3D, layered visualization of human anatomy, and advanced simulation mannequins, all situated in a learning center that mimics clinical and acute care venues. Simulation provides a safe environment, critical for education health professionals to apply classroom knowledge. Students also are able to extend their knowledge to simulated application, developing confidence and competence that are implemented at hospitals and other external venues.

The D. Kirk Edwards Family Human Performance Center is a state-of-the-art facility with classrooms, lab space, and technology necessary to give UT Permian Basin students and athletes the best tools to excel. "The Kirk" officially opened its doors in fall 2021. At a total project cost of $37 million, the building covers 63,717 square feet. The Kirk is home to the College of Health Sciences and features several labs including: athletic training education, exercise physiology, biomechanics, clinical skills, rehab, body composition, and bone densitometry. It also features faculty o­ffices, the Jimmie B. Todd Academic Wing, a high-tech auditorium, enviable athletic locker rooms, full-scale gym, state of the art equipment, and much more. The facility never fails to strike awe in those who visit, while providing a top-notch practice facility to students preparing for health discipline practice, and excellent overall research and teaching environment. In addition, we have more than 5,000 square feet mental health facilities including in Social, Cognitive, Health, Developmental, Sports, Counseling, and Clinical Psychology.

The Dean strategically leads and manages all aspects of the College of Health Sciences providing collaborative leadership in the development of high-quality growing health sciences and human performance and related STEM academic programs and research. The Dean will work with faculty and University leadership to develop strategic directions for the College. The selected candidate will have proven success in leading faculty in the development of strong teaching, research, accreditation, and community/healthcare outreach efforts.

Specific Tasks and Duties - Collaborate with faculty and University leadership in the following areas:

  • Creating/designing curricula for next generation health professionals with particular relevance to regional and state needs
  • Assuring strategic initiatives in the college integrate and support the strategic plan for the university
  • Developing and executing strategies for strong student recruitment, retention, and graduation rates
  • Promoting innovative and effective teaching with in the College and provide appropriate supervision to the program coordinators, chairs and other faculty colleagues
  • Promoting faculty and student scholarly activities to enhance research productivity and extramural funding in the College
  • Providing regular mentorship for our faculty or direct report to meet their professional goals while achieving UTPB expectations
  • Managing processes required for successful program accreditations for existing programs and for initial accreditation for new programs in the future (including the upcoming initial accreditation for the MSW and others)
  • Providing effective management of fiscal policies and procedures
  • Making decisions in a clear, timely, and collegial manner in accord with the principles of shared governance
  • Facilitating faculty and staff professional development
  • Collaborating regularly with the College external advisory board, to nurture research and educational partnerships, expand the impact of the College’s work, and secure significant contributions of time, talent, and treasure
  • Creating a collaborative/collegial environment in the College and all other campus stakeholders
  • Working closely with the sciences, developing interdisciplinary research and academic programs while managing advantageous disciplinary mergers across colleges
  • Providing oversight and insights for academic and extracurricular programs in related STEM fields
  • Making recommendations on programs and services to promote healthcare fields, especially to area schools and colleges 
  • Creating and maintaining community, industry, and government partnerships that support College research and education programs
  • Demonstrated record of progressive academic and administrative accomplishments, including credentials that qualify for a tenured faculty position at the rank of Professor Experience building successful, productive administration-faculty relationships and shared decision-making
  • Demonstrated success in developing productive partnerships with community/healthcare
  • Other duties as assigned by the Provost

Preferred Qualifications

  • Terminal Degree in Health, Behavioral and Biomedical Sciences, a related applied science, or equivalent field from a regionally accredited institution
  • Progressive academic and administrative or professional experience with significant accomplishments, including credentials that qualify for a faculty position at the rank of Professor or equivalent executive-level experience served in professional institutions
  • Success in attracting, recruiting, retaining, and evaluating faculty and staff consistent with the highest standards of scholarship
  • Experience in building successful, productive administration-faculty relationships and shared decision-making 
  • Success in leading programs to accreditation and maintaining the accreditation standards relevant to the Dean of Health Sciences and Health Performance, for example, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), or Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and others
  • Experienced in developing/restructuring interdisciplinary research and academic programs
  • Solid Track record in meeting the Institution's mission concerning enrollment, graduation, and research
  • Demonstrated success in developing partnerships with community/industry
  • Success building and executing a strategic and fiscally sound unit budget
  • Eligible for discipline-specific licensure in the State of Texas
  • In addition to the preferred qualifications, candidates with at least five years of administrative experience overseeing complex operations, documented industry experience and/or leadership roles, skill set in business development, and experience in working with industry/government partners will be given priority for the position of Dean.

UT Permian Basin takes great pride in being part of The University of Texas System, known for its exceptional academic success, breakthrough research, and an international reputation for excellence and innovation. It includes 13 educational institutions throughout the state, including eight universities and five health institutions.

Home to over 7,500 enrolled students, UT Permian Basin benefits from the vast resources and support of the world-renowned University of Texas System yet is lean enough to foster a connected, tight-knit community while remaining financially accessible to any student. With an unwavering commitment to students, a strategic approach to designing higher education, and the resources to ensure academic success, UTPB is set to nurture the leaders who will go on to shape the future of West Texas and the nation.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recognized UT Permian Basin as the first public university in the state to implement AVID strategies at the post-secondary level. The University offers dual credit courses that serves remote school districts using a blended online and in-person arrangement and with online dual credit courses available to schools throughout the state of Texas.

UT Permian Basin also offers residential, commuter, and on-line educational opportunities. Designated a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS), almost half of UTPB’s student population identifies as Hispanic. UTPB is also designated as a Minority Serving Institution (MSI). About half of the students at UTPB are first-generation college students.

The Search Committee invites letters of interest and nominations to be submitted directly to the search firm, Anthem Executive. Correspondence should include a curriculum vitae and a letter of interest describing relevant experience and interest in the position, and should be submitted to Michael Ballew, J.R. Wheless or Florene Stawowy:

While applications and nominations may be accepted until the position is filled, interested parties are strongly encouraged to submit their materials as soon as possible to assure consideration. Anthem and the University reserve the right to end or extend the application process at any time. Expressing interest is the first step in receiving consideration and does not make one an applicant for the position.

UTPB is committed to providing an educational, living, and working environment that is welcoming and respectful. The University fosters an environment that allows members of the University community to excel in their academic and professional careers. UTPB follows all applicable state and federal laws.

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