Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Illinois State University
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted date
Sep 30, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Illinois State University seeks an academic leader committed to the mission, vision, and values outlined in the University’s strategic plan to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The dean is the chief academic and executive officer of the college, providing vision and leadership in teaching, research, and service in the context of shared governance. The dean leads the development and implementation of the college’s strategic future and reports to the provost, who also serves as vice president for academic affairs.

The dean has overall responsibilities for developing an effective collegial environment that supports excellence in teaching, research, and service that advances the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics; facilitating collaboration between faculty members and among programs within the college and university; and coordinating the college’s efforts with schools, corporations, other universities and communities, and state, federal, and international agencies. The dean will provide leadership and support efforts to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in Illinois State’s culture, environment, programs, policies, and personnel. The dean must be committed to promoting the value of a liberal arts and sciences education; engaging in student success initiatives aimed at the recruitment and retention of a diverse student population; pursuing continued excellence in undergraduate and graduate education; supporting faculty scholarship and research activities, including extramural funding; creatively supporting interdisciplinary collaboration; and promoting outreach and public service efforts with the local community and beyond. The dean will engage college faculty, staff, and students in developing a shared plan for the future of the college and its role in the broader mission of the University.

The College of Arts and Sciences is seeking a dean who will provide leadership to 16 departments and schools, 16 interdisciplinary programs, three centers, a publication unit, an NPR public radio station, a student radio station, TV station, and newspaper, and a clinic for speech and hearing.  The dean reports to the vice president for academic affairs & provost and has supervisory authority for three associate deans, an assistant dean, 13 department chairs, three school directors, three program directors, and additional support staff. The dean is expected to work collaboratively and collegially with six other academic deans as well as administrators from all four divisions of the University. 

The college is a comprehensive and complex organization that prepares students with a liberal education in addition to attainment of career-oriented skills. Graduates with a liberal education acquire knowledge and skills in critical thinking, oral and written communication, analytic methods, the ability to work in diverse teams, and problem solving through reasoning. The college offers the core of the general education program required of all undergraduates and a wide range of academic major and minor programs for meeting baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degree requirements. Graduates from the arts and sciences pursue a variety of careers and are adaptable to changing circumstances.

Please view the full leadership profile at for a detailed description of Illinois State University, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the dean opportunity. 

Required Qualifications

  1. Earned doctorate or appropriate terminal degree in a discipline represented in the college. 
  2. Nationally recognized accomplishment as a scholar and teacher commensurate with appointment as a tenured Professor. 
  3. Experience with and understanding of the scholarly, teaching, and service responsibilities of a College of Arts and Sciences faculty member at a major university. 
  4. A record of successful administrative leadership in large and complex academic organizations. 
  5. A record of accomplishment as a manager of people and resources in support of high-quality graduate and undergraduate instruction; research and creative activity; public engagement; and outreach activities. 
  6. Experience in strategic plan development and implementation. 
  7. Demonstrated commitment with proven results for equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice. 
  8. Demonstrated ability to work with other deans, administrators, and diverse stakeholders in developing goals and programs. 

Desired Qualifications

  1. Demonstrated administrative experience at the chair's level or beyond, including budget and personnel experience, especially with recruitment and retention of diverse faculty. 
  2. Innovative leader and strategic thinker. 
  3. Experience working with external agencies, such as foundations and legislatures. 
  4. Demonstrated skills in fund raising, ability to articulate the college mission to external communities, including alumni and potential donors. 
  5. Exceptional communicator, with the ability to bring individuals and groups with diverse perspectives to consensus and common action. 
  6. Able to work in a collegial fashion with the faculty, staff, and community members and to be an effective advocate for the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics within the context of the University's mission. 

Procedure for Candidacy:

All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited.  To assure full consideration, an application along with a resume/curriculum vita and letter of application must be submitted online at Initial review of applications will begin on November 15, 2021.

Nominations and inquiries should be directed to:

Lisa Mason, Director of Executive Search Services at Illinois State University or 309-438-7487

Illinois State University:

Illinois State University, founded in 1857, is the oldest public university in Illinois. Illinois State is a co-educational, residential university committed to fostering a small-college atmosphere with large-university opportunities and promoting the highest academic standards in teaching, scholarship, and community service. Serving more than 20,000 students, our six colleges offer 178 undergraduate majors, 77 minors, 102 master’s programs, 18 doctoral degrees, and 42 certificate options. We have repeatedly been named a “Great Place to Work” by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Illinois State University is committed to and accountable for advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our mission.

Bloomington-Normal Community:

Illinois State University is located in the growing twin cities of Bloomington and Normal, with a population of approximately 132,000 and conveniently located approximately two hours from both Chicago and St. Louis. The community is home to GROWMARK, Illinois Farm Bureau, State Farm Insurance International Headquarters, Rivian, Illinois Wesleyan University, Lincoln College, and Heartland Community College. The community has distinguished itself for its outstanding school systems and educational attainment, parks and recreation, health care, job growth, economic opportunity, and low crime. Please visit the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website at and Bloomington-Normal Advantage as for more information.

Illinois State University, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding affirmative action, nondiscrimination, and anti-harassment. Illinois State University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, order of protection, gender identity and expression, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, unfavorable military discharge, or status as a veteran in employment, educational programs and activities, or admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed by contacting the director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access by email at, by calling (309) 438-3383, or by mail at Illinois State University, Campus Box 1280, Normal, IL 61790.

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