Dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College - The University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi
Mississippi, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted date
Dec 3, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Position Description

The University of Mississippi invites applications for the position of Dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College (SMBHC). The University seeks an experienced, dynamic, and innovative leader who will advance SMBHC’s legacy of interdisciplinarity, scholarly rigor, research excellence, creative exploration, and community engagement in the twenty-first century. The SMBHC prepares citizen scholars who are fired by the life of the mind, committed to the public good, and driven to find solutions. The University of Mississippi is an R1 research university, and the Honors College draws from 160 faculty across 46 academic departments and units to serve the SMBHC undergraduate population. The Dean directly supervises 13 administrative and support staff.

SMBHC provides a four-year program for over 1,600 students of high ability and a commitment to public service. The class of 2021-2022 includes 413 first-year students, entering with an average 3.97 GPA, and strong standardized test scores (Average ACT = 30.8). The mission of the SMBHC is to attract a diverse body of high-performing students to The University of Mississippi. Our students’ accomplishments are recognized nationally thanks to the tremendous research faculty present throughout campus as well as the guidance and support offered by the SMBHC’s own office of national scholarship. The University of Mississippi has had 27 Rhodes Scholars and is ranked third nationwide in Boren Awards. Founded in 1997 through a generous gift from Jim and Sally Barksdale, the Honors College is designed for motivated students who thrive in small classes and seminars that emphasize reading, writing, and discussion. For more information, please visit


Job Information

The SMBHC is both an innovative learning environment and strong community hub.  A successful candidate for this role must work closely with the honors student body and its dedicated student organizations.  The Dean provides general supervision for the co-curricular and extracurricular activities in the Honors College.  Furthermore, the Dean fosters strong alumni connections and nurtures dynamic linkages between The University of Mississippi and the broader community including public agencies, funding agencies, alumni, and donors.


Minimum Qualifications

At a minimum, the Dean of the SMBHC will have the following qualifications:

  • A terminal degree and a record of distinguished scholarship and teaching required for an appointment as a tenured associate or full professor. 
  • A record of significant academic leadership experience appropriate for this role.
  • Proven experience in recruiting, supporting, and retaining, professional staff and students and a demonstrated commitment to diversity.
  • A successful record developing, implementing, and sustaining innovative programs.


Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College strives for diversity, equity and inclusion in our academic spaces and within our community. We recognize the dignity of each person as well as the historical context of exclusionary practices in the classroom and beyond at the University of Mississippi. As such, we are committed to ensuring equitable opportunities during students’ SMBHC tenure, and to fostering the inclusion and success of academically motivated learners from all communities.

We encourage a reckoning with our past and a critical evaluation of our present. We ask our honors staff, faculty and students to hold us accountable, and know that we hold ourselves accountable through critical self-reflection and self-monitoring.

For more information about the University-wide commitment to these values and the current University Pathways to Equity Plan please see:



Application Process

Applicants should submit a cover letter outlining administrative accomplishments and philosophies related to the position and curriculum vitae. Names and contact information for references will be required upon request. The position is open until filled but only applications received by Monday, January 31, 2022, can be assured full consideration. Applications MUST be submitted online:


Nominations and Inquiries 

Please address any nominations or inquiries to:

Lee Cohen, Ph.D.

Search Committee Chair & Dean, College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677


Background Check Requirement

The University of Mississippi is committed to providing a safe campus community. UM conducts background investigations for applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial (credit) report or driving history check.


EEO Statement

The University of Mississippi provides equal opportunity in any employment practice, education program, or education activity to all qualified persons. The University complies with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity and affirmative action and does not unlawfully discriminate against any employee or candidate for employment based upon race, color, gender, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, citizenship, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or genetic information.


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