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California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California, United States
Not specified
Posted date
Nov 3, 2017

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Position Type
Administrative, Deans
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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THE POSITION: The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts contributes to exemplifying Cal Poly’s most fundamental value--student success--by providing vision, wisdom, and leadership. As chief academic officer of the College, the Dean’s principal responsibilities are to maintain and promote the academic excellence of the College; provide leadership and vision in enhancing excellence in the College’s core disciplines and interdisciplinary activities; develop and support faculty, staff, and students; and enhance college resources. The Dean is responsible for promoting and maintaining the quality of academic programs, and for managing the fiscal and human resources as well as the physical facilities of the College. The Dean reports directly to the Provost, is a member of the Provost’s Council, and works collaboratively with the Deans from the other colleges and campus units. Reporting to the Dean are three associate deans focused on faculty and operations, student success and international programs, and diversity and curriculum, respectively.

The Dean will join the College and University at a compelling time in the institution’s history and will have the opportunity to have major impact on the evolution of comprehensive polytechnic education. He or she also joins a college that has grown and excelled under its previous leadership and is comprised of a vibrant faculty and excellent staff. In a college with a rich variety of disciplines and access to outstanding students, the Dean will celebrate successes, build on a positive internal culture, continue to develop interdisciplinary collaborations, and strengthen excellence in liberal arts education in a college poised for even greater achievements.

Leveraging CLA’s strong connections to the professional colleges and many interdisciplinary programs, the Dean will sustain the CLA’s position and central role in Cal Poly’s comprehensive polytechnic education; build upon a culture of respect, collaboration, inclusivity and diversity; work with the College and University community to diversify revenue streams; and, play a leadership role in promoting the College and the liberal arts in the community and beyond.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate must demonstrate evidence of the following:

  • An earned doctorate or terminal degree in a discipline within the College;
  • Credentials appropriate for a tenured appointment at the rank of professor to include a distinguished record of teaching and scholarship within the College;
  • Strong commitment to academic excellence and student success;
  • Successful record of academic and administrative experience including human resources, fiscal management, leadership, and collaboration;
  • Demonstrated success in and dedication to recruitment, retention and success of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Demonstrated experience in successful advancement and a commitment to engage the College in a comprehensive program of advancement activities;
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with administrators, academic department chairs, faculty, students, staff, and the general public;
  • Experience in the design and continuous implementation of the strategic planning process, including curriculum planning and assessment;
  • Commitment to enhancing and supporting diversity efforts within the College and University, including the ability to work effectively with an ethnically and culturally diverse campus community and to address student needs in a multicultural educational environment.

COMPENSATION: Salary is commensurate with the background and experience of the individual selected. Cal Poly offers excellent fringe benefits, including health, dental and vision insurance, retirement participation in the California Public Employees' Retirement System and educational benefits for eligible employees. All rights associated with the appointment are governed by the Management Personnel Plan (MPP) adopted by the CSU Board of Trustees.

THE COLLEGE: The College of Liberal Arts is a visible, valued, and indispensable component of Cal Poly, a premier comprehensive polytechnic university that has been named the best public master’s program in the west for 25 consecutive years by US News and World Report. The College’s emphasis on critical and creative thinking, human understanding, innovative action, disciplinary depth, and interdisciplinary knowledge and experience empowers graduates to confront challenges responsibly by understanding the historical, ethical, aesthetic, technological, and philosophical complexities of global and local communities. Driven by core disciplines in the arts, humanities, communications, and social sciences, the College of Liberal Arts is organized into 15 departments and an interdisciplinary program offering 17 majors, 33 minors, and master’s degree programs in English, History, Public Policy, and Psychology. The academic departments in the College are Art and Design, Communication Studies, English, Ethnic Studies, Graphic Communication, History, Journalism, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology and Child Development, Social Sciences, Theatre and Dance, Women’s and Gender Studies, and World Languages and Cultures.

While remaining fully committed to disciplinary depth and excellence, the College has made a strong commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and programs of study, as reflected in the Liberal Arts and Engineering major, a degree program focused on expressive technologies and jointly administered with the College of Engineering. In addition, a proposal for a second, broader cross-disciplinary studies major is currently under review. Finally, the College’s six explicitly interdisciplinary minors provide additional opportunities for students to benefit from interdisciplinary learning and group “Learn by Doing” projects. Four of these minors are organized under the umbrella of a Science, Technology, and Society (STS) program in the College: Ethics, Public Policy, Science and Technology; Gender, Race, Culture, Science, and Technology; Media Arts Society and Technology; and Science and Risk Communication. The remaining two minors are Integrated Marketing Communication and Computing for Interactive Art.

Rounding out the College are the Spanos Theatre, a performance venue and educational center for the Department of Theatre and Dance; Center for Expressive Technologies; Center for Public Policy; Ethics + Emerging Sciences Group; and Cal Poly Arts, the primary presenting body for the beautiful, nearly 1,300-seat performing arts center, which is the site for performances by the Department of Music. Also located in the College are the University Art Gallery, a superb pre-school learning lab, and three award-winning, student-run media operations, Mustang News, KCPR Cal Poly Radio and University Graphic Systems.

Through its disciplinary excellence and interdisciplinary collaborations, the College of Liberal Arts is essential to Cal Poly’s status as a truly comprehensive polytechnic university by creating an environment where the liberal arts play an equal role with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and actively engage with those disciplines. The CLA has approximately 169 tenure-line faculty and 197 part-time and full-time lecturers (115 FTE lecturers). CLA faculty members have a strong commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. In fact, they are university leaders in teaching and scholarship, as reflected by receiving a significant share of University Distinguished Teaching and University Distinguished Scholarship Awards. The College is also a leader in inclusion and diversity efforts on campus. The faculty teaches 3,200 majors and extends the influence of their disciplines to all Cal Poly students through minor programs, support courses for other majors, and elective course offerings, as well as through their significant role in the University’s General Education and Honors program.

REVIEW, APPLICATIONS AND NOMINATIONS: Cal Poly has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. The search committee will review nominations and applications until the position is filled. The anticipated starting date for the position is July 1, 2018. Nominations and inquiries can be submitted via the Isaacson, Miller website at To apply, visit to complete the required online Cal Poly Management Employment Application. Completed applications must be submitted to Requisition Number 104662. In addition, each applicant must provide as separate attachments to the online application a detailed curriculum vitae or resume, and a cover letter. The cover letter should address the applicant’s qualifications and experience for this position, including a personal statement of the applicant’s views on academic administration and the role and responsibilities of liberal arts faculty, as well as the applicant’s experiences with and views on leadership, their management style, and diversity and inclusion in higher education. Please indicate Requisition Number 104662 on all attachments.

FOR ASSISTANCE WITH ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS: Contact Academic Personnel via e-mail or phone (805) 756-2844. Cal Poly Website:

At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, we believe that cultivating an environment that embraces and promotes diversity is fundamental to the success of our students, our employees and our community. Bringing people together from different backgrounds, experiences and value systems fosters the innovative and creative thinking that exemplifies Cal Poly’s values of free inquiry, cultural and intellectual diversity, mutual respect, civic engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.

Cal Poly’s commitment to diversity informs our efforts in recruitment, hiring and retention. California Polytechnic State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

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