The University of Kansas - Executive Dean for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

KS, Lawrence

The University of Kansas seeks an inclusive, collaborative and entrepreneurial leader to serve as the first Executive Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. The University of Kansas (KU) is the state’s flagship university, an R-1 institution and a member of the Association of American Universities. KU’s research residential campus is located on the beautiful and historic Mt. Oread in Lawrence, Kansas, and offers programs at eight other locations across the state, as well as online through Jayhawk Global. The College offers more than 150 majors, minors and certificates in 49 academic departments, enrolls approximately 9,500 undergraduate and 1,600 graduate students and employs a workforce of approximately 650 faculty and 300 staff.

The College emphasizes interdisciplinary, experiential learning and global awareness, houses a vibrant university-wide Honors Program that highlights undergraduate research and service activities and has created strong affiliations with outstanding cross-disciplinary research centers. Faculty and academic staff have emphasized the importance of continuing and expanding on relationships with centers and entities including the Biodiversity Institute, Kansas Biological Survey, Kansas Geological Survey, the Hall Center for the Humanities, the Life Span Institute, the Institute for Policy and Social Research, the Spencer Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum. These relationships have brought a broad range of disciplines together to pursue and conduct sponsored research and education at the international, national, state, regional and local levels and have created employment structures in which faculty and academic staff share appointments to emphasize collaboration. College faculty and research staff are welcomed as members in all KU’s designated research centers and institutes. The College is home to internationally recognized scholars and scientists who brought in $44 million in research funding in FY 2021, nearly 30% of the total funded research at KU Lawrence.

KU has newly designated the Executive Dean title for this leadership position because the role has exceptional breadth and depth. As the Executive Dean of KU’s largest and most complex academic unit, this individual has an opportunity to establish broad transdisciplinary connections and to work collaboratively across KU to lead and implement innovative approaches and initiatives that reinforce the university’s standing as a leading AAU, R-1 institution. Reporting to Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Bichelmeyer, Ph.D., the Executive Dean will ensure the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is aligned with KU’s strategic plan, Jayhawks Rising and its three mission-based institutional priorities: Student Success, Healthy & Vibrant Communities and Research & Discovery. Working closely and collaboratively with the Provost, the Executive Dean is responsible for the College’s strategic oversight, academic programs and educational experiences; promoting research, discovery and creative activities; fostering community engagement and service activities; ensuring talent development of faculty, staff and student employees; and fiscal stewardship of administrative structures. The Executive Dean will engage with representatives of KU’s shared governance bodies and also works with fellow deans, associate deans of the College, vice provosts and KU’s vice chancellor for research to ensure that a strong agenda for research, discovery and creative activity is set and prioritized across all disciplines.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile.

WittKieffer is assisting the University of Kansas in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by Tuesday, September 6, 2022. The Executive Dean will begin their appointment as early as January 2023, and no later than July 2023.

Application materials should be submitted to WittKieffer’s candidate portal using the buttons below.

Nominations and inquiries can be directed to:

Lucy Leske, Melissa Fincher and Jevon Walton 

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).