Dean, Graduate School and Associate Vice President for International Affairs

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Northern Illinois University (NIU) seeks a dynamic, collaborative academic leader to serve as Dean of the Graduate School & Associate Vice President for International Affairs.

NIU is a high research (R2) and Carnegie-engaged institution that enrolls over 16,500 students, approximately 750 international students and 4,500 graduate students. NIU is home to more than 80 graduate degree programs across seven colleges, in addition to a variety of programs that lead to a graduate certificate. The Graduate School is committed to the career success of its students and is proud of its commitment to graduate career and professional development.

The Division of International Affairs, which includes the Study Abroad Office, International Student & Scholar Services, and International Training Office works to promote a global perspective on campus and provides oversight of international programs and activities. This division is responsible for recruiting international students to NIU and for providing global educational opportunities for NIU students.

Located 65 miles from downtown Chicago, in DeKalb, Illinois, NIU is a thriving community of dedicated faculty, staff, students, alumni, local residents, and friends. Together, we support the goal of providing upward social mobility to our students as well as the opportunity to make an enduring impact on our future. The successful candidate will enhance the university’s growing reputation as a leading public and national research university, build on the institution’s substantial strengths in teaching, research, engagement, and outreach, and importantly, share in NIU’s commitment to creating an equitable and inclusive learning and living environment.

Position Summary

The Dean and Associate Vice President (Dean/AVP) is the chief advocate and intellectual leader for the mission and purpose of graduate and global education, both internally and externally, helping define it in a manner that sets NIU apart from other institutions in the state and region. The Dean/AVP is responsible for formulating and implementing a vision for graduate and global education within the framework of the university’s mission, vision and values. This position reports directly to the Executive Vice President and Provost and is a member of the Council of Deans, University Council and the EVPP’s leadership group. The candidate will join an institution with a deep commitment to shared governance and must embody a respect for the role that faculty, staff and students play in governance of the institution.

Primary Responsibilities

The Dean/AVP provides leadership in all aspects of the operation of the Graduate School and Division of International Affairs and will have ultimate responsibility for the following key objectives (listed in no priority order):

Student Recruitment, Enrollment Management and Financial Aid

The dean will engage with faculty and the assistant dean of admissions to develop a strategic approach to graduate and international admissions and a multi-year plan to achieve sustainable enrollment and retention of students. This includes supporting equitable access, opportunity and success for students from diverse backgrounds where diversity is defined broadly.

Administration, Planning and Management

The position will oversee the day-to-day management of the school and division’s operations, delegating responsibilities to appropriate individuals as needed. In collaboration with the president and EVPP, the Dean/ AVP will provide leadership in long-range and strategic planning that addresses the evolving academic environment of graduate and international education. The candidate will implement, monitor and report on the progress of the plans in close collaboration with the faculty, president, EVPP, board of trustees, alumni, and other constituencies. The successful candidate will ensure that financial resources are adequate and prudently managed through the development of an effective annual operating budget and long-term financial planning.

Collaboration with University Leadership

The Dean/AVP will play a critical role in ensuring that strong partnerships are nurtured and sustained among faculty, staff, students, other leaders and the NIU administration in furtherance of graduate and international education. The Dean/AVP will work collaboratively to formulate administrative, policy, budgeting and governance approaches that will strengthen graduate and international education. The successful candidate will work in conjunction with other senior leadership to further the overall mission of NIU.

Excellence and Enhancement of Academic Reputation

The Dean/AVP will guide and oversee the vibrancy of graduate and international education at NIU, working with the faculty and academic leadership to maintain a culture of academic vitality and a superior intellectual climate. The Dean/AVP will support and encourage graduate scholarship and artistic endeavor, facilitate teaching excellence, and cultivate collegial and constructive relationships with and among faculty. The Dean/AVP will be vigilant about students’ needs and assess current and new educational tools to improve the learning experience and professional development of NIU’s students.

Minimum Qualifications

The successful candidate will have the following basic qualifications:

  • Earned terminal degree from a regionally accredited university;
  • Five to ten years of progressive administrative experience in higher education;
  • Record of teaching and scholarship that would merit appointment as a full professor with tenure in an academic department in one of NIU’s colleges;
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • Experience in global or international education;
  • Demonstrated evidence of excellence in written and oral communication.

Preferred Qualifications

In addition, the candidate will have the following preferred qualifications, demonstrating knowledge, skills, and abilities as follows:

  • Provide creative and distinctive academic leadership to NIU’s graduate programs, continually seek opportunities to advance academic excellence and innovation in teaching, research and artistic endeavor;
  • Understanding of the functional areas of international education, including study abroad; services to international students, scholars, and faculty; training and development; and international admissions;
  • Demonstrated leadership experience related to international partnerships, education, or research;
  • Proven support for the success of students with demonstrated positive results in developing student-centered administrative processes, especially in the areas of academic support services, career counseling and placement services;
  • Evidence of strong and effective administrative skills, with a capacity to build and develop leadership teams at all levels of the school, including administrative staff and faculty;
  • Experience with, and deep respect for diversity, equity, and inclusion as exhibited by a record of promoting diversity within a student body, faculty, and administrative team;
  • Possession of the intellectual leadership to provide guidance to a vibrant community of scholars;
  • Knowledge and understanding of the changes taking place in graduate education and graduate career placement, while working with the graduate faculty to ensure an innovative and forward-looking approach to graduate education;
  • Display a commitment to all facets of global education, including enhancing NIU’s reputation as a destination for international students, encouraging NIU students to seek global experiences, and engaging with faculty, staff and other partners to expand global opportunities on NIU’s campus; 
  • Integrate new technologies into the college’s administration, teaching and the support of faculty and student scholarship; 
  • Work collegially with members of the university’s executive administration and supporting the full extent of the mission of NIU; 
  • Develop collaborative programs with university colleges and departments; and possess experience managing growth and change, the ability to resolve conflict and build consensus, and a willingness to seize opportunities that will have positive impact on NIU.


Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Procedure for Candidacy

Candidates should provide a curriculum vitae and letter of intent that address the responsibilities and qualifications described in this position announcement. Finalists will be asked to provide contact information for 3 – 5 professional references. References will not be contacted without permission from the candidate.

Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. For full consideration, applicant materials should be received by January 30, 2021. To view a full leadership profile or directly apply for the position, please visit All application materials should be submitted using All inquiries and nominations may be directed to the chair of the search committee, Dr. Fred Barnhart ( 

EEO Statement, Visa Policy, ADA Accommodation, Clery Act Information

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Ethics and Compliance Officer, Title IX Coordinator
Health Services 230

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
Citigroup Center
500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1475
Chicago, IL 60661-4544

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire. 

NIU remains committed to ensuring that its recruitment and application procedures include full opportunities for applicants with disabilities. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make accommodations for a person’s disability during either the application or interview process. An applicant who believes they require an accommodation to participate in the employment process due to a disability may request that accommodation through the Accommodation Request Form. This form can be obtained by contacting the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI) at 815-753-8399.

NIU provides information regarding campus security, personal and fire safety, including topics such as: crime prevention, emergency response procedures and crime reporting policies, in addition to crime and fire statistics for the most recent three calendar years. The Annual Security Report containing security and safety information is available at or by contacting the University Police Department and Public Safety Department at 815-753-9628 to receive a hard copy. The Annual Fire Safety Report is available at or by contacting the Environmental Health and Safety Department at 815-753-0404 to receive a hard copy.